Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Song is Not a Cookie

I distinctly remember reading a book for a marketing class in college that referenced the start-up of some, well-known cookie manufacturer of today. That cookie company was started by one dude giving away cookies on public transit buses in whichever city he lived at that time. I could have sworn he did it in the city of Chicago. I've searched, but alas, cannot identify the company. Maybe it was all a dream... I'll try to remember to dig out a couple of books and search for the company the old-fashioned way - by browsing my book collection.

But here's the deal: a song is not a cookie.

When a dude wants to start a cookie company, he just might become successful by giving away his cookies for a month straight, and, assuming his cookies are fantastic, he might gather a long line of customers who seek to eat another one of those fantastic cookies - and pay for it - after that time.

With artists, songwriters, record labels, and anybody else who relies on *recordings* for their income, you can't, ultimately, just give them away for free. Why? Because once someone "tastes" (IE: downloads) your sound recording, the person never has to come back to you to get that same flavor - he already has it in his iTunes library. You've just given away your number one commodity, and users can re-create that listening experience without you now.

I haven't decided exactly what this epiphany means for me, my music, and the music Swiftly Running Records represents, but you bet I'm thinking about it - alot.

If you think you've got a few good ideas to explain what I'm talking about, or if you've got other ideas about how to make sound recordings work for artists, please let me know. Or maybe I'm way off base...

1 comment:

  1. Hey! So I did a little more research and discovered that, what I was probably thinking of when I wrote this post was Mrs. Debbi Fields... You can read a short bio here: