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Outspoken Group Releases Album as Free Download

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the please-continue-the-trend dept.

Music 457

SirNuke writes "Harvey Danger, a Seattle based rock band, has released their newest album Little by little for free mp3 download. They are doing this partially as an Internet publicity experiment, and partially as a stand against the Music Industry's attack on filesharing. From their website, 'In preparing to self-release our new album, we thought long and hard about how best to use the internet. Given our unusual history, and a long-held sense that the practice now being demonized by the music biz as "illegal" file sharing can be a friend to the independent musician, we have decided to embrace the indisputable fact of music in the 21st century, put our money where our mouth is, and make our record, Little By Little..., available for download via Bittorrent, and at our website. We're not streaming, or offering 30-second song samples, or annoying you with digital rights management software; we're putting up the whole record, for free, forever. Full stop. Please help yourself; if you like it, please share with friends.' I suggest you check it out."

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457 comments

jeff cliff (5, Informative)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13701996)

That is nothing, artists have been doing that for awhile now. Jeff Cliff [stumbleupon.com] a semi local musician has offered [uregina.ca] his music for download freely in mp3 and ogg vorbis for at least 5 years now.

Re:jeff cliff (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702013)

nobody has ever heard of Jeff Cliff but you. Harvey Danger has gold albums and has had their tracks on movie soundtracks. Don't be a clown and state the obvious.

Re:jeff cliff (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702025)

Well, maybe no one has heard of Jeff Cliff, but how about the Offspring. They tried this back in 2000 before their label threatened to sue.

I've heard of jeff cliff (4, Funny)

themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702193)

It is false that nobody has ever heard of jeff cliff, by example, since I have heard of him(hell, I am him).
But your point still stands (even though I've been approached for movie soundtracks). Mod parent up.

Re:jeff cliff (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702020)

who the hell is jeff cliff? at least people have heard of harvey danger before. A band that actually has had their tunes in active rotation releasing their new album for free is definitely big news.

Also, anyone who releases something in ogg vorbis format is an idiot anyway. why would you release you album in a format that only the most die hard linuxheads can or will play? The only acceptable formats these days are mp3 and aac. ogg vorbis is never going to take off, primarily because you can't play it on an ipod.

Re:jeff cliff (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702044)

Also, anyone who releases something in ogg vorbis format is an idiot anyway.

And just as many ppl here will say that this group is stupid for releasing their music this way. Quite honestly, they are betting that they will make more money by cutting out the middle man, getting their name out, and then selling CDs, probably higher quality downloads, and concerts. I am guessing that they are right.

Now, why did I bring all that up? because, mp3, aac and most of the other formats are encumbered with all sorts of patent issues. That is, these folks are releasing to mp3 BECAUSE ipod supports it, and they are doing .ogg in the hopes that more companies will start supporting .ogg. In addition, I am guessing that they realized it sounds better than .mp3. If enough groups come out with support for .ogg, then ipod competitors will come out with support for it. And in light of the war that is now started between Apple and the music industry, I am betting that Ipod will shortly support it.

Re:jeff cliff (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702130)

a lot of ipod competitors already support .ogg. mp3 is still a good baseline format. not because ipod supports, but because all mp3 players do. if apple ever does support .ogg, it wont be because of a fight with the industry. they already use a good open source codec. if they do support it, it will be because enough ppl are using it. right now .ogg penetration is about where .mp3 was in 97.

Who the fuck? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702035)

Jeff who? Jeff the Jack Off? What the fuck are you babbling about???

Re:jeff cliff (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702058)

Hows is it? the music any good?

Yeah and lets not forget... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702214)

Magnatune, where you can download for hours and hours, and use'm in yer podcasts too... [geeknet.nl]and if you do like what you download, you can actually let the artist know by sending him a paycheck!

Great marketing (5, Funny)

doxology (636469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13701997)

Who needs the RIAA when you have Slashdot for publicity?

Re:Great marketing (1)

Perryman (882190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702051)

You'd think that Slashdot makes for great publicity... maybe it was just me, but I found this from http://isohunt.com/ [isohunt.com] on their main page news and downloaded it 5 days ago...

Re:Great marketing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702081)

What a great website http://www.isohunt.com/ [isohunt.com] is. I just went there and they notified me that my registry is corrupted, so I downloaded a registry cleaner to fix my system. Things like this show how beneficial some torrent sites are and they will eventually will be seen in a more positive light.

Re:Great marketing (5, Insightful)

nocomment (239368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702078)

Seems like it will work too. I probably never even would have noticed this album or heard it. I did download it, though. I'm currently listening to it, and I'll be damned...it's pretty good. I think I might have to pick up a copy.

i can see this being profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13701998)

bout time

Decent band (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702001)

All I wish was that they were a decent band!

Re:Decent band (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702125)

I disagree. From the start of the first song I got a good feeling. They're rather good so far and I think they can get plenty of fans.

Gee... sort of like mp3.com (4, Funny)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702006)

...Does that mean we're going to have 100,000 very similar slashdot postings now?

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Except... wait! There *is* a story here: Slashdot Editors have finally been surpassed by a room full of chimps!

Ah yes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702007)

Funny how it's always the artists making no money that have no problem giving their music away.

Son of a bitch! (5, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702011)

This is probably the most positive use of the Slashdot effect I've ever encountered: how to build a torrent in seconds. I'm at 4 mbit/sec and my pipe is maxed out. Hot damn!

Re:Son of a bitch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702110)

Given that this IS slashdot, I would've thought the OGG version would've been a LOT faster... I mean, come on! Is 28 seeds the best slashdot users can do?!

Great publicity stunt... (4, Insightful)

JediLow (831100) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702016)

Recording a CD: $2000 Ripping your CD: $0 Saying 'Screw you' to the RIAA's business model and getting Slashdotted for publicity: Priceless

Re:Great publicity stunt... (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702061)

: Recording a CD: $2000 Ripping your CD: $0 Saying 'Screw you' to the RIAA's
: business model and getting Slashdotted for publicity: Priceless

And the ~1% of ~1 million people who buy your CD for ~$10 = ~$$$

Marketing = Money, it's that simple.

Re:Great publicity stunt... (1)

brazenmisfit (910959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702115)

yes they may not make money from the sale of the cd, but people actually know who they are now and when they do a tour or play shows people might actually show up.

Re:Great publicity stunt... (1, Insightful)

deft (253558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702164)

"Recording a CD: $2000 Ripping your CD: $0 Saying 'Screw you' to the RIAA's business model and getting Slashdotted for publicity: Priceless"

Unfortunately in this case, "priceless" literally means they wont make a dime!

How is this novel? (4, Interesting)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702021)

E.g. Landline [landline.nu] has all there music available for download -- not just a single album, and there's no DRM or other bullshit.

Is it novel and exciting because they also have a record deal? I thought a lot of industry-hating musicians would just refuse record deals on principle.

Re:How is this novel? (1)

Cave_Monster (918103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702039)

Some artists have music as their primary career. Therefore regardless of their stance on the music industry, if that is the only skill they have, they need to put bread on the table somehow. Expecting all musicians to have their music available for free is silly.

Re:How is this novel? (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702087)

Yes ,though a lot of them make most of their money doing Gigs , so some Free Promos are always useful.
  This way they can say up yours to the Record industry , persuade people to come see a concert and perhaps even sell some t-shirts/ CDs (I would still buy CD's even if it was available free , If i like it I would want to support the band )

Re:How is this novel? (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702092)

I agree it is silly to expect musicians to make music for free.

I never meant to imply otherwise.

Don't other bands do like these guys? E.g. the Beastie Boys released some free, remixable tracks.

You ever listen to mixtapes? There's a whole illegal music industry, where there's no copyright. E.g. http://www.mixunit.com/ [mixunit.com] http://mixtapekings.com/ [mixtapekings.com]

The record labels tolerate this (while busting P2P folks) because it is good for promoting talent and identifying acts worth putting money into.

50 cent relesed 5 hit mixtapes before he did a single paid album.

Re:How is this novel? (4, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702167)

"50 cent relesed 5 hit mixtapes before he did a single paid album."
So by the time he released an album he was $2.50

Re:How is this novel? (1)

pndmnm (807945) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702163)

They did -- their record is released on their own label, Phonographic Records. They could easily have gotten a deal based on their membership/cred with a label like Barsuk, so this shows their dedication to remaining outside the system.

might buy it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702022)

Downloading it right not. If its any good I fully intend on buying it.

"as an Internet publicity experiment" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702024)

They need it,
never heard of them.

Seriously though, afaik they aren't any famous band, so it's not really taking a stand against anyone then, it's just a random band wanting some publicity.

Re:"as an Internet publicity experiment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702143)

These guys had a pretty big album out about 6 years ago called "Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?" that featured a song called "Flagpole Sitta" that got pretty wide play. They've also been on the soundtrack of several films. But maybe they don't have the name recognition nationally that they do here in their local market.

Re:"as an Internet publicity experiment" (3, Informative)

20th Century Boy (903797) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702149)

You probably didn't go to high school in the 90's, they are rather well known with the mainstream rock crowd.

Re:"as an Internet publicity experiment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702182)

Download a song called Flagpole Sitta.... everyone (at least here in central Canada) has heard it...quite good too!

PBS fucking sucks. (0, Troll)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702028)

Shitty food shows, British "comedy" (now THERE's an oxymoron), a nightly news program anchored by a guy who can't decide whether he's going to fall asleep or just plain fall over dead on air. And that's the best stuff. The rest is a bunch of whiny-ass PC liberal faggotry, careful always to only show that whiny liberal faggot viewpoint, whether the show's directed at impressionable kids (Sesame Street, etc.) or impressionable adults (NOW without, thank God, Bill Moyers, or whatever horseshit that pussy Moyers is up to now). I can't believe that MY tax dollars go to support this fucking shit.

Re:PBS fucking sucks. (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702072)

: PBS... *snip* I can't believe that MY tax dollars go to support this fucking shit.

Uh, dude, they don't. The "P" stands for "Public," remember? That's why they do those annoying money drives every so often. No tax dollars there.

Re:PBS fucking sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702123)

Not True. Tax dollars do go to public TV and Radio. Note the Senate actions a month or so ago when they considered not funding it anymore and certain liberal groups were getting quite upset

Re:PBS fucking sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702145)

Uh, dude, they don't. The "P" stands for "Public," remember? That's why they do those annoying money drives every so often. No tax dollars there.

Actually dude, the US government does provide some money to PBS through the corporation for public broadcasting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation_for_Publi c_Broadcasting [wikipedia.org]

You still have a valid point though, because the majority of PBS funding comes from viewers' donations.

Re:PBS fucking sucks. (0, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702075)

shoot yourself in the face with your gun and get it over with.

Re:PBS fucking sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702147)

as opposed to shooting himself with not a gun? lol

I generally agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702157)

I'm a liberal guy, but I must admit PBS is skewed a bit to the left. The only good shows are Nature and (sometimes) NOVA, especially the ones about space. Unfortunately, Nature (and quite often NOVA) have the obligatory salespitch about how we are destroying nature and blah blah blah. And yeah, what the fuck is up with this British invasion? I have tried to watch a fair amount of British "comedy", but I just can't force myself to laugh. I have NEVER laughed at ANY British "comedy" EVER. I just don't get it. What the fuck is so God-damned funny about a man in a dress?!?!?!

Re:PBS fucking sucks. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702168)

Goddam war Bush threw is killing innocent people. I cannot believe that MY tax dollars go to support this fucking shit.

not new, but still a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702029)

Yep, nothing all that new, but it is a good thing. The band MeatMachine [meatmachine.com] has had a full cost-free, DRM-free album available for download in a handful of audio formats (and full score) for a couple of years now.

Music labels dump small artists (-1, Troll)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702036)

I was talking to a guy who had a small group which had a contract with a music label. Fact is, P2P swapping is hurting the music labels badly - to the point where smaller artists have just been cut off the roster. From the guy I was talking to, he didn't like the situation much at all. He had to look for other work. So not all artists are happy with the state of affairs. I mention this cause I doubt many other posters on Slashdot are going to look the other way for a minute.

In some way P2P is causing smaller artists to fend for themselves more it seems - without the teat and gravy train of the music label. In a way they are more free to conduct business, but in other way they aren't free in the sense that they can simply concentrate on their music anymore - because they have to fend for themselves in the marketing arena as well, which is quite difficult and time consuming. So in one way they are free from the music labels, but not free from the extra work they have to put in... and from the POV that I got from the guy I was speaking to, he liked the old way better.

In one way I guess it means that only the best of the best will ever get a music contract these days.

Re:Music labels dump small artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702069)

Fact is, P2P swapping is hurting the music labels badly - to the point where smaller artists have just been cut off the roster.

As if increasing consolidation and decreasing margins in the music industry wouldn't have led to this happening anyway. Most mass-market bookshops, for example, are generally a lot less diverse than they used to be, and I don't think you could argue that P2P and e-books are killing paper books.

In one way I guess it means that only the best of the best will ever get a music contract these days.

By best, do you mean "most saleable"? That's not a definition that works for everyone.

Re:Music labels dump small artists (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702089)

Of course, the real question is, did the label dump the guy because it is getting hurt from the downloads? He is being told that the companies are cutting off the little guys, but they always have. If the small guy does not make money fast, then they the labels do not spend any real money. If the guy/group makes some money, then they are willing to spend to see what will happen. Of course, there is a real reason why these labels make 100's of millions in profits.

I suspect that the guy got cut and he is a bit miffed and simply lashing out at anything but themselves. If he really is that good, than he should set up a good web site and see what happens. If nothing else, give it away in the name of publicity.

Re:Music labels dump small artists (1)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702090)

Why do you or your friend assume it's P2P that's hurting the recording industry so much? Not saying it isn't, but did your friend have any evidence to say that?

Also, many people would say that it's definately not the best of the best getting music contracts these days.

Re:Music labels dump small artists (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702091)

Fact is, P2P swapping is hurting the music labels badly That's exactly the desired effect. Kill the labels, there will always be kickass bands.

Re:Music labels dump small artists (0, Redundant)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702104)

Fact is, P2P swapping is hurting the music labels badly

That's exactly the desired effect. Kill the labels, there will always be kickass bands.

Disagree completely (1)

Perryman (882190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702118)

If an artist has 10,000,000 fans, sure if 10% of potential customers download the music and don't buy it, they will lose money. But consider this. If an artist has 10,000 fans, and 90% of them download the music, sure only 10% of the profit is made. But lets say they play GOOD music. You have a portion of that 90% illegal download crowd that actually likes it, and they tell their friends. All of the sudden that 10,000 starts growing, and people buy merchandise. Case in point: http://machinaesupremacy.com/ [machinaesupremacy.com] They offered songs for free, which I liked. They then put out 2 sample songs for a for-sale-cd, which I downloaded and liked. I then proceeded to import the CD and I am glad I downloaded their music. Music downloading only hurts small time artists whose music sucks. Face the facts.

He should be glad they did... (3, Insightful)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702178)

As I understand it he would never make any money to begin with. The record label would front the money necessary to record, produce and market the album but the artist would be indebted for that amount. Any sales would first go towards recouping the record company's initial investment with a paltry amount left over for royalties. If the record sells well then the record company may pick up an option for a second album and the process starts again. To top it off, the cost of producing the album is grossly inflated by such things as manager fees, artificial production costs, etc. and while the artist retains the copyright on the sheet music the record contract most likely stipulates that the recording is a work for hire, which means the record company retains the copyright to the recorded work.

Again, from my understanding of the system this is why only albums that sell very well make the artist any money at all and those that do make money go on to create their own production companies to get out from under this system.

I think the Internet is the ideal way for small artists to make money. The catch is they have to use their own money to produce and market their record, but with a record contract they're doing that anyway. The old way of doing things is rapidly being replaced by the Internet reality and artists that embrace it will make money, I am sure of it.

Re:He should be glad they did... (2, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702196)

I think the Internet is the ideal way for small artists to make money. The catch is they have to use their own money to produce and market their record, but with a record contract they're doing that anyway. The old way of doing things is rapidly being replaced by the Internet reality and artists that embrace it will make money, I am sure of it.

Exactly-- Small artists make a large amount of their money from selling merch. CDs yes, but also shirts and stickers, patches, buttons and whatnot. Then there's live shows, where even non-MTV bands can make $3000-$4000 a night.

Market your band successfully and you can survive without having to sell records. That's just icing on the cake.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702210)

I swear was it just me or did anyone else think this guys post sound just like that football player doing his history report in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". I swear I've heard this before.

  "Everything was.....different. Better....but....slower. Stuff took longer...... The world was bigger.......but smaller..... Recording artists were more free......but less free at the same time...... SAN DIMAS FOOTBALL OORAH!"

  Nice try man, what label do you work for anyway?

Gimme a break... (0, Troll)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702040)

(-1) blatent abuse of news posting power.

This is not news, not when bands have been doing this since the days of Napster (voluntarily releasing whole CDs on internet only free release MP3).

Let the "(-1) Belligerant hammering of bad slashdot news" begin! ;)

Re:Gimme a break... (2, Informative)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702197)

I agree, the parent is no troll. Just look at The Smashing Pumpkins. They've given away several of their albums and it's hardly a new thing. While it's nice that they did it, the post seems like a me-too in comparison.

Patent-free Ogg Vorbis (4, Informative)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702043)

Re:Patent-free Ogg Vorbis (1)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702088)

I saw the OGG torrent (and kudos to Harvey Danger for making a release in OGG format). The only thing holding me back from using OGG instead of MP3 exclusively is the fact that I can't play OGGs on my iPod shuffle. :( In fact, are there *any* portable music players out there that support OGG? God knows there should be!

Re:Patent-free Ogg Vorbis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702155)

I know the Rio Karma does. The iAUDIO X5 does. I'm sure there's a few others.

Maybe those linux-on-iPod guys got an ogg vorbis decoder working too (not that it would do a lot of good for your Shuffle...).

Clap Clap Clap (5, Informative)

gflores (728935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702045)

For those who haven't heard of Harvey Danger, they're a mid-90s rock band and their hit song was "Flagpole Sitta". I applaude them for doing this, because they're not exactly a no-name band.

I totally don't remember that one... (4, Funny)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702060)

... but then again, there's a lot about music in the early-mid 90's that I blocked out of my mind. Sometimes I get nightmares of teenagers in baggy purple sequence pants, and I wake up screaming.

Re:Clap Clap Clap (3, Funny)

Mr.Progressive (812475) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702136)

Whoa. I was just thinking about the song Flagpole Sitta the other day. I must've willed them back into existence.

Re:Clap Clap Clap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702162)

For those folks who still don't know, they're well-known enough to make it into one of Weird Al Yankovic's polka medleys -- "Polka Power"

If I remember correctly, they had computer programmers doing the band stuff on the side and somehow got a hit song out of it. Nerdcore or not, it's worth a listen. I liked Flagpole Sita.

MUSIC INDUSTRY BREAKDOWN: Where the money goes (5, Informative)

Sugar Moose (686011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702046)

To better understand why an artist would do this, I figured some people would like to know the actual financial breakdown of the music industry. I have several very good friends in the music industry, one is the publicist for several major artists, so here's the skinny:

For a standard artist (not yet established), out of every CD sold they receive about $0.20. For you non-math whizzes, that means when their album turns platinum (1 million copies sold), they bank $200,000. Seem low? It is, but we'll get to that.

For an established artist, there are 2 possibilities. The first is that they have their own label. If this is the case, they will still use one of the major labels for distribution, and they have to pay all those little people that made things happen, but they're pocketing more cash. The second possibility is that the record company convinced them to stay by offering a MUCH better contract, which ends up being about as much as having their own label minus the hassle.

But this still isn't a big portion of their income. That comes from several other sources.

ASCAP is The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. They dictate who can play your music, such as music at a bar or in a restaurant. They have a virtual monopoly on all genres of music (out of 100 established artists, maybe 1 or 2 are not signed with ASCAP), they are expensive, and they are about as well liked by the people that know them as the RIAA is here. Tactics include sending in "undercover agents" to places not paying ASCAP, and writing down the inevidable songs that they play. Then comes an agent, who will "aggressively suggest" that you pay up to ASCAP or be sued out of business. They've actually had people call the cops on them thinking it was a mafia shakedown. Oh, and they've never lost in court.

There's some issue over how much of that cash actually makes it to the artists, but rest assured it's much more than they're getting from their label for album sales.

Licensing of music is stepping up into a bigger payscale. This mostly refers to commercials, movies, and now video games. Obviously the pay scale varies widely based on the popularity of the artist and of the specific song, but there are virtually no costs for the artist.

Touring is where the money is really at. To give you an idea of how much, you need to understand what a "floor" is. This refers to the minimum amount an artist is willing to make in a performance. Let's take Britney Spears for example. Her "floor" is (or was, it constantly changes) $750,000. What this means is that if the show only makes $500,000, she still gets paid $750,000, and the organizers eat a loss of $250,000 plus production costs. Also keep in mind that organizers know what they're doing, and shows hardly ever hit the floor. So you can assume for her last tour, Britney pocketed $1+ million for each of the 37 shows on her last tour.

And that's just at the gate. Don't forget to buy your T-shirt, or poster, or anything else "Britney" that cost a dollar to make and $8/hr for some schmuck to sell it to you. All of that money goes straight back to her.

For the really big artists, you can cap it off with an endorsement or two. Britney's Pepsi endorsement deal was reportedly $10+ million.

Substatial evidence that music sharing doesn't effect album sales aside, there's a reason sharing music doesn't hurt artists. Singles act as commercials for all the other things that make them money. They want their music played on the radio so you can hear it for free. They want their video played on MTV so you can see it for free. It's called exposure, and it's a good thing like Martha Stewart doesn't even know. If an unsigned artist found out people had downloaded 100,000 copies of his song, he'd crap his pants he'd be so happy.

There's a reason Harvey Danger is willing to do this. It's also like VW letting people download their latest commercial. Good. It will probably make more people buy their cars.

It's not just a publicity stunt or moral stand, it's a brilliant financial move.

Re:MUSIC INDUSTRY BREAKDOWN: Where the money goes (3, Insightful)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702085)

Okay, but you just compared the album sales revenue from a "standard artist" to the touring "floor" of Britney Spears.

How about comparing apples to apples?

-a

Re:MUSIC INDUSTRY BREAKDOWN: Where the money goes (5, Interesting)

Sugar Moose (686011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702121)

The point is that the "standard artist" who sold 1 million copies will make more than that $200,000 in one night for a good portion of their tour dates. It makes perfect sense that artists like Harvey Danger (and they won't be the last) would sacrifice that $200,000 to bring in more fans to their shows. Fans who are grateful to have an extra $15 they saved not buying the album.

Broken down all right... (0, Troll)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702153)

Great. The "I have a friend who has a brother who once heard someone talking about this" expert. Thanks for sharing your personal, first-hand knowledge of the music business...

bravo (4, Insightful)

evil_mojo_jojo (554131) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702063)

If you're not one of label's top artists with a renegotiated contract after your second album has made the label ungodly amounts of cash, you're treated like shit anyway. Bravo for Harvey Danger. Download their music, if you like it, send 'em something for it. FWIW, I sent them ten bucks because I hope more artists will take the opportunity to ditch the lables.

Hmm whats their label ? (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702067)

Let me guess they dont have one or its their own label.

Wonder if they expected to sell 750,000 units if they would give for free instead.

Plenty of indie artists give their stuff away for free.

Re:Hmm whats their label ? (2, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702202)

The album has been released on their own label. Their 2000 album came out on Sire records, which is a division of Warner Bros. So this is not your standard indie artist story; this is a band who had a big contract at one point but has now given up on the majors and decided to do it themselves.

According to the RIAA, their most successful album, "Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?", was certified a Gold record in early 1999, which means it sold at least 500,000 copies. Since it wasn't upgraded to Platinum, that means it didn't sell as many as 1M. As the single for "Flagpole Sitta" from there hit #3 on Billboard's "Modern Rock Tracks" chart, they may have sold a good number of those as well. I suspect they're planted firmly in one-hit wonder territory myself, but it's quite possible they could have a lucky hit or something and sell 750,000 copies of the new album.

Flagpole Sitta Revisited (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702080)

Paranoia, paranoia!
The RIAA's coming to get me...
Just say you never met me...
I'm runnin undeground with the moles (digging holes)

Bittorrent VC funding... (2, Interesting)

fredrickleo (711335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702083)

That's two torrents in two days! I wonder if more are to come now that BT has VC funding? That's cool BT's great technology and it's good to see legitimate uses for it prominently featured.

Harvey Danger is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702094)

The only band I've ever booed off stage. Ever. Offering absolute shit for download proves only one thing - people will download anything they dont have to pay for.

//That includes the Japanese girls rapping.

hey guess what /. morons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702095)

reproducing music without permissions is ILLEGAL not "illegal" with /. bitch-ass quotatiion marks. no matter what policy arguments you people want to make the fact remains that it's, right now, illegal. or, if some law student wants to be a pedantic bitch, we could call it unlawful. fact is, basically, same difference. morons.

Re:hey guess what /. morons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702113)

there was a time were trolls used to be original... this time is the past it seems :'(

Re:hey guess what /. morons! (1)

Vacuous (652107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702128)

But what about Canadian slashdotters like myself who live in a country where downloading/making copies for personal use is legal and has held up in court? I also highly doubt that Canada is the only country with laws like this.

RIAA victims fight back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702101)

The RIAA is getting a taste of its own meds.

Oregon RIAA Victim Fights Back; Sues RIAA for Electronic Trespass, Violations of Computer Fraud & Abuse, Invasion of Privacy, RICO, Fraud

http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Somewhere in Seattle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702120)

Sysadmin: "Dude, you e-mailed it to slashdot!?"

Band member: "Yeah man, I sure did. Figured we'd get a ton of Publicity!!"

Sysadmin: "Does the term "SLASHDOTTED" Mean anything to you?"

Band member: "Exactly."

Sysadmin: "C'mere, look at this. Notice that floating pile of burnt plastic over there?"

Band member: "Yeah, what is that? Looks like someone's mutant-robotic hybrid fish had some bad gas from the furby you fed it and exploded in the fish tank."

Sysadmin: "The server. I keep my servers in vegitable oil baths to keep them nice and cool, and in case of slashdotting, decrease the risk of an explosion. Notice the unusual gooeyness?"

Band Member: "Uh, hrmmph. Hey! It still looks like the metal parts are good! Look, there's half a case-e-o-majig, OOH! and a circular round thingy! What's what there? Looks like the innards of a floppy! And that there, it kinda looks like, hrmm, Michael Jacksons face if he had more surgery to become a clown!"

Sysadmin: "Why don't you have a closer look?"

*Sysadmin grabs the band members neck and proceeds to shove his head into the vegitable oil, which consequently has been heated to a few hundred degree's centagrade by a dozen or so magnetically-attracted iron case parts which have reacted with the toxic mess of metals to form something of a primitive heater, which, provided electricity by the now shorted 120 volt 60hz lines, in collusion with a massive radiatior-sensory system failure which would've shut all the electricity off to the boxen in the tub should the temp get too hot, have not only boiled or rather, fried, the innards of the computer to nothing, but are now also attacking a persons head at a rapid rate.*

Band member: Whoa, Hey, What are you, GRAAAHAHAAA HAAAAA *gurgle gurgle* IT BURNS IT BURNS!!! GAAAAAHAAAAHAHAHA, *Gurgle gurgle, pop fizz fizz* Graaa... *Bubble bubble, pop, fizzz....*

Sysadmin: SLASHDOWNED!

Simply incredible (4, Informative)

nekoes (613370) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702129)

I guess it was only a matter of time before bigger artists finally started offering better online distribution options... but for Harvey Danger to offer an entire album on their site - one that's encoded correctly and free to boot - that's almost a dream come true. I hope this experiment of theirs works out, because I'd love to see a lot more artists out there take note.

For those who don't realize why this is a rather big deal, Harvey Danger was a fairly popular rock band from the late nineties. They're most known for Flagpole Sitta', off of the album Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?. That album and Kings James Version are both pretty decent and it's kind of sad the band has fallen to the wayside as of late. Hopefully this publicity will do something for them besides raise their bandwidth costs.

While the whole idea may not be entirely novel, they're still one of the few more popular bands that are offering a full album for download off of their site. Also their site doesn't have any terribly gaudy and annoying flash elements. Kudos for that.

Seeding (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702134)

Even though Harvey Danger isn't really my thing, I still am seeding it at about 2MB/s. Help this band distribute their music, and help others be able to download it quicker by seeding it too! One might think that it is not their job to waste their own bandwidth doing this, but the more people help distribute this type of stuff, the more fans a band might have. Although I know that there are some other bands out there who give away their music, it still would be great to see more bands doing this anyways.

One hit wonder (1)

jaypaulw (889877) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702137)

This is a way (stunt) to try and show that they are legitimate and not just a one hit wonder. I don't imagine that every band would be best suited by starting to release records for free.

On the topic of the music industry:

I personally do not think that, as a music fan, that there is any problems with the way the industry is working at the moment at all. The big mainstream bands have plenty of outlets to promote their "artists." The rest have the internet where any band is able to offer emphasis tracks for download or streams to promote their music.

I couldn't care less if the major labels aren't making as much money as they'd like to, or if they are making more than they "should be."

the future = no middleman, straight to consumer (1)

bariswheel (854806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702148)

MORE POWER TO YOU!!!! GO GO GO!!!! hey if you guys are any good, i will come and see you live, which I think how most musicians should be paid anyway...TOURING... cut away the middle man,the lawyers, all that crap, the future will destroy all that. the future is word of mouth...straight to the consumer, no middleman.

I admire their values but.. (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702181)

Harvey Danger sticks out in my mind only as the one-hit wonder from the late 90s with the single "Flagpole Sitta". The rest of the album was horrid and pretty much scarred them for life. So I have to think they're just doing this because they really have no other option than this besides maintain their OHW status and keep releasing albums that very few people will buy.

Regardless, I'll issue the standard slashdot "THEY'RE TROOPERS FOR DOING THIS, DOWN WITH THE LABELS" statement, listen to the album and perhaps they'll impress me and I'll stop talking smack about Harvey Danger.

Re:I admire their values but.. (1)

bartkusa (827611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702213)

I thought "Flagpole Sitta" was the worst song on their first CD. Everything else was magnitudes better.

Care to call it a draw?

Shameless plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13702185)

My friends bands label went bankrupt and they did the same a few months ago... Incredibly slick band if you ask me....

www.purevolume.com/pmx

If theres a bunch of guys I know who should be making it, its these guys! Incredibly talented

I'm on a private helicopter... (4, Interesting)

seasleepy (651293) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702186)

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting to see this pop up on Slashdot... I had actually downloaded this a couple of days ago since I already love the band's other two albums, but this isn't a massively new idea. I certainly won't begrudge them the publicity though.

But for those of you who'd like a geek tie-in, I've been poking through the websites of one of the band members [typepad.com] and come across some interesting commentary about getting things set up on the technical side, from choosing a webserver [geekfun.com] to making sure the files are tagged properly [geekfun.com].

mighty fast torrent (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702194)

The torrent is slashdotted.

It's running so fast, I think I'll download a few extra copies, to hand out to my friends :)

Seriously, more bands need to do this. Release some music for free, if people like it, encourage them to buy a copy from CDBaby or directly from the band. That way the band gets more fans no matter what, and more of the money. The big RIAA corporations (record labels) get squat. That's a win-win for the artist and the consumers.

Related topic of lost revenue--not for artists (1, Informative)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702204)

Not exactly on topic, but closely related is the ads on certain DVD movies. I don't know if this is a widespread practice, or perhaps just a new trend in Japan, or just another example of my innocence, but... I only saw it for the first time last yesterday. It was a movie DVD that we rented, but the default play mode was to show a whole bunch of movie trailers before the actual "feature" film. On top of that, after the main movie, they had appended a chunk of another movie that was supposed to encourage you to view that one, too.

None of this advertising had any direct benefit to the artists that the MPAA claims to be protecting. You'd think we should have control over what we'd paid to see, though the MPAA obviously feels differently about it. It's clearly intended to create demand, and if there's any additional benefit to the artists, it's basically accidental. However, the part that really annoyed me was that all but one of the movies they were plugging were stupid ones without any relation to the feature film that we rented. The "featured advertisement" with the long trailer was actually for a totally annoying movie that I'd never heard of--probably one of those direct-to-DVD losers. The trailer totally failed to motivate renting or buying that garbage movie, and we didn't (and never will) watch the "free bonus" part of that garbage movie at the end.

P.S.
Have they done something to improve the CSS layout glitches with Opera? Still not perfect, but seems to be improved now.
P.P.S.
Anonymous moderation is still being abused. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Lousy moderators should be held accountable, don't you think?

Well, it worked with me... (1)

noneloud (891263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13702222)

I never heard of this band before until this, and I must say that I'm acctually liking their album a lot.
 
I just hope that other groups learn that the internet can be used as a great marketing tool like this.
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