Should music be free?

The recent event of U2 giving their new album away on iTunes for FREE has caused shock waves through the music industry and the media. Because of the deal and its reaction by the media (both positive or negative) this has thrown the band back into the spotlight. This means people who may not have considered their music may listen and as a result check out their previous work. This album is only free for a set period of time and after that it will be available to purchase.

If U2 fail to sell many albums after the free period then at least they have funds from the Apple deal so it is a win/win for them and is turning out to be a clever publicity stunt by the U2 team. My only problem is how the album is appearing on people’s iTunes accounts without the owners choosing the album. Seriously Apple this is not cool to force music onto people as music is personal choice.

Just for the record, I don’t mind the music of U2 but prefer their older songs than their later material. I have not heard the new album and I am not sure if I will get round to it as there is so much more great music out their that is grabbing my attention.

This promotional event has caused much discussion through my social media circles about the topic of free music. I have listened to many people’s opinions and I thought that I would take the opportunity to share mine in this post.

I understand that music can end up on a torrent site so the music can become free anyway and bands would prefer it came from them than others. I also understand giving music away can help to increase a musicians fan base so it can be used in a positive way. However, I also understand that for musicians, creating music is their job and why should they not get paid for what they create? Builders gets paid for building a house, a chef for cooking food, a painter for their latest masterpiece so why should a musician not get paid for creating a song? I know that bands can get paid during their live shows and from the merchandise that they sell, but what about the fans who can’t get to their shows because they do not live near the gig or in a different country. This means that musicians will not receive as much money as they could potentially earn and this is where paying for music comes in.

Musicians need to start to think much bigger as the world has become a much smaller place and that music is available worldwide thanks to the internet. This is where the power of fan funded music projects come in to help fund new music and tours. I know this is the strongest indication of where the music world could be heading in my opinion. I like the idea of the fans gaining more power to support the music instead of the companies/labels as this gives the musicians more freedom. This is where fans like myself come in to help support the music that matters to us and help spread the word.

So, do I believe music should be free? My answer is no as I am an old school music fan who believes that these artists should be paid for the music that influences our lives. Don’t get me wrong I have downloaded legally free music from musicians but I do help promote these people in return by spreading the word of their great sound. I would call this a mutual agreement to benefit both parties. By paying for the music we are helping fund these musicians for future music projects which can only be a good thing for us fans. I also believe paying for the music is a sign of respect for the work that they do.

I understand this is my opinion but I felt that I needed to share my thoughts. Feel free to agree or disagree with me by getting in touch via social media. The important thing is the music and to support it the best way we can!