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Should You Sell Your Music Or Give It Away For Free? - Music/Radio - Nairaland

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Should You Sell Your Music Or Give It Away For Free? by ayo84(m): 6:31pm On Mar 25, 2013
It’s a question that so many songwriters that are just starting out will ask themselves: “Should I sell my music or give it away for free?” You may be thinking, why would you give it away?! If you want to make music your career, then you need to make music make you money! True. That is certainly the long-term goal of many songwriters. But is charging a buck per song from the very beginning always the best way to acheive this goal?
Re: Should You Sell Your Music Or Give It Away For Free? by ayo84(m): 6:33pm On Mar 25, 2013
Most Artists post their songs as free downloads as opposed to foreign artists who make their songs available on commercial platforms like itunes and amazon.

The problem of making your music available for free is that Your Music Will Have A Lower Perceived Value. Perceived value is what people think your product is worth. If something is widely available for free, people will naturally feel like it’s not worth as much as it’s easy to obtain. This is how a lot of people think about music right now. If however something is harder to obtain or it’s a higher price, people naturally think it’s of a better quality. Because of this, it’s sometimes possible to raise the price of your product and make more sales then if you set a lower price point. You of course don’t want to charge so much that it’s not worth buying your music, but giving it all away for free will definitely make people perceive your music to have less value.

You’ll Lose Money. Making good quality music isn’t free. You have to pay to use the recording studio, for the cost of pressing up products, for marketing and promotion expenses, and for anything else that needs to be done. If you do all of this only to give your music out for free, you are losing out on money. And where does that money come from? My guess is your own pocket. You shouldn’t be paying to make other people happy, it should be a two way thing. You should benefit from people hearing your music, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for something in exchange for your songs.

You Will Lose Motivation. If you keep spending money on creating music that people don’t end up downloading, you will eventually lose motivation. If you lose motivation, what’s to keep you making music any more? We get into music for the love of it, but there are things along that way that have many a musician giving up on the industry. If you don’t want to become one of these people, you will need to start seeing some tangible results. Giving out your music free of charge doesn’t often give tangible results, so isn’t really worth you doing.

What You Should Be Doing Instead

So, now we know you shouldn’t be giving your music out for free, what should you be doing instead? Well:

You should be selling it. And,You should have some songs available to download as part of an exchange process.

The selling your music part it pretty obvious. You should have your music on a shop page of your website where people can buy it in exchange for money.

The exchange process on the other hand is something quite different.

Instead of letting people download your music for nothing in return, you should only allow people to download some of your songs if they help you out in some way. This could be them giving you their contact details, or by them promoting your music in some way. This is a win win situation for everyone. They get to download your music and learn about you, and you get to keep in contact with them or have them promote you to all their friends.

One major reason for popular nigerian artists releasing their music as free downloads, was the fact of low credit card usage in nigeria, most nigerians dont have a solution that will effortless help them sell their music to nigerians and people who don't have credit cards or paypal.

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