How Artists Can Profit From File Sharing
Copious (and somewhat technical) advice on how to best construct your download-page for ultimate success. Make sure to read the entire piece, then forward to your website-nerd-builder-friend.
Music will always surface on file sharing platforms and consumers will continue to download music for free, but recordings are even more important for artists than ever before. There is a new purpose for recorded content; artists will no longer generate revenue directly from recordings, instead this will be the entrance point for consumers into a the brand. Great music will generate revenue through merch or ticket purchases, or lead to sponsorships as major brands seek out artists to enhance the value of their own product. The solution to file sharing is for artists to better manage their recorded music by creating a dedicated landing page on their own website, housing a free album download.
Search Rankings for Landing Pages Defined
File Sharing Networks are Commanding Links for Free Downloads
How to Capitalize with Artist Managed File Sharing
Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis, released a new record called “All Day,” out 11.15 on Illegal Art. GT embrased these concepts. The record was free and hosted on a landing page, resulting in 4 key developments:
1. Girl Talk earned 14,903 inbound links. These links would have otherwise gone to file sharing platforms. The GT landing page received links from high authority sources like Mashable.com and MTV.com, therefore achieving higher rankings in the search results.
2. Huge increases in traffic during the month of release. Analyzing traffic figures with Compete.com, the 6 month traffic average between May and October was 3,025 unique visitors. Traffic jumped to over 211,111 unique visitors for the month of November.
3. When typing the keywords “Girl Talk download” into Google search, the GT landing page appears in the search results ahead of file sharing networks. Thus, using a file sharing network becomes pointless. This is exactly how artists should manage file sharing.
4. Girl Talk social media conversations skyrocketed the week of release. There was an estimated 18.5M GT mentions the week of 11.15.2010 – 11.22.2010 between Facebook and Twitter, up from 15 tweets the previous week. These mentions developed the brand and encouraged inbound links.
Optimize the Free Download Landing Page
It’s clear that a free album download will be linked to and will attract new visitors. An optimized landing page will convert these visitors to customers. Make the page a better experience than file sharing sites. Keep in mind that not everyone on a site wants the same thing; visitors are in different stages of the buying cylce. Some are familiar with the music and brand, others are not. Think of the buying cycle as a funnel. Recorded content is at the top of the funnel, and is the entrance into the buying cycle and an artist’s brand. Once in the funnel, consumers should be guided through to the bottom of the funnel, or a sale.
Does selling a record for $9.99 that will show up on file sharing networks anyways outweigh offering it for free on an artist’s site, generating inbound links and higher search results, selling merch and tickets, and developing a strong, lasting online presence? File sharing has already changed the music landscape – now it’s the artists chance to change the landscape of file sharing.