January 23, 2005

Songs from Juliana Hatfield's music vault. Having released In Exile Deo last year, Juliana Hatfield is now sharing songs that didn't fit on any of her albums. She explains in a letter that she'd rather freely share these songs than let them sit around "gathering dust." Those who download the songs can opt to make a PayPal donation. I've always thought this could be a viable business model for some artists -- distribute your work freely and get fans to give you donations. I think most people would love to support their favorite artists in this way.

One significant benefit is that the money goes directly to the artist, and not to the pockets of music industry intermediaries -- "Most of the money that is being made is going to the record company and the executives," says Hatfield in one interview. So maybe the future of music is a kind of online buskering.

  • Or you distribute the music freely and let fans encourage others to become fans by pointing people to those free songs. This is the They Might Be Giants dial-a-song method. Of course, with a talented enough artist, then these are all potentially viable solutions, much like it's viable in the web comic community. I imagine you could even give away all your music and charge people for concerts and merchandising.
  • Juliana Hatfield is a favorite of mine. I saw her in Austin on the Blake Babies reunion tour. It was one of the best things ever.
  • Thanks astroboy, not just for the songs, I didn't know she had released anything since "Some Girls", what a nice surprise.
  • Thanks for the reminder. I saw her in Ann Arbor in December and she mentioned that she was going to do this.
  • Dang it, Juliana, you shamed me into paying you! :) I was never really that into her music before, but I really support what she's trying to do here, and the tunes are good. So she gets her dollar a song from me. I get a whole CD's worth of music for $14, and I feel better knowing all the money is going to the artist and none is being skimmed by anyone (except PayPal, but hey, whatchagonnado?). Rock on! Grrrrl power! (er, something...)
  • I saw Juliana Hatfield do a heartbreaking cover of Leley Gore's You Don't Owe Me. Awesome.