Most people have come under the impression that, if they aren’t making profits off of a song, using uncleared samples is fine. It’s not.
Myth #1: “I’m Not Selling My Songs So I’m Safe”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. This myth, combined with misinformation about what a Creative Commons license is (more on that below) is one of the most propagated myths out there in the music industry.
This myth tries to rely on money; if there’s no money made from illegal sampling, then there’s no money to go after. But that’s not actually how real life works. A rights holder can base a claim around damages, not just sales of their protected work. If you think lawyers won’t go after people who don’t have much money, or doesn’t have many assets, or is under the age of 18 or even someone who lives in another country, think again. If the music industry is willing to sue 12 year old girls for downloading music, what do you think they’ll do to you? Don’t think money they’re asking for could be that much? If they tried to sue Jammie Thomas-Rasset $220,000 for downloading only 24 songs, picture the price tag they can dream up for “illegal sampling”.
Continue reading Even Not Selling Songs, Uncleared Sampling Is Still Illegal
The way music promotion articles would lead you to believe, “music lovers” are just itching to hear new music! But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You’re Promoting Music To People At The Worst Times
Where are new artists typically? They’re on SoundCloud, they’re on Twitter, they’re on Facebook. These are all great platforms. But the problem is that you’re in front of people when they’re not trying to find new music.
Take Twitter. Even if a new person somehow ends up finding a tweet you posted about your music by accident, they’re at work or at home about to overcook dinner. Even if they see your link, click it and listen to your music, they’re probably gonna’ be like “That’s cool… but I really should get back to Twitter to see what Martha Stewart ate for lunch.” and forget all about you. The “conversion rate” (converting people who see or hear your music into someone who adds or follows your music) is so comically low for this very reason. You’re basically interrupting them. They’re not looking for new music on Twitter.
Continue reading How Fans Discover New Artists Should Disappoint You
I’ve learned that a lot of electronica music creators (genres like downtempo, drum & bass, techno, etc) are “plastic people” compared to acoustic music creators (such as acoustic guitar signers). When you look at engagement on places like SoundCloud, it becomes obvious.
Take two songs; one is a chillout song, the other is an acoustic guitar vocal song. Both will have the same “professional” production value and creativity. They mostly submit their songs to general genre groups and they both interact and leave comments for tracks with the same style. Both songs have 1,000 plays, 3 months old. Both artists have 1,500 followers.
Continue reading Why Electronica SoundCloud Creators Aren’t Genuine