Sometimes I feel like the music industry is turning into a large Chinese buffet with a bunch of chicken samples.Â Â And the artists are the people that stand in front of the restaurant saying â€œfree sampleâ€Â or â€œtry oneâ€.Â Â There are so many artists that believe â€œif itâ€™s free they will comeâ€.Â Or, I just want to be heard so I will give it away and everything else will â€œjump offâ€.Â I donâ€™t thinkÂ people understand that music just being â€œfreeâ€ is not good enough anymore.Â Thereâ€™s so much more that goes into developing talent, building a fan base, and being successful.Â Even if free is the beginning of your plan, ask yourself what comes next?Â After I see that free download link, whatâ€™s going to make me click â€œdownloadâ€?Â Or after you pass me the free CD, what is going to entice me to play it andÂ not make it a frisbee.Â I mean really, these days, itâ€™s just another free cd.
Â The most important lesson that I learned in music retail is that free music is no good if no one is listening.Â Â Free is no good if no one is there to talk about the new free music with some excitement.Â Itâ€™s no good if itâ€™s sitting in a box in a backroom collecting dust because the guy on the street team did not introduce it the right way.Â Itâ€™s no good if itâ€™s just sittingÂ inÂ a gas stationÂ on the counter for free because gas station attendants do not promote musicâ€¦they SELL GAS!Â
Now, if you are lucky enough to find a good promotions company, they know how to introduce your music to people so that it can reach others.Â Believe me, after 14 years in music retail, I know the difference betweenÂ â€Des give this away for meâ€Â and â€œDes check this out its HOT!â€Â If the person giving me the music is someone I respect, then we talk about the music.Â If I like it, then I share it with others and say something like â€œOoo, you should check this out itâ€™s great!â€Â Now if someone tells me , â€œgive it awayâ€, then my response to the customer would be â€œHereâ€™s some free music.â€Â See the difference?
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