Tomorrow night at the Rock and Roll Hotel on DC’s up-and-coming H-Street, the Digital Freedom Campaign will be hosting a concert with Baumer, DC-based Exit Clov, and Jonathan Coulton (there may be a few spaces left—email here if you’re interested).
Each of these artists are using the Internet to get their sound out, talk to fans, schedule gigs, and sell music. All are on MySpace which lets fans listen and buy tracks. Baumer has uploaded a number of their music videos for listeners to share via YouTube and even has provided a way to set their music as your mobile phone’s ringtone.
Exit Clov too has uploaded their produced and live recorded concerts to the web, and sells DVDs of the performances as an additional stream of revenue. They’ve also opted to make their tracks “podcast safe,” meaning podcasters who’ve joined the Podcast Safe Music Network can include their Exit Clov’s tracks in their podcast, without paying royalties or fearing litigation. This win-win relationship between the artists and podcasters in this network gives artists exposure that lead to sales, and podcasters a cost-effective way to provide content to listeners. Oh and the exposure to new artists and content is great for us podcast listeners, too.
If you haven’t heard the buzz on “JoCo,” he was recently written up in the New York Times Magazine. He’s not just unique as a programmer turned musician, he too is an artist who has truly taken advantage of web2.0 tools. Like Exit Clov, he uses eventful to alert fans of his next gigs, and he decides where his next concert will be based on blog feedback—picking and choosing where his next show will be the most successful. Not only does Jonathan provide listeners with creative commons licensed and DRM free tracks, lyrics, guitar tabs, he’s also down with fans using his tracks to create their “own video, short story, half-pony-half-monkey-monster sculpture, etc.” And listeners/users have submitted tons of their own mashed-up content, which he links back to on his site. This approach has not only given him awareness through hilarious YouTube machinima of his tracks (careful, not necessarily safe for work), but the album art for his “Thing a Week” project was crowd-sourced, where fans created their own and submitted it.
The artists performing tomorrow night are a sample of creators who are promoting their content in non-traditional ways—that would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago—and (often to their amazement) it’s working. More than ever before, their livelihood and their fans’ enjoyment rely on the ability of technology innovators to invent new ways to create, share, and sell. And that’s what the Digital Freedom Campaign is all about. Hope to see you tomorrow night!