5 Shrewd Ways Musicians Give Away Free Music

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2. Leaks
Fans appreciate a conveniently leaked track with much better sound quality than any alternate illicit download. Looking at my copy of Radiohead's In Rainbows from across the room, I'm thinking about how the band leaked that album a few years back. It was available for a full download via a pay-what-you-want model for a little while.

Regardless of how much money was actually made from this massive pre-release, pre-release sales quantities were reportedly higher than total sales from previous album Hail to the Thief. Then when the pay-what-you-wish download stopped, I and a few others impulsively bought a physical copy of the album in stores anyway. Point is, In Rainbows was a well-promoted album, at least in my opinion. Its release was well-placed and well-timed.

1. Free Everything
Bands like Bomb the Music Industry! have their entire discography available to download for free on their Web site. In return, with the proper mix of promotion, Bomb the Music Industry! has garnered enough buzz to tour as often as possible since 2004, keeping ticket prices under $10 to boot.

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