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If music was free, would you tip the artist?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Wrong Robot, Feb 4, 2006.


  1. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Let's play pretend here. If artists were releasing their music for free on the internet, and only charging shipping+a small fee for a physical copy of the CD(a fee that really only recoups the expenses of pressing the CD and doesn't give the artist any burritos) If this was the standard way to get music, a la myspace, simply browsing through sites and downloading whatever you wanted.

    Would you give the artists money anyway? if so, Would you only support the artists you liked? Would you recognize the work being put into it and the labor of love they provide, or would it just be music to you? Would you think it's fair that you give them money, since they are not asking any money of you? Would you support such a system? Do you think such a system would or could work? Would you be freeloading? or is it not your responsibility because the artist didn't officially charge?

    Or, if artists were asking for tips but not officially charging for their music. Would you be more likely to give them a donation? would you feel that they were justified to ask? or should they just cut their hair and get a real job? Is it feasible for an independent artist to even make a living in this situation?


    Try and be honest. I know it's easy to say "if I liked it I would definitely give them money", I have heard people say that about many things, but when it comes to it, they really wouldn't part with their money if they weren't being required to. Not always the case, but I've seen it enough to add this disclaimer.

    A real world parallel would be the software industry, particularly share/free/donationware type projects and whether or not you actively buy them or donate, or if you try and free-load as much as you can.
     
  2. BassinJay

    BassinJay

    Jan 30, 2006
    Hell yes I would tip em! I d/l music all the time for free and I feel bad that i'm not exactly supporting the bands I love. But I just don't have enough money to support every band that I like. When I get a chance though, I do go out and buy a cd. Today there were a few sales and I got to support Primus by buying "The Brown Album".:)
     
  3. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Ya Know, that's a tough one. When I was younger we used to go to a park where a lot of musicans set up. A lot of Blue Grass. If they were good, we would listen for a while and tip them. If they were not, we would just walk by.
    The internet is so impersonal, your not looking them in the eye, I'd say you're right most people wouldn't. I don't know what I would do to be perfectly honest.
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Yeah, I would. I love finding a good band, then going to the live show and see what they really do. Not just behind a bunch of mics with a thousand studio takes, but as a cohesive unit. Then if it is good, I'll buy a CD from them.

    I just downloaded some live concert stuff from the presidents, and they sound spectacular together as a unit. I can't wait until they come near here sometime.
     
  5. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I would much rather pay them directly and let them have all the money rather than the small percentage they get from the record company.
     
  6. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Going by the shareware analogy, I'd pay them if they really impressed me, but definately not as a matter of course. Looking on my hard drive I'm running 30/70 or so in the shareware/donation department. I don't download music.

    I think as a system it wouldn't work, mainly because lots of bands try this and it doesn't work; also, sad to say, history has proven repeatedly that any system that is completely dependant on mankind's basic honesty and desire to do the right thing is doomed to fail.

    Craig Anderton has some sort of music file downloadable off his website that only allows 3 plays before it erases itself. While this won't stop someone with analog recording equipment, it would keep people from downloading the files willy-nilly and distributing them, while giving enough of a taste to decide whether to buy the music. I think this kind of system could work, and no pesky record companies involved.
     
  7. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I think on this board you will find a vast majority will say yes (I certainly would, and for me, I go out of my way to buy CDs from people I see live WHEN I see them live. Most are small unsigned acts and such, but I'd rather spend $10-15 at their show to get it from them than $12 or so +S/H from CDBaby or something where they get a fraction of it).

    Unfortunatly, from the general population you WILL get a reality that is VASTLY the opposite. As a general rule, [broad sweeping generalization approaching] your average non-musician popluation is a bunch of cheap self centered people who assume that everyone else will do what it takes to make sure the music keeps happening. That's what fueled the Napster Fiasco.
     
  8. I occassionally tip musicians playing on street corners and in the subways when they are good.
     
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Concerts. Concerts are the only way bands make money anyway.
     
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I think iTunes has proven the opposite to be true. When it came down to it. People were using napster because it was convenient first and because it was free second. The same people that used to use napster when it was trendy, are now using iTunes, where, they'd rather pay $1 to have any song they want conveniently, than spend no money and have to search for something inconveniently.

    Pirates will always be pirates, and they will always exist. But I think that the general populace did not jump on the napster bandwagon for free music entirely.

    So, that's where it gets a little interesting. If bands were offering their music for free, conveniently to anyone. What do people do?
     
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well, concerts and merchandise. But yea. Concerts would be where it's at. But, how would the band have money to fund concerts if they weren't generating revenue from record sales?
     
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Here's another question: Assuming this system, where artists are making music as their sole purpose in life but not asking money for it, or kinda/sorta asking for donations on the side. Are they much different than a street beggar with a guitar?
     
  13. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    i would SAY i would definatly give them money.

    but in reality i dont really think it would work out. since i dont like giving money to a cause which doesent let me see an immdiete effect.
     
  14. as a poor college student, it would depend on if i had money...if i did, i would probably throw in a few bucks...if i didn't, well, sorry.
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Honestly, I doubt I would. I know I haven't donated for any of the shareware I've downloaded.

    Which is why I'm glad that it doesn't work that way in real life. I don't download any music illegally, I don't download whole albums, I don't file share, etc. I listen to whatever sound samples the artist chooses to offer and I buy their CDs based off of that. As little as the artist may be getting from a CD sale, the truth is that the profitability of a band is based on how much money its record label can make from them, which determines if they get to make another album, how much publicity they get, etc. If I can't afford it, I don't get it, which is how it works most other consumer products in life. I think it's better for an artist to say, "this is my product, this is how much you need to pay for it" rather than putting it out there without requiring payment. There's all sorts of factors in the listener that could make it unfair to the artist- for example, if I didn't like the music I downloaded, then I might not be as inclined to offer a full CD price donation, which really isn't fair to the artist.

    I'll buy CDs direct from artists if I can though- I just ordered a Matt Garrison CD I didn't have from his site- it was a dollar less on CDBaby, but I figured Matt would get the extra dollar or so so I went through his site (not that CDBaby is bad- I think it's one of the best places to find indie artists around).
     
  16. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    If they're good, yes.
     
  17. yeah i would give them money, i think music should be free but i still think musicians should make money off their talent. its that simple.

    musicians should start being more like the grateful dead, the dead let people download shows off the internet for free and they didnt care and its perfectly legal.
     
  18. And merchandise. If they're good I'll go see them, maybe buy a shirt. Doubt it would work that well on a grand scale though:meh:
     
  19. I wouldn't tip unless the music was incredible beyond belief.
     
  20. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Except they don't anymore. They charge now.

    Back when Napster, Kazaa, and the like were still viable, I downloaded a lot of things to try out bands and see if I liked them. I wish I had kept or burned some of the stuff I got back then because I can't get it now. But mostly, if I heard something I liked I bought it. If I heard something I didn't like, I deleted it.

    Speaking of things I can't get now, my current obsession, for a few months now, is to find Two Nice Girls amalgam of 'Sweet Jane' and 'With Affection' I really want my current band to learn this but I haven't heard it in many years and therefore can't reproduce it vocally now.