Think releasing free music is crazy? Here are 6 reasons you SHOULD do it
The music listening landscape has changed rapidly over the years, from the days of vinyl, tapes and CDs to the current main method of streaming, and when it comes to building a brand and monetizing your music, releasing some content for free is a smart idea.
WordPlay T. Jay has six reasons you should release music for free, as it’s a streaming world and the goal for an artist these days is to supply music to your audience that they may consume without spending a lot of money.
1. It’s the easiest way for your fans to hear your work
People generally listen to music for 30 seconds at a time before making the decision to play or skip. If they like your music, there is an opportunity for them to buy it, or you to make money from the streaming. A few of those people will even end up being dedicated fans.
Music brings people together, so it’s not about being the best manufactured product like if you’re selling vacuums. Instead, it’s about allowing people to find that emotional connection to your music that makes them play it over and over again.
2. Music is cheap to produce
Make the initial investment in studio equipment and you can then create new content regularly for little cost. That investment is for long-term growth and is a huge asset.
You don’t have to go out like in the old days and promote your work. Now, you promote yourself and get people to listen to your whole catalogue.
3. You get paid repeatedly by streams, forever
There is a system in place to monetize your work through things like content ID, Facebook streams or Insta streams, so there are various ways to get money from songs you put out for free.
Don’t totally abandon things like iTunes sales and shows, but remember the goal is to get repeat plays as much as possible. It used to be someone would buy your 12-track album for $10, then play it over and over and over again and never spend another dime on you.
Little money here and there adds up, and you can use that as a long-term asset instead of a short-term one.
4. There are royalties for your work
Royalties give you the opportunity to get paid multiple times from a single stream. You have the opportunity to earn money every time someone streams your music, and the streaming system is still in its infancy and still needs to grow.
5. The payments will get better
The Music Monetization Act has been signed, and the system has not been fixed for a long time, and it will still take time to get better.
It’s also a disservice to the movement to sit and complain about the system but never act. Call your representatives and sign petitions to help.
For now, put your music on as many platforms as possible and increase your earning potential.
6. There’s no shelf life on music
At any point in time, one of your songs you put out for free could pop off, even if it’s 5, 10 or 15 years old.
A recent example of that is when Nipsey Hussle passed away, his catalogue shot through the roof. New people were saying they had never given him a chance, and now they love all his music. And, his family still benefits from those plays, even though he is gone.
Music also can be used later on in commercials, TV or film, and that can spike sales, but, none of that will happen without allowing it to be streamed or releasing for free.
Keep pushing out your music to make yourself successful! To hear more about WordPlay T. Jay’s thoughts on releasing for free, check out the video below.