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Making Money With Music


AngelCityOutlaw
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I recently got into an argument with a band I really respected. I have some of their albums and I love their music.

They do not play live however. They were bitching about....wait for it....music piracy and how's it killing them. The band relies almost entirely on CD sales to make a living.

While I don't support piracy and I wish more people would buy albums and not doing so does effect us musicians in a negative way, there's not really anything you can do to change it. So I believe we must adapt and find other ways to make money with music. For example, I'm excited because I just did music for a game. It's my first one. I got paid for the songs I did and I get a percentage of sales of the game.

Basically, what are some ways you think people can make a living with music besides just selling CDs. Things that come to mind, playing gigs, selling merch, scoring games, movies, tv etc. I mean, Authors/Writers don't make a living by just doing books alone.

Let's brainstorm.

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Derek Sivers (I think) once said that the enemy of bands isn't piracy, it's obscurity. I agree with him. This band does not have a "problem" with piracy. They have a problem with not being well-known enough. Even if 95% of people who hear your music pirate it, consider that you can't do anything about piracy. Therefore, your job is to get the music out to more people.

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Derek Sivers (I think) once said that the enemy of bands isn't piracy, it's obscurity. I agree with him. This band does not have a "problem" with piracy. They have a problem with not being well-known enough. Even if 95% of people who hear your music pirate it, consider that you can't do anything about piracy. Therefore, your job is to get the music out to more people.

That's probably the most relevant and concise thing I've heard regarding this issue. Well worth remembering.

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There's an opportunity nowadays to make real, loyal fans. Some people are always going to pirate music, but I don't think anyone doesn't know that piracy does not equal a loss of revenue 1:1. Just because someone downloaded your music does not mean they'd pay for it. The best thing you can do is make real, diehard fans so that they will always buy your albums, and tell their friends. The best way i've seen to do that is through local circles and shows. It's easy to get bigger if you are doing shows and don't suck, even if you're not headlining.

You have to want money and work hard to get it. Neither is as effective without the other.

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I think speaking out against music piracy is something that really shouldn't be relevant in this day and age anymore. It's basically an inevitability, so the best way to deal with it is to suck it up and consider that it'll at least help you get more exposure. I've seen my own stuff up on torrent sites but it really isn't worth it to go after it.

There are fortunately still plenty of people who are willing to pay for music.

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Yeah, most people who pirate a large majority of stuff wouldn't pey for it anyways. The only music I ever pay for is from small bands/unsigned bands to help them get a start. If they wanna be successful in this day and age, they have to start playing live shows, get a bigger fan base, and get some merch put out.

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Piracy is changing the way products are created and its a GOOD thing for the consumer. There are a few companies and artists though that HATE it because the way products are created have to continue to offer value to the consumer, either through something important, well-crafted, or quite literally releasing new content online. You can't just phone in your products anymore. A lot of sales from mediocre albums in the 1990s and earlier wouldn't happen in this day and age (not that crap isn't getting released and marketed to hell).

You have to have something that keeps people's interest, something all-inclusive or really interesting. The internet has unlocked people's expectations. We have the world at our fingertips... mediocrity really shouldn't exist now that we can see the entire world at the push of a button. And fans fundamentally want to support things that they enjoy so they can continue to experience newer iterations in the future.

There is -no- way your band buddies are being pirated out of money. You just can't make that claim, especially if they're not playing live. Like Overcoat said, there is a huge value in EXPOSURE, and that holds true for almost all artistic business endeavors. Hell, old bands became famous before the internet from bootlegs... piracy is similar to a certain degree. If you make something that fosters a community you'll be supported financially. Fans WANT to support the stuff they like even if they stumbled upon something through piracy.

Pirates are also consumers.

Generally speaking, I find that people making the argument that piracy hurts their sales are just looking for someone to blame for a failure on their own part to offer something the consumer actually wants to support.

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Piracy is changing the way products are created and its a GOOD thing for the consumer. There are a few companies and artists though that HATE it because the way products are created have to continue to offer value to the consumer, either through something important, well-crafted, or quite literally releasing new content online. You can't just phone in your products anymore. A lot of sales from mediocre albums in the 1990s and earlier wouldn't happen in this day and age (not that crap isn't getting released and marketed to hell).

You have to have something that keeps people's interest, something all-inclusive or really interesting. The internet has unlocked people's expectations. We have the world at our fingertips... mediocrity really shouldn't exist now that we can see the entire world at the push of a button. And fans fundamentally want to support things that they enjoy so they can continue to experience newer iterations in the future.

There is -no- way your band buddies are being pirated out of money. You just can't make that claim, especially if they're not playing live. Like Overcoat said, there is a huge value in EXPOSURE, and that holds true for almost all artistic business endeavors. Hell, old bands became famous before the internet from bootlegs... piracy is similar to a certain degree. If you make something that fosters a community you'll be supported financially. Fans WANT to support the stuff they like even if they stumbled upon something through piracy.

Pirates are also consumers.

Generally speaking, I find that people making the argument that piracy hurts their sales are just looking for someone to blame for a failure on their own part to offer something the consumer actually wants to support.

That last bit is almost exactly what I said and they got pissed lol

regardless of if it helps or not its still illegal:neutral: (not to say that I dont or haven't)

Music_Pirate-400x300.png

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