Newsletter EVENT MAILING October 2007
FREE EVENT – MON 5th NOV: BUILDING A BUSINESS ON ‘FREE’
Produced in association with CIDA, the East London Business Development Agency, this FREE event will consider whether or not it is viable or advisable for today’s emerging artists, labels, managers and small music companies to give music away for free and if so, discuss how can it be done in a way that doesn’t compromise artists’ income, integrity or longevity.
Keynote: GUY PARSONS – A game designer and digital product wonk, Guy most recently worked for Mind Candy, most famed for producing an alternate reality game called Perplex City, for which he acted as the Head of Community, and then went on to develop game designs for their forthcoming kids’ entertainment property. His interests are based around getting people talking to each other and making people happier using web-enabled technologies, including online community building, user generated content, social media, social networking and innovative entertainment.
KIERON CONCANNON – MD, FDM Records. This management and label team brought Nizlopi’s JCB Song to the fore via their now famous viral video, resulting in sales of 750’000 units.
ANDREW DUBBER – newmusicstrategies.com . Andrew’s background is in both radio and the music industry. He’s a keen proponent of new routes to market and champions technologies and the new strategies they enable.
DAVEY MACMANUS – Band member, The Crimea. This band rose to prominence earlier this year through making available a free digital download of their 2nd Album.
Moderator: GHIZELA ROWE – The Copyright Group. Ghizela Rowe helps run the Copyright Group, an extensive collection of master recording rights spanning many genres. She has worked extensively in TV – from C4’s seminal The Tube through to Eurotrash and most recently, The MOBO Awards.
Date: Mon 05 November ’07; Venue: The Worship, 3 Triton Court, Finsbury Square, London, EC2A; Time: 18.00 – 21.00hrs.
Price: **FREE** – Registration is essential.
To Book: Call Jessica Green on 020 7247 4710 or e-mail email@example.com
Fantastic. Prince gave away his new CD for ‘free’ with a national newspaper, former Kinks frontman, Ray Davies, is soon to follow and Radiohead recently invited you, Joe Public, to decide precisely how much (or not), to pay for the digital release of their latest oeuvre, In Rainbows…
Leaving aside the finer details of a recent spate of headline-grabbing announcements on the subject of giving music away for free, these examples are the result of some clever thinking by artists who are using ‘free’ music as a promotional tool to stir up press interest and sell consumers other related products, be it concert tickets, merchandise or in the case of Radiohead, a premium physical release of the same album at a later date.
But what does this mean for artists who aren’t household names, who don’t have a lineage of best-selling records or a fanbase to match?
Recent history shows that it can be done – UK indie band The Crimea hit the headlines earlier this year having made a digital copy of their 2nd album, The Witching Hour, available as an entirely free download. Remember Nizlopi’s JCB song, Christmas ’05? Encouraging unfettered downloading and sharing of their video was a crucial factor in the song’s success. Then there’s the Arctic Monkeys, whose rapid rise to fame was greatly helped by Internet distribution of free downloads of the band’s pre-label demo CDs. But these are the exception, not the rule and in terms of pr, the law of diminishing returns will always apply.
Can and should ‘free’ be part of the plan for today’s emerging artists, labels, managers and small music companies. Is it viable or indeed advisable to give music away and if so, how can it be done in a way that doesn’t compromise artists’ income, integrity or longevity?
That's all for this issue - 'til next time...
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