The missus and I watch Project Runway (among a number of other reality television shows). Last night, we watched the finale, and during Leanne’s Bryant Park runway show, I said to the missus, “I like that music.” I had no idea what the music was, and figured I never would, as they don’t credit music for television shows.
This morning, a friend e-mails us a link to the Etsy store of the composer – Nathan McKee. Yes, Etsy – the arts and crafts sales site. He is selling the track from the show on Etsy. There’s no provision for instant download – or any download – so he has to e-mail out the song to people who purchase it.
Apparently, Leanne sells items on Etsy, and she suggested he use it to sell the track after people started asking about it.
I’m still waiting for my copy of the track. I’m concerned that Mr. McKee may have hit some bandwidth limit on his gmail account.
He’s got a MySpace account, where you can listen to the track, but it’s not available for sale (via Snocap).
He did an album last year, and promises it will be available for sale soon.
Only on the Internet could an independent musician become an overnight hit. Well, kind of – the Etsy page indicates 151 sales. But without the Internet, I would never have gotten an e-mail link to a web page where you can purchase the track. (Or web sites for that matter, but you get my point.)
But the important thing is you have to be prepared in case you become one of these Internet memes. It’s too easy. But it’s also easy to be lazy and put things off. I’m not as prepared as I should be. But here are some basic rules.
- Register a domain. If you can’t get the .com domain name, choose a different band name.
- Get cheap web hosting for your domain. You need to be able to host some MP3 files.
- Set up a blog – preferably hosted on your own site, but you can use a hosted blog if you want.
- Get on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Make sure your music is available, for free or for sale somewhere.
I would argue that if you aren’t an established artist, you should at least license your music under Creative Commons, and probably allow at least some free downloads. Remember, as Cory Doctorow points out, it’s challenging enough to get people to listen to your music, so putting barriers in the way of folks who want to listen is a bad idea.