A Record Label in 140 Characters or Less

We’ve written before about musicians giving away their work for free online. Now you can add Mike Skinner (a.k.a. The Streets) to the list. He’s giving away new songs using Twitter because, he writes, “all this trying to sell you music … wastes valuable time.” A new study out of Norway suggests Mike‘s business model may be a good one, for it shows that people who download music for free (legally or not) are 10 times more likely to pay for music than people who don’t. This seems to make digital bootleggers the music industry’s biggest customers. All the more reason for labels to stop suing them? [%comments]


Yet another example of knee-jerk reactions to legality, rather than actually sitting down and thinking through the ramifications.

Just look at Metallica: 'Let's sue our fans so they won't have any more money to buy our music and go to our concerts!'


Um, selection effect? People that enjoy consuming music are more likely to both download free AND make purchase. Admittedly, I didn't read the paper...they probably addressed that.

Dave Allen

Mike Skinner is right - consider a free MP3 and blogs that host them as part of "the new radio." More people discovering more new music will ultimately end in a purchase somewhere along the Long Tail.

This all fits rather neatly into my idea of The End of The Music Album as The Organizing Principle, an essay I wrote -



Good luck. Zero dollars is still too much for The Streets' terrible, horrible, no good, very bad brand of rap. Pretty soon he'll just mail CDs to everyone like AOL used to.




C. Larity

This would be the most useful thing to ever come out of Twitter; the only thing holding it back is that it's not remotely useful.

Science Minded

Dear C.Larity;

Frankly, I know very little about Twitter (just what my teen has told me)--However----

Wasn't this once the Macy's motto as suggested in the original movie "Miracle on 34th Street." Giving something away for `free' makes for good business transactions-- as in you give a little, you get. It surely humanizes such transactions.


There actually is a group doing something pretty useful using Twitter, http://twhistory.com, retelling history through tweets in real time as the original events actually happened. They're currently tweeting the Civil War. Coming up soon is the Cuban Missile Crisis.