There is an incredibly large debate about whether learning how to use torrents to syndicate a bands own music harms musicians, or whether it helps them.
Many people can make great points about how file sharing Helps increase music sales, and others argue the opposite.
I'm not going to go into a huge debate on the pros and cons of the subject, but rather just talk about how you can use file sharing to increase your fans, as well as how you can still make money from Pirating your own music.
Yes yes, we all know that you can get pretty worried about losing money because people are downloading your music for free. Your fearing is that you won't make any money off of your music!
But if you take the right precautions to make sure this doesn't happen, you will end up increasing the amount of paying fans that you have (see the next point to see how you still make money off of fans who pirate your music).
I recommend you actually upload your own albums to websites like "The Pirate Bay", "Kickass Torrents" and "ISOHunt". These are popular file sharing networks that are really useful for you. There are many different ones you can try, but those are the 3 that I mainly use and trust.
Now the key to using this technique is that you want to upload a .txt file in the folder along with the files for your songs, that has links to your website. Just use the simple Notepad to create this file, as you want anyone to be able to open it without extra software.
Create a file that is titled "A Note From YOUR BAND NAME" and says something like this:
"Do you love the music you heard here? Well we are "BAND NAME" and we uploaded this for your pleasure.
Just keep in mind that we also have to pay the bills too, so if you love the music, would you consider purchasing it from us? It would mean the world to us.
Because we use independent distributors, we are able to keep most of the money that you pay; so you know you won't be paying some faceless record company! You literally are causing us to be able to write more music by buying or music, merchandise, or attending our concerts.
Here's where you can buy our albums online (for download, and digital purchase):
By doing this, you can appeal to the types of justifications that many pirates use to continue downloading music without paying..
Lots of people (myself included) don't like buying albums because I know that the artist will get only a tiny percentage of those profits.
But I always find myself buying music off of BandCamp, because I know how much artists receive from it.
And BandCamp Pages Look GREAT!
If you educate your audience on how to support you and how you get most of the money from their purchase, then they cannot use the justification of "The Artist doesn't get any of my money anyways".
It's useful, and can help engage your fans by directing them to your website.
And since it's "a note from the band", they are more likely to listen to what you have to say, especially if they love your music. They will want to hear from you, and it's something that not a lot of bands do.
If you are still nervous about giving your music away, consider that there are still TONS of different ways that you make money off of music. Diversifying your income is key!
You can make money off of:
Perhaps someone will hear your music because a friend of theirs had it on their Ipod. Now let's pretend that 'someone' is in charge of finding music to license for their up and coming TV show.
You might get a licensing deal out of something like that, so as you can see, getting your music out there (for free) can be much more important than getting paid $0.50 for each song.
Here's a great technique that I learned from a band called "Barton Fink".
What they did was uploaded albums of bands that sounded like them, and then placed one of their songs in with the download.
When a user took the downloaded album and uploaded it into their iTunes, "Barton Fink" now appeared as an artist.
I actually know quite a few people who have that band in their iTunes library, and they've no idea how it got there; they ended up listening to them and became a fan!
The curiosity that this creates will likely cause people to listen to your music. So create a list of artists that sound the same as you, and maybe that technique could help you as well!
Just pretend that files sharing is like getting your songs onto the radio, except that instead of getting your songs played on the radio as the main goal, your goal is now to get your songs into their music library (And hopefully they will listen to it!)
Make sure that your Metatag's on your song that you uploaded are up to date! You want your album art and band information to be complete, not just an "Unknown Track" that gets shoved to the bottom of someone's iTunes library.
Still afraid of losing out on lots of money by giving away your music for free? Well think about this to help put your mind at ease.
Think about the last time you went to a concert and bought an album.
Did the fact that you owned a pirated digital copy at home prevent you from buying their album? Nope!
There's something magical about picking up band merchandise after they've just blown your face off, and your fans will think the same way, so don't be afraid to try uploading your own music!
After all, someone else will probably do it anyways, so why not put yourself in control of how your music gets shared, and leave a "note from the band" in the download?
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.