[linux-audio-user] Re: Marketing Free Music

From: Maluvia <terakuma@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Fri Mar 10 2006 - 18:45:45 EET

Hmmmm . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lots of interesting ideas and an abundance of enthusiasm!

Random First Thoughts:

I've got to be honest - the 'Free Music' label makes me cringe.
Two reasons - one personal, the other practical.

Personal level:
I *really, really* want my husband to be able to quit his stupid day-job
flipping omelets and make music full, or nearly full-time.
(If you're going to try to make a living at that, you've also got to spend
a lot of time doing "self-sufficiency"-type things to provide for yourself
what you can't afford to buy.)
That 'Free Music' term just tells me we'll never be able to accomplish this
- he can distribute an abundance of beautiful music to the world, freely -
but forget ever getting anything back for it.
That's just how it *feels* to me, and that is *really* depressing.

Practical level:
I have gotten from your posts Carlo, that you also want to encourage a
culture of tipping/donation to go along with this movement.
If you're going to address this from a psychological/subliminal/marketing
standpoint - as you have been doing admirably - you must admit that using
the term 'Free' so relentlessly in your marketing strategy psychologically
works against the donation part of it.
I mean, from the user's standpoint, it creates a cognitive dissonance of:
"Well is it free or isn't it?"
"They say it's so great and wonderful because it's free, but I'm morally
obligated to pay for it too?"
"Which is it?"
Confusing your end-user/consumer is not good marketing strategy.
I think most people will simply take you at your word that it is 'Free' and
run with it - not feeling in the least obliged to donate - and possibly
resent that whole aspect of it.

(I know that to Stallman disciples the 'free' word is mandatory, but this
is entertainment we're talking about here, and besides - as I keep saying,
to make sense to me, the 'free' has to extend to *everything* or it just
doesn't work.)
I agree with Cesare that we could come up with a better term - I don't know
- Open Music? Global Music? People's Music? Creative Commons Music? Direct

Shoot - I'm just not feeling very inspired today, but you know what I mean:
a term that holds all the positive connotations of being freely accessible
(at least to those with internet access), disconnected from the industry,
made with wonderful open-source tools, freedom-of-*choice* about what they
can listen to, the rich diversity and abundance of this global music, being
part of a whole new global village where we support and empower one another
outside the strictures of corporatocracy, etc.

BTW, if we do come up with a good strategy to get people to donate/tip for
the music, then we definitely need to share the wealth:
All music made with open-source tools should have nice, big attractive
sidebar buttons to take people to the project sites' donation page to
encourage donations for the software tools that make this all possible.

Or better still - how about taking a page from many commercial artists that
say "10% of the proceeds go to benefit . . . . ('Save the whales', 'Save
the rainforest', 'Campaign for Peace', 'Earthquake Relief' , etc.)
We could say that "_% of the proceeds of all donations go to the OSS
community" as support for the open-source tools that make this music
(I actually had the whacked-out idea at one point that we should pay Paul
some kind of 'royalty' from our CD sales - but given the likely number of
such sales, I quickly realized that would be an insult. :) )

Also wanted to mention one other aspect to this that we are going to try:
Don't limit it just to downloadable music - make the CD/DVD-Audio an option
as well - perhaps link it to the donation feature such as:
"You can download these tracks for free - play them on your
computer/portable player, share them with others, but if you would like to
listen to this music in the best resolution and have a permanent copy of it
you can buy it on CD for _$"
Or alternatively - "$15 donation gets you the full CD with lots of bonus
features, $20 gets you a DVD-Audio or DVD-Video with performance videos,
multi-channel, pics, interviews, etc."
Or for those who don't want to mess with CD production, it could be some
other 'value-added' content:
posters, T-shirts, mugs, bumper-stickers, calendars - lots of
Just something to give an incentive to donate.

Gotta go drink some tea and do some yoga to get my brain more in gear. ;)

Received on Fri Mar 10 20:15:34 2006

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