I've decided to do something bonkers. In fact, for a music career, it's considered downright suicidal;
I'm going to share my music with you for free...as I'm making it.
That means, as I'm working on songs, from the demos through to the final recordings, I'm going to be posting versions of them on my site, free to access for anyone who's interested.
Now, traditionally, a musician's recorded music is their No. 1 source of revenue, and no-one shares works-in-progress; they want to protect their "assets" as much as possible.
"So why do it?!" I hear some holler.
Well, whether we (musicians) like it or not, the world has changed and, thanks to streaming sites like Spotify and YouTube, the vast majority of the music-consuming public expect to consume that music for free.
In effect, it's made the traditional "finished product" more or less "worthless" (insomuch as consumers no longer pay for it directly anymore, thus it's not got much worth!).
Yes, the streaming sites pay royalties, but to give you an idea; one million streams of your song on Spotify (which is a pretty big number, when you think about it) equates to about £3,500 (and if you're in a band/have other songwriters, you need to split that between the members, and if you have a manager, they'll take 20% first, etc...)
That's not really a viable way for an independent musician to make a living and support their family.
So, I asked myself the question;
"If the finished music isn't really worth anything...why be so protective of it?!"
And that led me to consider; would I:
a) prefer to keep my music locked up on my computer, without anyone hearing it, in the hope of one day making some money out of it, or
b) prefer as many people as possible could hear my music, in the hope that one day some of them might become big enough fans of my efforts that they'll want to support my work (whether through direct music sales or purchases of other things, such as merchandise, etc).
Well, after thinking it through, it seemed a no-brainer; B!
So, I decided to start uploading work-in-progress demos onto my website, for anyone to listen to.
The idea is really simple;
Many people won't want to listen to "not fully completed" songs. That's fine when I release completed songs I hope they'll enjoy them.
But some people will want to dig a little deeper into what I'm doing and will appreciate being along for the journey, as I strive to create music for people to enjoy.
Those people will want to listen to my demos - and I welcome them!
So, from now on, you can listen to a whole selection of demos on my site on my Music Demos page.
I do, however, have one condition; you need to be registered with a username/email and password to access that page (which is free, by the way, you just hit "register" and you'll be able to listen in about 30 seconds!).
I've done that so that for a few reasons but, principally, it stops those songs coming up in Google searches (e.g. Google can't search those pages because Google isn't registered on my site!) and therefore gives me a little control in stopping them shooting all over the Internet (that way, when I have new versions of them, I can update them, without the old versions remaining live).
And so, in a rambling nutshell kind of way, that's why I've started making my unfinished demos available for anyone who wants to listen.
I really hope you're one of them.
And I really hope you enjoy them!
I'd love to hear your thoughts, below :)