Let Free(Music)dom Ring

In keeping with the theme of Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July, I share with you a new discovery:  NoiseTrade

Here’s how it works:  you download (for free) music from artists by telling three friends about the artist/band.  You can also receive the music by paying what you want (starting at $1).  So far, I have downloaded a 3-song EP by Joy Whitlock and a 7-song collection of songs by Alli Rogers (from several different albums).  And just in a couple of days they have already added more albums (including Waterdeep) – 17 in all.  Here are some of the other artists I was familiar with already and already have some of their music:  Derek Webb, Matthew Perryman Jones (he has done some stuff with Indelible Grace), Sandra McCracken (also of IG), and Katie Herzig.


  • I think this is a great way to get exposure for independent artists by using the connections that their existing or new fans have. Good music should be shared.
  • You can listen and see what you would be downloading before you choose to do so.  I am always looking for new music to try and will buy other albums once I become a fan.
  • I think this is a very good way of bridging the gap between what music lovers have become accustomed too (free, cheap, easy access to music, digital options, etc…) and support for the artist themselves (either by larger exposure or direct support through payment).
  • Of the artists/bands that I am already familiar with, I know them to have Christian convictions/faith (as much as one can know these things from listening to their music), but they are not a part of a Christian sub-culture (e.g. CCM).  They are Christians who make good music or even great music. I do not know if this true of all of the artists on NoiseTrade and all of them should be judged on their art first.

This is from the website:

Artists want to know, connect with, and be supported by music fans. Music fans want high-quality, free (or variably priced) music and to be rewarded, not punished, for sharing the music they love with their friends. We believe that if artists and fans work together, everyone can get what they want.

“A great record is its own best marketing tool,” says Derek Webb, singer/songwriter and Co-Founder of NoiseTrade. “All the marketing dollars in the world can’t accomplish what one great record can, especially if it’s set free to roam around and connect with the right people.” In 2006 Webb gave away his ‘Mockingbird’ record for free online, asking in return for a little information (name, email address, and postal code), and as part of the process, for fans to invite their friends to download as well.

In three month’s time Webb gave away over 80,000 full downloads of his record and collected valuable information for as many new fans. In addition, Derek has since seen many sold out shows and increased merchandise and record sales, including a curious spike in sales of the very record that was given for free.

It was the massive success of this experiment that inspired Webb, with the help of a few trusted friends, to start NoiseTrade. Now any artist can freely distribute their music online, via NoiseTrade’s remarkable and embeddable widget, offering fans the choice to tell 3 friends or to pay any amount in exchange for an immediate download.

“Who needs peer-to-peer when you can have artist-to-fan?” Derek concludes, “If artists and fans realized how they could help each other and started making direct connections, without a middleman, the whole industry would change overnight. It would start a revolution.”

Check it out if you get a chance.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by stockroom on July 4, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I don’t think its true about most artists wanting to connect with their buyers.
    Most of them just want nameless cash cows bringing them the dough.


  2. Posted by adamtisdale on July 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    It’s hard to know the motivations of artists, but I still stand by recommendation of NoiseTrade. Thanks for stopping by.


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