Dear Musicians, Stop Giving Away Your Music For Free!

Today we’re gonna be giving some free advice to all you musicians out there. There’s one thing that’s always bothered me. Musicians giving away all of their music for free. Unless you’re making as much money as a Justin Bieber and can afford to lose a lot of money, from a business standpoint it makes absolutely no sense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen musicians put their entire album on Youtube for free. If I’m looking up music online and see that you have a whole album that I end up liking…why would I pay $9.99 for that album when I have it for free whenever I want to listen to it? I have a guideline that I think ALL musicians should follow. If it’s an EP give away ONE song. ONE! If it’s a full length album the most I would give is 4 songs.

You want people to want more! You want them to come back! The reason you want to be a musician is to make some money. If you’re giving away all your stuff for free it will give you more exposure but you’re not gonna make a dime.  If you give one or 2 songs off an upcoming album people will say “damn, I want to hear more. I gotta pick up this album immediately!” which is EXACTLY what you want! If you give away too many songs they’re gonna say “they’re really good but I’ll just listening to their free songs online” and you miss out on some money that could go towards touring and equipment.

On the other side of this coin you have the musicians who are just starting out and give away NOTHING. I have seen this. I don’t know why. But I’ve seen this. The biggest part of being a musician is promoting yourself. Nobody is gonna promote for you. Do not put up your album on a shop without giving away any music at all. Who are you? What genre are you? Is this even a legit website or are you just gonna take my money and run? Why would anyone give you money without hearing any music from you. You want people to hear what you’re about and see if they like your sound. Give them time to get to know you. Money is the last thing you should be worrying about when you’re just starting out. “if you build it they will come” if I may steal a quote from a classic movie. One or two songs is all it takes. People will understand what they’re in for when they listen to those songs. They’ll know you’re a legit musician trying to get their name out there.

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