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March 03, 2013


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Irakli Beselidze

Thank you for great post, David! But before asking, you have to start giving all your best staff for free)))

Brian DePoe

David your comments are interesting but there is still much research that shows people do rely on radio for music discovery. 'True' fans will dig deeper for artists who don't get a lot of AirPlay so in truth both strategies are somewhat relevant. Record execs at the large label level are still trying to make a model that reflects the old days and that will either fail or yield smaller results, but radio is not yet irrelevant though many in the music business wish it were so.

David Meerman Scott

Brian, thanks for jumping in.

I wonder if the research you cite was sponsored by the radio stations...

When I was a teenager, I paid attention to the ratio and the opinions of my friends to learn about new bands. Now, my own teenage daughter learns about new bands from her friends but not the radio, instead she pays attention to YouTube, Spotify, and other "free" sources.

Radio may still be relevant for the mainstream who love American Idol. But for music fans who actually support artists, I'm not so sure. My daughter has gone to probably 20 live shows this year. I'd guess between concert tix, merch, and iTunes, she's probaly spent more than $1,000 to support bands. I wonder how many live shows American Idol fans have seen?...


Chris Barry

David --

I grew up glued to Chicago's WXRT 93.1 FM way back in my music consuming youth...but, while that station influnced my tastes greatly, my main way of discovering new music was literally hanging out in these places called 'record stores.' These places barely exist today (and Best Buy doesn't count) but they were dedicated to selling records and records alone. The good ones hired staff that had good taste and played off-beat, quirky albums all day long. So, for me, I'd spend hours in these stores browsing and listening. Often, I'd leave having purchased an album that was being played while I was there. There was one store in particular located in Elgin, IL called Appletree Records. I knew when I walked in there and this girl who wore safety pins in her ears was working - I'd end up walking out with the best shit on vinyl.

David Meerman Scott

Chris -- Good point about record stores. Thanks for that.

There was a decent one near my home but it wasn't a hangout. It was a place to buy only. But I've been to some cool stores over the years that even today are thriving due to "hangout" status.

mark allen roberts


Thank you for a great post and video.
You convinced me in 2008 to start blogging, and the old school business leaders in my network criticized me...why give it away for free? They even went as far as saying ; it can't be worth anything if he gives it away for free.

It would have been easy to cave in and maybe not share what I call "thought art" for free. Since I have not caved the hardest part is learning to receive.

The best blessings come when some husband and wife email me on how they were about to quit their dream business , but they read a post , tried it, and now they have made the turn and their business is working. Had I caved, if I cave, I would miss those moments.

My readers are not anywhere near yours in volume ( hopefully some day I will be serving that many) but they have given me so much.

thanks again for the post


John Windsor

Wow, great video, and excellent analysis, David. This really hit home, after hitting a big ol' gate on Salesforce's site for something they should have been *happy* to give away freely.

Trevor Young

Love the first line David :)

David Meerman Scott

Mark - How great that you started to give things away! I too love to hear from people that my ideas contributed in some way to their success. It is unbelievably rewarding. Giving gifts of content and receiving the benefits sure beats working for a living!

John - I know, right? When I find gates, I wonder if the organization as a whole is secretive or if some marketer is being told by her managers that they must "calculate ROI".

Trevor - to be honest, I had to Google how to do crossouts in HTML (!!)


Good one David! You may remember a talk you gave at Kolkata last year at the Oberoi's. I just happened to be there without much of a reason, but boy was it was a life changer! Thanks to you after a 5 years hiatus, I got back into the artist management business. The only trouble is that the record label wants to keep all the music up their sleeves and expects me to 'promote' their artist. Bleh!


I loved your post, but I was disappointed with your "Ask." Instead of offering your vulnerability, you pointed to our vulnerability and need. And all you gave in return was an advertisement.

Why not do what Palmer suggested (and you) and give away a book, then ask us to donate according to how much we connected with it?

David Meerman Scott

Rahul - good for you! I'm thrilled the Kolkata event was worthwhile. I enjoyed it too!

Bret - Sorry you felt that way. I've been giving away things for ten years. I rarely ask but chose to do so in this post. In it was a link to my free book. But in case you missed it, here is a bunch of free stuff. http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/free-stuff/free-ebooks/

Daniel Katz

David, I'm a little late to the party, but thanks for the post. It's fascinating how the new connection economy has turned the music industry upside down (perhaps for the better). What advice would you give someone who is reluctant to give away free content because they consider it too valuable, i.e, an invention or a "great idea"?


Hi David, great post and as usual thanks for taking a lead on a conversation so important for all us to understand.

Daniel - in a connected economy the best way to spread the news about a new invention or great idea is to give it away for free or near free. Some examples:

The founders of Google had a great idea for making it easier for to find information on the Internet. They gave it away for free. Once everyone was using it they figured out a way to make billions selling space to people willing to pay for paid spots on an search engine results page.

Sun Micro Systems had a great idea to reduce load time on internet servers. They gave away the code for free. It's called Java Script and you're likely using it now. They charge $100,000 dollars for the manual to companies who want to write programs for Internet platforms that utilize their code.

The reason for giving things away free is to achieve ubiquity. The reason you have to give things away free is because everything plugged into the net (and nearly everything is) is ubiquitous.

So how to you get someone to pay for something that they can get anywhere for free?

Here are a list of 8 things people might be willing to pay for in a connection economy when everything is free. There is also a link to where you can get Kevin Kelly's book which explains in detail why you have to give stuff away or near free in a connected economy. http://rodneygoldston.com/8-ways-to-make-money-giving-your-stuff-away-for-free/

David Meerman Scott

Rodney - thank you for these excellent examples of free!

Lisa Tommaney


Loved the post and the video. Then, this morning, a friend sent this link to another story on the power of asking. It appears to be authentic, thought you would enjoy it. http://www.business2community.com/strategy/billy-joel-and-the-audacious-power-of-asking-0435167#FwwxlzK4Bu1JdDql.01

David Meerman Scott

Hi Lisa - Yes, I had seen that Billy Joel video via Bob Lefsetz. Thanks for sharing it here.


Thanks, Lisa, for sharing my post "Billy Joel And The Audacious Power Of Asking". Glad you liked it.

David - I love when Amanda says, "We made an art of asking people to help us." That's a great thing to become an artist at! :)

Mark Katavice

Thanks David Sir for the post and the video. I've learn a lot. I like most the way of your presentation.

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