WE LOVE YOUR SONGS BLOG
The Truth About Piracy (Part 2)
Rally in Stockholm, Sweden, in support of file sharing and software piracy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many a decade ago, scholars would claim that true freedom of speech, especially on controversial subjects, is difficult or impossible unless individuals can speak anonymously. In June of 1999, Napster was released and It is generally credited as being the first peer-to-peer file sharing system. The digital pirate had come of age and would only get better as technology allowed the scope of what was possible to venture beyond the wildest of imaginations.
So we all think of pirates as roughly groomed individuals who parade across the unchartered seas in search of treasure, or, as we found out last week; binary-data pilfering, thick glass wearing, sunshine deprived, zit having mortals. WeLoveYourSongs are on a quest to help you see both sides of the dark arts of piracy and in this issue we explore how they can be a useful arsenal in your strategy to dominate the world with your sound. It is easy to misunderstand file-sharing as theft but the belief is that sharing music is what music is made for. Some major artists have released their music on these channels and the results have been tremendous. It is now a little known fact that with the right amount of planning, good results can be had and recognition not to mention credibility, increased. Below, I will look at 5 steps that ought to be at the heart of a pirate who wants to take over the world using their music.
1) Must use p2p / I2p networks and our favorites just to name a few are Freenet - GNUnet - I2P - StealthNet - Onewarm – StegoShare. They have very big ecosystems which account for a large proportion of online traffic, ergo a very healthy target. The Pirate Bay, Torrent Freak, Demonoid, IsoHunt and very many others are dependent on these networks for the survival of their communities. By releasing your music through official channels on these networks you are seen as contributing to their survival and could become a cult hit with a record.
2) Social networking sites are a necessity to connect with and grow a fan base and this article makes the assumption that you have established your act on the various websites available. Always remember to keep things interesting by sharing hidden treasures like behind the scene material, undercover photos of band mates and some kind of exclusive content for example. You can use these platforms to tell your fans how they can get your music and videos for free. WeLoveYourSongs.com, official Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, Youtube channels, Google plus profiles and Myspace.com come highly recommended. Remember that every pirate needs their own ship so all of this effort would be useless if it was not supplemented by your own band name branded website.
3) As a novice pirate it is very possible that the budget for your band is such that you are broke and cannot afford as much as you would like to afford to progress. The beauty of piracy is that things like advertising and marketing come almost free. Take time to contact the p2p networks and forums asking for a plug and if your music is convincing to the ear of the right person most are more than willing to parade you in front of their audiences. You might just be the front page of The Pirate Bay for a day. Most of these forums are frequented by writers and bloggers who are looking for positive minded acts with the talent to match, the perfect stage to show your enthusiasm. Create Press Releases that target the underground curators. Show an active support for ideals like freedom of speech and stand for something, become a pirate, sign or host a petition on your own website.
4) Struggling with your budget is a common miscarriage of justice in the music industry and as a result a number of artists have turned to spreading their music with pleas of support in terms of finance. This trend is certainly not unique to music but the online technocrats refer to it as crowd funding and there are a number of resources that can help you multiply the harvest you reap from the good music you make and our favourites include Sellaband, Pledge Music, Artistshare and Kickstarter. The idea that drives these websites is how fans or even investors who wish your band well can collectively pool money together to get you touring an otherwise inaccessible place like Russia or Kazakhstan. They can also pull together funds to help meet a number of other costs such as music videos and marketing.
5) Apart from having your own website which is the single greatest online presence of your band, remember to give away your music for free. In other issues we will explore how you can get your music on platforms such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio and Pure Music. Show on your website how users can find your music on these services but understandably it is not so easy to have your catalog on all these services, and where this is the case then you must try services such as Last.Fm, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Always be on the lookout for growing communities around the niches of your music which allow you to stream your music to the ears of the unknown.
Now good luck and remember the rum is not going to drink itself.
Article written by Shingirai Kaserera. You can follow him at @sugaspott
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