Make Attractive Physical Objects Fans Want To Buy
Over at Pirate Verbatim, a new blog that chronicles artists' thoughts on file-sharing, a great quote went up from Phil Elverum. He's the man behind Mount Eerie and The Microphones. Phil doesn't have strong opinions on music piracy, but argues that it's pointless to try and stop. Rather than worry about the behavior and how it affects his music, he makes "physically attractive objects that seem worthy of purchase." He says that he probably owes 80% of his success to the fact that fans can hear his music for free to see if they like it.
"My approach to the question of making a living off this “work” has been to make physically attractive objects that seem worthy of purchase. Of course there will be people who don’t care about owning an object, or maybe don’t have any money, or maybe who live in Siberia, and so they can just find a way to hear it for free if they want to. I don’t think there’s an inherent moral duty for the listener to support the singer. In the broad historical perspective music is frivolous non-work and we are lucky to have time to make it at all.
There is a new way taking shape that no one knows yet. Trying to impose the old model of lucrative systems of parasitic labels, managers, agents, distributors, etc., on the new reality is a little blind. For me, the simplest is best, so I am putting out my own records, mostly ignoring the internet, and doing as much as possible myself. It’s working." (Read on.)