It Pays to Give

I have a friend who is in a band that I’m helping with their web presence. The other day he contacted me about making some changes to their website to update it for them.

“I’d like to put some songs on the site but I don’t want them to be downloadable,” he said.

“Actually, you DO want them to be downloadable. In fact, you want as many people to download and put it on their iPod as possible.”

Why? Here’s my reasoning:
Putting music on the web for free helps expose bands music to a wider audience than could ever have been done before. I don’t know how many countless albums I’ve bought by hearing one song on cd’s (or tapes back in the day) that people have made. “Who is this? Where did you get it?”

It also makes your fans, and they’re the ones that count, feel like you’re giving them something special and builds their loyalty. How many people aren’t buying Metallica albums because of the crap they pulled with Napster? I haven’t seen a new album in a long, long time. If you hit the dog the dog is likely to bite you back.

Though you may not make any money off the song you put up for download if your music is good and appealing it help you sell the album ($10) instead of just the song ($0.99).

It pays to give.