Giving music away for free is becoming a common practice, even more so in the dance music space.
There are arguments as to why music shouldn't be given away - we'll save that topic for another date. For now, let's take a look at the benefits of giving it away.
Hardwell, a Dutch DJ/Producer, is giving away a 13-track bootleg pack. He decided to give the tracks away once he hit the milestone of 200k Twitter followers.
In this particular example, it works because he's created...
Awareness: 'Hardwell releases 13-track bootleg pack to celebrate 200k Twitter followers' is a type of messaging that breaks through the clutter and perks up music fans.
Consideration: The giveaway creates curiosity. A potential fan wants to learn more about Hardwell. With a new single, compilation, and tour dates, there is plenty to engage.
Loyalty: Even though he's only accumulated an additional 1k Twitter followers on the back of the campaign, the impressive numbers stem from a Google search for 'Hardwell Bootleg Pack 2012 Part 2'. The search comes up with 153k results - this means that over 150k word-of-mouth individual (& free) campaigns were generated by committed fans. Impressive.
Purchase: As I mentioned above, Hardwell has a number of purchase offerings. Hopefully, by this point, he has recruited fans that will purchase tickets, merch, and dare I say….music..?
In hindsight, the giveaway seems like a good exercise to draw attention and recruite fans. However, to 'sweeten' the experiment, I would have...
- Broken up the pack and given away the tracks in stages (i.e. 3 tracks every week)
- Would host the free download on Hardwell's official site
- In exchange for the downloads, I would have asked for an e-mail address
This way, you keep your fans clinging for more, and you now have a means to communicate with them directly as opposed to your Twitter/FB feed.