Friday, January 29, 2010

Status Update On The Music Business

When I started this blog almost a year ago my first couple of posts were about Jamendo and Free Music Archive, both Creative Commons sites. I thought that the platform that Jamendo used would be the future of the music industry and transform how money changes hands. Instead of people paying for the albums, companies would pay ad revenue for being on the music sites and the artists would then get a share of that revenue. Music fans then would get to download music for free. I am still certain this is true.

The amazing thing over this last year is the incredibly inventive ways that artists are taking the business end of music and standing it on it's ear. Finding these creative musicians has been a joy. There is a communal spirit all the way around when it comes to the online music community. The artists are happy to talk about their net strategies as well as give interviews. Many of these trailblazers give their music away. I say thanks to them. The bloggers I have contacted have been nice as well as responsive, not competitive. This hand in hand philosophy was not present when the big labels ran things. They wanted to tell everybody about the "advertising" money they had spent in response to questions about why the cd's cost so much. The transparency of the net has made those power players impotent. I suspect they'll all end up in a couple of big companies along with the ticket services and companies of that ilk. They will be a shell of what they used to be and probably only be able to sell physical product of a few genres. All of them saw the writing on the wall but didn't have the business sense to join. Now they are on the outside looking in. I am looking forward to what happens next.

You are welcome to donate money to these labels and artists, but it isn't necessary for you to do so. A Google search doesn't turn up even half of the sites out there that give away free complete albums/ep's of music. I wish there was one place that listed all of them.

So over the last few months I have been checking out other bloggers, as well as sifting through the never ending pages of net-labels with FREE music.

Here are the sites that list FREE net labels:


Internet Archive - Check out their listing of live music as well.

EC Brown - Exhaustive and comprehensive list.

Here are some new net-labels themselves, you can find legal free music at each:

Learning Music - A monthly music service I did a write up of last year. Check it out now as all of their albums (24 and counting) are FREE for download.

In A Cabin With - Dutch music nomads continue pairing indie Dutch musicians with other musicians from around the world. (8 releases/yr) (Check out: The Black Atlantic,Neonbelle)

Woodlawn Recordings - Live folk recordings. They're in England. (Check out The Diamond Family Archives, The Great Park)

Heartphone Records - Indie rock releases by Jason Sposa, Mike Downey and more.

Ven Netlabel - Release : Talking To Turtles.

Hush Records - Releases-(Corrina Repp, A Book About Elephants)

Team Love Library - A revolving set of albums ( Check out: Sarah Winchester, Willy Mason)

Bandcamp - Artists upload their music here. Some charge some allow free downloads. There are over 35 pages of music.(Check Out - Latristic, Checkov's Guns,Canon Chorus, Tin Can Notes)

CLLCT - This site has a ton of D-I-Y and lo-fi folk stuff from great musicians. Over 80 pages of
artists. (Bands: Joe Harbison, Manipulator Alligator, Ryland Bouchard, Riseage)

Also a special mention to another blog, Slowcoustic which covers folk, alt/folk, alt/country. There's a lot of music on this site and it's definitely worth checking out. It has become one of the regular sites I check. A local music blog to check out is Love Shack, Baby. Finally,
Bad Panda is a site that offers a lot of different types of music and frequently has Free Commons download links.


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