Nov 12


I think it’s great that many artists are offering free digital downloads of their music in exchange for an email address, Tweet, Facebook share, etc.  But remember one thing: If people have never heard your band before, they want to hear what you sound like before they download anything

If you’re offering a free download, that’s great.  But on the same page you have your free download widget, put an audio player too.  Many people just want to hear your song first without having to download it to their computer and add it into their iTunes. iTunes libraries are sacred places for a lot of people, and they don’t add any music that they don’t like. (Side Note: should I even reference any other software besides iTunes?  I feel like 99.9% of people use iTunes nowadays. Am I right, or do you still use Windows Media Player?)

Here’s a great example from a wonderful new band called Honeychild.

They could have just taken the approach of: “Hey, you’ve never heard of us, but our album is FREE so you should get it” and just given you their Topspin free download widget.


Instead, they let you stream the entire record to see if you like it first.  If you do, that’s great. Now you’re a lot more interested in downloading it.  (And you should be after listening to this—it’s really good).

It’s also a great idea to always include an easy way for people to share your stuff with their friends (see the Facebook and Twitter buttons below the player?).

Here’s the Exception: If you are already an established band, your fans will want to download your stuff even before hearing it. 

But if you want to attract any new fans, let them hear your music before making them decide if they really want to download it.