Adam Singer

Adam Singer on CC licenses and Music Promotion

Cameron Parkins, January 23rd, 2009

Adam Singer is a musician and “social media guru” who used his expertise in both fields to find a more harmonious means of online promotion. As a relatively “unknown artist”, Singer saw little return on efforts to profit from his works as CDs and digital downloads, selling only a few copies with “mixed results”. It was at this point that Singer chose to release his music under a CC BY-NC license.

The choice was not motivated from a promotional standpoint – Singer turned to CC licensing after the “realization [he] would rather have [his] music reach more ears as the money [he] was making was worth far less than the joy of being able to share it with others” – but it spurred unintended promotional results. A recent post on TheFutureBuzz outlines the results of Singer’s choice – soon, he found his music appearing on music blogs, had people on Twitter soliciting him for original music for video, had his music featured on online web radio shows, saw a fan remix video pop-up on YouTube, and saw traffic to his MySpace page increase dramatically.

It is obvious to those who listen that Singer’s music is of high-quality, but by encouraging the free sharing and reuse of this music he was able to reach a far greater audience than he had previously. The story, heard many times before in a variety of incarnations, brings about echoes of Tim O’Reilly:

Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.

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