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.

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FACT: people download music for free.  

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 and, therefore achieving higher rankings in the search results.

2. Huge increases in traffic during the month of release.  Analyzing traffic figures with, 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.



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“Musician” can be a real job for a lot more people

according to DFTA Records.

We did some calculations and figured out that, if we could dramatically increase the amount of money artists make per CD they sell, and let our artists’ authenticity increase the listener-to-purchaser ratio, “musician” could suddenly be a real job for a lot of people.



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Neelie Kroes European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda A digital world of opportunities Forum d’A

@neeliekroeseu seems to actually, really get it.

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If there is one thing that defines and elevates Europe, it is culture. Or rather, a rainbow of cultures.

Taking a long-term perspective we can see three major technological revolutions since the development of the written word that have affected the dissemination of culture. First, the printing press. Second, the industrial revolution. And now third, the information and communications technologies revolution.

I believe that those who will prosper in the digital age are those who understand that convergence is one of the keys. The convergence of media provides an incredible opportunity for the artists and creators of our times, and also for their public – you and me.

Just like cinema did not kill theatre, nor did television kill radio. The internet won’t kill any other media either.

My goal, in promoting cultural diversity and content adapted to the digital age, is for European creativity to be even stronger. Europe has boundless cultural wealth to offer its citizens, and indeed to the world. Europe is and must remain a global cultural force.

Today our fragmented copyright system is ill-adapted to the real essence of art, which has no frontiers. Instead, that system has ended up giving a more prominent role to intermediaries than to artists. It irritates the public who often cannot access what artists want to offer and leaves a vacuum which is served by illegal content, depriving the artists of their well deserved remuneration. And copyright enforcement is often entangled in sensitive questions about privacy, data protection or even net neutrality.

Instead of a dysfunctional system based on a series of cultural Berlin walls, I want a return to sense. A system where there is scope to create new opportunities for artists and creators, and new business models that better fit the digital age. We want to help you seize the opportunities of this age.



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