Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pirating Your Own Music for Promotion - The Edward Cufaude Torrent Experiment Begins

I’m sure that recently in the media and on the internet, most of you would have heard about torrents and the online world of pirated music downloads. I have read up lots of comments on message boards and sites such as Digg and educated myself with the various viewpoints from people about the subject and the general consensus I get is that most people using torrents are actually discovering new music through piracy and sites such as The Pirate Bay. Most people are fed up with the current music industry, me included.

I have seen various attempts over the previous six months by bands such as Radiohead at new methods of distributing their music and I would say these attempts look like they have been a success (Although the music industry seems to want you to believe it’s all been a bit of a failure). The only problem is that these musicians were already successful musicians, who had already made a name for themselves and already had a fan base of people waiting for their release. But what about someone who is just starting out in the music industry. What about someone who has no media contacts and no fan base.

So as an unknown independent musician myself I have decided to take the plunge and do a long experiment by uploading my own music and following the examples set by other artists and which supporters of piracy believe to be a business model which will work. I will be posting regular updates of the results on Rhythm Creation to see whether there really are any advantages to pirating your own stuff (I say pirating your own stuff, but it’s not pirating if you own the copyright, like I do). I want to see whether this new music industry business model that so many believe in will work for a new unknown artist, who’s music may not appeal to the vast majority either.

The Experiment
I am currently working on my debut album called “Sound Sunrise”. I have set a release date of 15th May 2008. It will be 12 tracks, I have currently happy with 9 tracks (although I am still trying to improve them) and am currently working on the remaining 3. I have no money for promotion. I have no industry contacts either like magazine editors, radio people etc.

Lets face the facts, if my music gets popular, it will only be uploaded by someone else, I accept that. So I might as well start to upload my music now for the free publicity and then upload my album on it’s release date. This is a big experiment for me, it will be conducted over the next few months and possibly the whole of 2008. I am going to give tips to others who want to do the same sort of thing as I learn about this way of doing stuff etc and also write posts on ways and places to promote your torrent file. I shall release site stats, money intakes from any track sales, donations from people who like my music etc and as much other stats and information which I feel shows a growth in publicity thanks to the torrents I release and the people that download and distribute them.

I am only going to promote my debut album using torrents, my own web site, my myspace account, the articles on this web site and nothing else (unless people offer me free exposure after downloading my tracks via torrents, I won’t send them the files, they will have to find them on their own). There will be no offline attempt at album promotion, I don’t play gigs or anything like that. I am basically going to actively encourage people to download my music. I actually enjoy the fact knowing that someone out there is downloading and enjoying my music during their spare time. I don’t understand why musicians don’t want to encourage people to download their tracks, those same people might just become a fan and dedicated follower of all your music releases.

The Plan

I have set out a timetable of releases as follows and shall stick to the dates, starting today with the very first torrent release.

* 8th February 2008 - First Torrent Release - A Torrent Containing my Debut EP Release “The Rhythm Creator EP”, 3 Album Pre-Release tracks and a remix exclusive to this torrent.

* 15th March 2008 - Second Torrent Release - 2 More Album Pre-Release tracks and an exclusive track only available in this torrent.

* 15th April 2008 - Third Torrent Release - 2 More Album Pre-Release tracks and an exclusive track only available in this torrent.

* 15th May 2008 - Full Album Release - The full 12 track album will be released via torrent, my own web site and online digital stores. You will be able to purchase better quality versions than those in the torrents from my own site amongst other stuff (Still got to work all that stuff out).

The Aim

My aim of this experiment is to obviously promote my music to people. But also I hope to see whether torrents can work and the business model that so many keep saying will work where music is free and people should be able to choose whether they want to support an artist or not. I also invite people to attempt to do the same with their music if they are a musician and send me details of their own results of their own successes or failures for publication on this site.

My larger long term aim with my music as a whole is to actually create some sort of income from my music. I have a dream of releasing an album every year. Realistically I only need to get the equivalent of 5000 people to buy each yearly album to start making a decent living to make music full time. That’s about 15 album sales a day, it doesn’t sound a lot when you put it like that. I’m not after huge sums of money, just enough to get by with an income from my music, so I can continue using as much of my time as possible making music and helping other with their music through this site. So will people voluntarily pay for my music if they enjoy it, like they say they will/do? Only time will tell.

Where I Am Currently With My Music

So let me give you some background about me so you can see where I am now in terms of my music. Firstly I am deadly serious about my music, I started making music when I was about 18 when I had only very limited piano skills. In the 7 years since then I have learnt how to make my own electronic music, learnt various skills about recording, producing etc and even got a degree in Music Technology. I have wasted time trying to get signed to labels and in October 2007 decided to go the independent route after finding out about services like TuneCore .

I make all my tracks myself and no one else in involved. 99% of the samples used in my tracks are made by myself except the occasional single drum sample or sample I can’t record myself which I get from royalty free sources. So any money I make from my music is my own. I released my debut 3 track EP in December 2007, mainly as kind of a test run through the online digital distribution site TuneCore to stores such as iTunes, Napster, Amazon MP3 etc. I think I’ve only sold a very small number of tracks and I did very limited promotion. I uploaded full previews on a few sites like TheSixtyone, MySpace, ReverbNation and OurStage. On OurStage my track Overdrive (It’s in the torrent) came 7th out of around 400 tracks in the electronic category for January (my first month on there). I run this site Rhythm Creation to help others with music which currently has about 200 unique visits per day (mostly from google) and have also set up my own personal web site so people can search for me on google and a MySpace Account.

The First Torrent Release
So I created my torrent, with 7 tracks. I had never done this before, but it is very easy, there’s lots of guides on the net on the net to show you how. I could see the torrent in my tracker and now need to promote and seed it. I uploaded my torrent to some torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, Mininova, Isohunt and BTJunkie.

I also added a readme file and explained to people about myself and how the music is free and about my upcoming album. I also explained the following 8 ideas which people can do to help promote my music if they like it. These are also a good way of me collecting data about how my experiment is going.

* 1. Seed this torrent

* 2. Contact me and comment on my tracks (Good or Bad)

* 3. Distribute my tracks to friends who might be interested. Including the readme text file

* 4. Add me as a friend on Myspace

* 5. Vote for my tracks on

* 6. Visit/Promote my music making blog at (Maybe even write a guest post if you know something of interest to musicians)

* 7. Visit/Promote my personal web site at

* 8. Use my tracks for things such as YouTube videos etc for FREE/UNCOMMERCIAL projects, as long as you credit me as the composer.

Some Current Stats to Start

Will these stats increase due to people discovering my music via torrents?

* has approx 1 visitor per day.

* which I started last October now has approx 200 unique visitors per day mainly from people searching google for help with their own music, they are not searching for my music.

* I have 32 MySpace Friends, had 791 MySpace Profile views and 588 plays in the music player.

* I currently have 70 plays on my ReverbNation widget - on the right of this page and which is also on

* There are currently 2200 results when I Google my name.

Download Torrent One
And finally if your interested in downloading my music here is the first torrent to download. 100% legal. Please seed for as long as possible once downloaded and thankyou for downloading.

The Torrent on the Pirate Bay.

The Torrent on MiniNova.

The Torrent on Rhythm Creation.

you will also find the first torrent and later the other torrents on other sites such as ThePirateBay, Mininova, ISOHunt and BTJunkie.

The best way of following my experiment is to subscribe to The Rhythm Creation RSS Feed, subscribe via email down the right hand side of this page or bookmark the blog page. Also if anyone has ideas or maybe any stories about their own sucesses or failures to do with torrents and distributing your music please add them to the comments of this post. Thanks and enjoy the music

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