TED Conversations

Singer Songwriter & Vocal Coach, Lizanne Hennessey - Voice Coach


This conversation is closed.

Should Music be Free?

We live in a digital age where music is easily accessible, which is a great thing.
We also live in a digital age where it is socially accepted to steal music.
It makes sense to pay a buck for a cup of pre-fab coffee, but not for a piece of music.


Behind a piece of music is expertise, investment, skill and professionalism.
You wouldn't ask a contractor to build your house for free, just because he 'likes his job', would you?

If everyone who contributes to this discussion were to buy my album (let me stress - this is by no means a request to do so!!!), I would have enough money to buy groceries this month. The royalties we earned on selling our music made it possible to buy our house.

Who benefits from free music?

I'm curious, from the point of view of the 'starving musician', what your thoughts are!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 13 2013: Greetings to you Lizanne. I have many years experience of the music industry. I'm sorry to hear you are a "starving musician" and I presume you are this way because you have chosen to pursue your passion even though it does not provide you with suffient income to live on. I would say that if you belive in yourself then persist because eventually someone else will believe in you also and the more of those you get the better the odds that you will succeed.

    As for music and wheather should it be free or not. Well, most muscians I know try to make a living out of their music. It becomes their product. It usually involves a degree of skill to create that product and certainly involves a cost along the way, not just for the musician themselves but also for those who help to package that product and promote it in the market place. So, should it be free. Hell no! But alas, if the product is good there will always be those who want something for nothing. Such is life. But - don't let it bring you down it's only castles burning, and persistance pays.
    • May 13 2013: Hi David!

      You know, I used the term 'starving musician' to make a point - although money's tight (as it is for people of just about any profession these days), I manage, together with my husband, to get by doing musical activities of all sorts.
      If I were to rely solely on digital sales, however, I would not.

      I have been making music for the greater portion of my life, and to me, it's not a matter of persistence so much, as I simply can't not make music. Improving my 'product', like you say, and keeping on keeping on is the only answer - whether you're a musician or not! ;)

      Thanks for your thoughts on this!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.