Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Like my CD? Burn one for your friends


Something great happened yesterday. An old friend of mine said he was burning copies of my album Ghost to give to fellow students who go to the local guitar teacher. This is great - brilliant opportunity to get this odd esoteric music across to a niche audience, brilliant. Hopefully some of these students will burn CD's for their friends and it will continue to grow. Now if I play live in the Northants area I have more chance of having an audience. Another friend in South Africa said he does the same,burning CD's.

Some people would probably argue that this is piracy but i believe its more important to develop an audience than fight for copyright you can't hope to protect in 2010. Once you have an audience its far easier for musicians to earn a living rather than playing to no one.

What I have learned this year is not everyone likes what I do - its a niche interest, Thats fine with me because the people who like what i do are really into it and make an effort to tell their friends. The supportive emails, tweets and facebook messages from the frankly bloody lovely audience I've gained really mean a l lot to me, i feel lucky to have an audience and most of this is thru "free" music. This audience also helped to pay my costs by buying my CD's/downloads - they choose to pay because they like the music and want to hear more of it

I think when you realise that people want to support music they enjoy piracy becomes far less scary. So please do share my music on torrents, burn CD's and swop files etc - you're helping me to grow my audience :)

Thank you

Matt Stevens


Unknown said...

While I firmly agree with everything you say here, and applaud you for saying it, I'd just like to pick up on one point.

You talk about fighting "for copyright you can't hope to protect in 2010" but this is simplistic, and muddying the terms. You own your copyright, from the moment you fix your original work in some medium or other (record it, write it down, whatever), unless you actively choose to relinquish it.

What people are losing the battle to defend is the potential income they believe only copyright affords them, and it's here that just a few forward thinking artists (such as yourself) are ahead of the game - you realise that owning copyright on music doesn't necessarily guarantee an income unless you make that music work for you. You're choosing to make it work as a marketing tool, what marketeers call a "loss leader". You know that what is far more important than stopping people listening to your music to defend your copyright is for people to listen to your music, become fans and come and see you play live.

And for you Matt, I'm sure this will work...

Unknown said...

Good call - yup its the right to freely distribute as a loss leader - much better! One of the best things about writing blogs is you learn loads from the comments - i didn't phrase that in a very clever way :)


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