Indian Ocean, a favorite of PI team (and our readers) has poked at Recording companies and decided to give away their latest album, 16/330 Khajoor Road for free. The album has seven songs and Indian Ocean is giving away free song from the album starting July 25th, 2010.
It’s not that this is the first time they have taken this route – even earlier, they used to give away parts of the song for free. But now, the decision to give away entire album is probably a result of frustration over working with recording companies.
A lot of people are curious as to why we want to give away the music free. Firstly, this greatly reduces the distance between the band and its listeners. A lot of people (specially younger people!) do not buy music any more but rip or download from the web, so we want to make their lives a little guilt-free!
In addition, this means no more negotiating contracts with record companies and fighting over copyright issues, no worries about bad distribution, albums not being available at different places and so on. Also, very frankly, no Indian artist survives on royalty. We make almost all our income playing live shows and composing music for films etc., so it is no great hardship for us to give up this amount. We also hope that this becomes a means for other artists in India to reach out to their listening public.
It’s no surprise that most of Indian Ocean albums are freely available in torrent sites and no matter what the band does, (majority of) people will end up downloading the albums from these sites. Giving away the song for free kills piracy and in return, gives the band a lot of community love (heck! why are we writing about them on PI?) which can be monetized in a different form.
Earlier, ColdPlay followed a similar strategy and Radiohead even made upto $10mn after giving away free music (do not expect something similar to happen in India, though).
Why is free so important, especially in the days of DRM?
- Because there is no better marketing ploy than giving away the product for free
- Free is viral [we are talking about Indian Ocean @PI..why?]
- Free increases awareness.
- Free kills competition. [Must Read: Why Piracy is Not Bad!]
- Free cannot be pirated.
- Free is cheap – you prevent tons of money on not worrying about DRM, not monitoring who is pirating your work, not hiring lawyers to send legal notices etc.
Where is the money then? Concerts, Sponsorships and a lot more.
What’s your opinion?