The simple answer is that they directly don’t. But when artists offer their music for free download, they extend their reach to people that cannot afford to buy the music and the ones that would never hear their songs on the radio because some songs never get played. These people become fans when they like the music. Through words of mouth, they spread the gospel of their favourite artists. So in exchange for exposure and gaining more fans, artists may offer songs for free download.
Another way artists make money from free download is in partnership with free download sites. Even though free download websites offer music for free, some do this in partnership with music artists and help them earn revenue based on how many downloads the artist can acquire.
Free download websites can do this because they monetize every download by placing advertisements on the download page, ID3 tag, or making the downloader do something before the music is downloadable. Revenue made from the downloads is then shared between the creator and the download website at an agreed percentage.
Even though some cannot afford to pay for monthly subscriptions or paid downloads, they can save up to attend shows, concerts or even buy merchandise from their favourite artists, so indirectly artists still make money from their free download offerings, but the artists will not feel a big impact of this free downloads offerings until they have been able to penetrate the market enough to make big sales, get booked for big shows and can affiliate themselves with big brands as brand ambassadors or something similar.
The word of mouth that preaches the artist’s gospel around by fans that have gained access to their music through free download also comes as a form of advertisement, which could cost the artist some fortune if done the traditional way.
A recent example is DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small’s strategy of promoting their concert by releasing a free album named after the event. The album saw over one million downloads within a week. This album was also available to be streamed on paid platforms for those that can afford or are subscribed to those platforms. This way, nobody is left out. Using this strategy, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza do not need much marketing budget as they have been able to reach over a million of their audience using the talent they have; use what you have to get what you need.
Even though this album was made available for free, both artists can still make money from streaming and big concerts.
Popular artists tend to get booked for shows, concerts and gigs more often than unpopular ones because of the fan base they have been able to acquire over time. The huge fan base gives events and shows organizers a signal of high ticket sales, which is how they earn their money. So artist gets paid, tickets are sold, the organizer makes money from tickets, refreshments and drinks, fans get to see their favourite artists perform, and everyone is happy.
Endorsements also come knocking on the doors of big artists with huge fan-base, so companies and corporate organisations pay huge amounts of money to artists to endorse their products.
Free download offerings can be used to penetrate the industry to gain the attention of the majority. In return, artists get the benefit of their exposure.
This article is part of a bigger article. To get a better understanding, you should read the below-listed topics.
- An Introduction To Music Download
- Why People Look For Free Music Downloads
- Why Music Artists Release Songs And Albums For Free Download
- How To Access Paid And Free Mp3 Download Websites
- Some Well-known And Reliable Free Mp3 Download Websites
- Paid Mp3 Download Websites And Streaming Platforms
- Downloading Music For Later Stream Without Internet Connection
- Buying Music For Streaming Anytime Anywhere Without Any App & Internet
- Unlimited Free Streaming Services
- Free Music Download Websites With Unverified Legality
- Disadvantages Of Illegal Music Downloads