To finish out this blog series, I want to focus on how some people in the music industry have adapted to technology and changing consumer preferences. I was able to work with two of them last summer and saw firsthand the determination they have to remain profitable no matter how much change it requires. got off the ground in 2006 with Derek Webb’sMockingbird” full-length release. By offering the entire album for free digital download, over 80,000 copies were distributed over three months’ availability. These numbers are very high for an independent singer-songwriter, even one as influential as Derek Webb, and this relatively new take on sharing music helped propel him into the industry spotlight for some time. His music continues to sell well.

The idea behind NoiseTrade, in Derek Webb’s own words, is “Who needs peer-to-peer when you can have artist-to-fan?” By offering a platform for artists to give music to their fans, a relationship is built. In exchange for the download of a full album or just a song, fans are asked for their email address and zip code so that they can be added to a database, helping create touring success. A tweet, Facebook post or email is also requested from the fan to help boost online word-of-mouth about the download, creating a viral effect. Finally, an option to tip the artist provides a means for the fan to feel like they are more directly supporting the musician than going into Best Buy and paying at a cash register.

A number of successful artists in different genres are using NoiseTrade and having great success with it. I strongly recommend checking out their current offers and building a new playlist!



Thanks for following these blog posts…I hope that they’ve been informative and though-provoking. The challenge of any business is understanding how to remain competitive as technology and consumer preferences change over time, and the music industry is no different. I often tweet and RT articles and blogs on this subject, so follow me on Twitter @DanVanMatre.

Go support independent music!

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