Not sure if this is the correct place for this thread, but if not I can recreate it somewhere else.
I'm gearing up to release an album in the next month or two and am weighing my options for online release. One big question I've been flip-flopping with is do I charge money and risk not getting any listeners, or do I offer it for free in hopes that I start to build up an online following?
One strategy I've been seeing a lot online is the use of download gates to get more followers and coverage. For those of you who donít know what these are, Iíll give a quick rundown. Download gates are basically websites that provide download links to tracks with the condition that the user requesting the file follows and reposts the artist. Sometimes they also require the person downloading the file to follow multiple accounts, including the company providing the download gate.
In theory this would be great for the artist, right? I mean, you get more plays, reposts and followers!
HmmÖ. call me old fashioned, but I really hate the idea of being forced to follow someone just to listen or download a track. More often then not, Iíve just decided to not download the track. There have even been the occasional time Iíve unfollowed someone because theyíve tried to herd me through a download gate. In situations like this, the gate is doing the exact opposite of what it's intended for.
Now that Iím on the other end, struggling for followers and itching to get more plays, Iíve considered using them to promote my own music *shame*. Ultimately I donít think Iíll go this route as Iíve found it extremely annoying in the past and I donít want to subject my potential listeners to that kind of treatment.
What are your thoughts? Personal experiences? Opinions?