This is the question many musicians need to ask themselves; Is your music a Product or a Service or both?
If you consider your music to only be a product, then in this digital age we live in you must find ways to add value to your music...outside of just the music alone.
Recorded music is not the product it used to be. It has lost a great deal of it's value due to file sharing and a pinch of piracy...But mostly file sharing.
Because people have almost limitless access to any song they desire, it is no longer viable for the musician to expect a substantial income from songs as stand alone products. There must be an incentive associated with the song(s).
Things like collectible art, liner notes, vinyl, interactive media...Anything that adds value to your music as a Product.
It is not very hard to come up with these incentives and many artists have already.
Now if you are wondering how your music can be a service just talk to any Studio Musician. That form of musician-as-service is as old as the industry.
The other word for your music as a service is Licensing.
Just turn on your television for 15 minutes and you are guaranteed to hear music as a service. A service to marketing...And I would almost bet that in that 15 minutes you will hear a song that you know.
Many musicians see licensing as the most viable option for sustained income from their songs. It is no longer so taboo to "Sell Out" to the mass media machine. In fact many artists today get their careers jump started by having their music in a commercial of some kind or in a film or on television.
Is your music a product or a service?
m e e k