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File Transfer Protocol - Q&A (2012)
2012-01-16 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz | via Formspring | RSS | "Regime" - free song download

Go to: 2012-01: 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 2011 Interview

Q: [Chrome Skin Jesus] The original business model of modern music was to release an albums worth of music. Releasing a single was a way to promote the album, but lately releasing single songs is replacing the concept of a full album. Where does FTP stand on this "evolution?"

A: [Sean Rieger] I have mixed emotions about it. On one hand, it's a reflection of what fans want. Fans seem to want more interaction. They tend to forget about bands who are not in touch often. Because of that, I try to release a new song every few weeks. It keeps me in touch, and current. "99%" and "Regime" were both released in the height of "developments" around the Occupy movement. That gave them a certain relevance that could have been lost if they were released as a part of a full album a year from now.

On the other hand, I think it has a dark side attached to it. We seem to have shorter and shorter attention spans. We live our lives in 140 character increments. That's not always a good thing. I believe that a full album can tell a story beyond what you can tell from just a song (Pink Floyd's The Wall, for example). So for me, the challenge is to lay out a story line, and then release single after single (as free downloads) and then when the full album is complete, fans can buy a physical CD or limited edition package of a signed CD, T-shirt, and possibly a USB key with my stems on it, for remixing (I'll touch on why this works a little later in this response).

I think the record industry became a victim of it's own bullshit game. The game was to put one or two great songs on an album, and then filler for the rest. As long as it made people buy the CD, then the record label made it's money. The problem was... you couldn't return a CD that was mostly crap. Nope, you were stuck with it. Users were burned often, and became more cautious about what they would buy (CD sales started to decline). So when the digital age came about (Napster, iTunes etc...) Of course people grabbed only what they wanted.

So the wash? Well... here's the thing. There are casual listeners and there are fans. They are 2 very different people. Casual listeners will grab one or two songs, if it's easy and their friends like it, but there is no way they will spend money on it. Fans, well fans want to support the artist, because they want the artist to continue to make music. In essence, fans become a part of the band. So, as I mentioned earlier, if I am giving away my music for free in single format, why would fans want to buy it as an album? Well... the reason is this: fans appreciate that the music is free, they also want the artwork, lyrics and "full package" if you will of an entire album. They see value in physical goods and in support me in my efforts. They want a fair price, and without the ball-&-chain of a record label setting my prices for me, I can actually give it to them. My model is more a "try before you buy" model. If people really like the music, I am convinced they will help support it.

So, overall... I am not really for or against the model that is currently in place. I am simply accepting of it, and trying to get my music out there in the current climate. The whole key to survival is adaptation. When the meteor hit, the furry little mammals adapted to the new living conditions and flourished. The dinosaurs (cough.. big record labels and big publishers - COUGH!) died out. I think we're in a new cycle, and frankly, I want to survive. I hope that answers your question. Thanks.

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