The Heretic’s Comments: Andrian Brigham a true gentleman of the Music Industry shared some commentary on his thoughts on artists who give their entire album away for free and we wanted to share his wisdom with you. We have encouraged you repeatedly in this blog to establish value in your music and reinforce this value with your fanbase. If you insist are giving your music away, then what you are doing is establishing that the value of your music is $0.00. Clients and people asking advice and counsel of me argue with me all the time in trying to justify why they are giving their music away for free, but at the end of the day, if you are giving it away for free, the dollar value of your music is $0.00. That cost too much for you!!!
Check out Adrian’s observations about Artist who give away their entire album for free in hopes of generating buzz and let me know your thoughts:
They may be talented musicians but they’re marketing idiots! I can see giving away a song or two, but to give away complete albums in hopes of future sales is just plain dumb. We have a friend who is a rock artist and he puts out several albums a year, and keeps giving them away to get people to come to his club gigs. Now nobody will pay for them because they expect them for free. What is more important though is when you give your product away for free you establish a worth of $0. The whole purpose of a marketing and P/R campaign is to establish a value for the artist, and value is measured in how much the audience is willing to spend for you or your product. Giving away product basically tells the audience that your product isn’t worth buying. That’s what the marketing is supposed to do, give them a reason to buy it. Problem is most musicians don’t know anything about marketing or how to build their value so they fall into the “freebie” trap.
Those that have known me for a long time have heard this story many times, but for my new friends here’s something to think about. One of my good friends and really my mentor in the world of performing is a retired “super agent” to the stars. Nowadays he manages a small theater in one of Chicago’s suburbs. We have had many long and informative lunches and he has taught much about this business and how it really works. Anyway, during one of our lunches we were talking about potential acts for the theater, and I suggested one entertainer who works a lot of Chicago’s clubs and bars with his comedy/music act. Without even pausing the soup spoon to his lips he simply said “never!” I was kind of surprised as the guy is somewhat popular and has a good show. I asked why in a puzzled way. My friend calmly replied “how could I ever get anyone to spend $25 for a ticket to see him in my theater when they can wait a week and see him for free at the bar down the street?” It was true. And in the bar they can order a beer and a burger. The theater only sells bottled water.
So really, honestly, and truly what is that artist’s value to his fans? It’s $0. We know another local singer who works a couple of area restaurants. He is very talented, yet why is he working there where people don’t pay to hear him when Micheal Buble, who really isn’t as good as this guy, can fill a stadium a few miles away with ticket prices hovering around $100 a seat? Buble’s backers and management worked hard to establish that value, not by giving away his music, but through marketing, otherwise Michael would still be singing at weddings in Canada.
The day we signed the deal to make my wife’s album I did what others would think is crazy; I cancelled all of her remaining club dates. I actually took her completely out of circulation. She “disappeared” for almost two years while the album was being recorded. There would be no more “free” performances in clubs. The next time her fans wanted to see her it would be in a theater and they’d have to pay for those seats. And if they wanted a copy of her album they’d have to buy that too. The only freebie we gave out went to the radio stations and the media to get the publicity we needed to sell those theater seats. It was the press coverage and advertising that sold the tickets, not giving away our music to the fans. Just some food for thought folks!
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The Official Release of the “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall. More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!