an editorial by Keif Last week I brought up the topic of MP3s and file sharing. In keeping with this theme I would like to talk about pay per downloads. Many of you have asked for a pay per download service. While we do plan on offering a pay per download feature, I wanted to know what everyone's position was on selling your MP3s for 99 cents. My take on the subject is a pretty one sided, but I am trying to be open minded. On one hand I believe that bands at the indie level should be giving their songs away for free. Sure it would be nice to make some money, but that shouldn't be the ultimate goal. The goal should be to get your music into the hands of as many people as possible and hope that the word about your band spreads like wild fire. Trying to sell your songs for 99 cents each does not help this cause. On the other hand, I question if there is enough support for indie music that people would buy your songs just to give you a helping hand. Wouldn't this be ideal? Of course it would. Is it going to happen? Chances are, no. When people can still download MP3s from top selling artists for free, who would pay 99 cents for a song from someone they don't even know? Not offering your tracks for download because you are overly paranoid that someone will steal or copy your music is one thing, but to not offer your songs to be downloaded because you think people should buy your music is another. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that bands should only offer their tracks for sale once they have achieved a certain level of success and respect. Otherwise your songs will be left alone and never heard or shared with anyone. Sure some of your friends and a few fans might purchase your MP3s, but overall the majority of people will not go through the trouble of setting up an account and downloading your songs. Unless you are a signed (indie or major label) and touring band, I see no justification in selling your MP3s for a fee. The only exception I would have is if you recorded your own album that you invested your own money into. Even if this were the case I would still recommend that they give a good portion of their music away for free. What's your take on pay per downloads?
★ Posted by Keif on 03/24/2006 | 120 comments ★