Every time I hear artists bellyaching that they are in the poorhouse because of the Internet, I wince in pain. Even if you’re not selling CD’s, there are a million and one other ways to parlay your musical success into a small fortune.
And Last.fm has proven that even free makes money.The free-on-demand music service announced today that overall CD and download sales through a partnership with Amazon.com has yielded a 119% increase in sales.
Launched in January 2008, existing Last.fm users have purchased 66% more albums and tracks than they did prior to the launch of free-on-demand.
What many artists and labels failed to recognize is the power of Last.fm and other ‘music discovery’ services. While the songs are free, fans can be made for life. That equates into not only album and track sales, but concerts, merchandise, breand recognition, among others.
Affiliate deals with partners including iTunes and Amazon, plus a deal with all four major labels (can you believe there are only four!?),
gives users easy access to purchase any or all of the 5 million tracks the site makes available.
Unsigned artists have also reaped rewards. Last.fm’s Artist Royalty program allows up-and-coming artists to earn money every time their music is streamed.
The music industry is not dead. It’s transitioning.