Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Giving Away Free Music Downloads Is a Great Music Marketing Technique

Musicians inexperienced in business economics often don’t understand the idea of giving away free music downloads in order to earn sales. Well, I can’t tell you what to do. Sure, I could show you some “evidence”, but my market research is poorly-defined. So really, I can only testify what I’ve done and point you to other bands who swear by it too.

I started out giving away free music on Back then, was paying artists every time someone downloads their music. When the site closed down, I had a tough dilemma. Should we keep giving away music or should we stop? I decided to test it.

I took a risk. I realized the reason that we were one of the Top 30 bands on was, in part, because of our strategy of how we gave away free music downloads. Thanks to that site, we now have well over a two hundred thousand fans around the world. It is all thanks to free downloads.

WHY does it work? Because my whole music marketing philosophy is not about selling music, it’s about making fans.

You see, my goal is not to sell one CD. My goal is to make a FAN who will buy CD after CD through my entire music career, maybe even provide me with a retirement.

You see, I STILL have a new fan even if they don’t buy my music. True fans tell friends. And friends tell friends. Somewhere magically along the way, people buy my CDs. That’s why I make a living as an independent musician.

Honestly, I won’t claim this is for everyone. If you’re fiddler isn’t comfortable giving away music. Don’t do it. There are other ways to promote yourself. So do what makes you more comfortable.

As for me, I publish a The Bards Crier Music Marketing and Promotion Ezine, and I get musicians telling me all the time how much it’s helped them. But there are just as many others who’ve done as well without.

I guess, I just see my method easier. It doesn’t require me trying to sell someone on something I think is great. They only have to listen again and again. I just provide them the music. They listen and listen and listen. And they are convinced.

Think of it like radio. People freely listen to music over and over ad nauseum. Then they buy the CD. That’s what free music downloads does.

It’s a little counter intuitive but the results are just tremendous. If you’re a musician, give it a try. And if you’re a Celtic musician, make sure you submit your music to the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine.

Marc Gunn is an acoustic Celtic folk musician, called “The Godfather of Celtic music online” for his steadfast support of indie Celtic music, free Celtic music downloads, and his award-winning Irish and Celtic Music Podcast, one of the most-popular music podcasts on iTunes. He has helped 1000s of musicians save and make money with their musical groups through The Bards Crier Music Marketing Ezine.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

3 Reasons for Hiring a Musician for your Wedding

My new book, "The Bride's Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable" is now available for pre-sale on My book is filled with information for hiring wedding musicians rather than using iPod stereo or pre-recorded music.
Need more reasons? Blog author Amanda Williams offers several reasons:

1. Live bands are great for getting guests to interact with each other.

2. They are more likely to remember the band that played at the wedding than any sort of prerecorded music.

3. You will get the most for your money if you are willing to hire a band. This is especially true if you are choosing a band that plays requests or follows a set playlist.

She also says, "After you have experienced a live band performing at your event, you may never want to have prerecorded music played at another event afterward." Read more at Merchant Solutions IQ.

And if you need tips on how to hire a harpist, string trio or quartet, check out Lianne McCombs blog.