benefits of song pages

Reblogging elemental-consulting on how dedicated pages add value to single songs:

while I buy digital music on a regular basis, I still love the idea of CDs- something tangible that gives me more than just the music – liner notes, pictures, lyrics, all the writing/production credits etc. There’s no doubt in my mind that the advent of digital music has devalued music and the consumption of it. Quantity has overtaken quality in many cases – how many free songs can I download, how much can I fit on my iPod, how many new artists can I find today. Nothing inherently wrong with any of that, but it just means that, in these terms, a single, solitary song is seen as disposable and barely worth paying for.

1) Additional SEO-able content for your site

2) With the addition of comments, you can create community around one song and further engage your audience.

3) Adding all this value for one song adds an additional emotional appeal to your music. Not only can fans see the amount of care and attention that has been invested on the part of the artist but it broadens their experience of the song and their emotional attachment to it.

4) By using a Creative Commons license and encouraging derivations, the life of the song is extended.

What I take from this is that it gives reasons why musicians and their designated rights holders would want to create dedicated pages for songs. Given that you’ve invested in a song, you can enhance the value of your investment by giving it a page. The situation is a lot like music videos, except that the content type is anything that goes in a web page rather than strictly moving pictures.

The comparison to music videos is natural, and it gives a simple explanation for why you’d give a song a page. In the old days television was the medium for culture. These days it’s the web. So the existence of song pages is a straight transcription of music videos to the new medium.

But this way of thinking about song pages is in opposition to the perception of song pages as packaging. Are song pages more like big-ass gatefold albums or music videos?

9 thoughts on “benefits of song pages

  1. good question. but does it have to be one or the other? i see the beauty of it being that it can be both. it’s added value, aesthetically pleasing, engaging and promotional all at the same time.

  2. Now this is what I’m talkin’ about. I’m glad you are making the point that a song page a place where a copyright owner can get creative with a new way to express a song.

    Gatefold albums and music videos are both promo items but one is usually free to the fan and another is not. If song pages are additional content for an artist’s site then I would say they are more like music videos.

  3. The distinction that one is a pre-sale freebie used to encourage sales and the other is a value-add on items sold seems critical to me. I’m going to shamelessly swipe that idea from now on. :)

    It seems to me that that this also gets to the issue of how you’re monetizing music. If you’re aiming to make money on upsales to merch and tickets, use a song page. If you’re aiming to make money on downloads, use a… Dunno what you’d call it, but it’s a different flavor of this concept, anyway.

    I can also imagine a hybrid business model where you’re selling plain ol’ downloads, but authorized downloads have a way-cool page in the link and downloads from filesharing networks have a skanky sleazeware site in the link.

  4. lucy, you’re right that the analogy doesn’t have to line up perfectly for the product to be a good thing. What’s important is to make something more affecting and fun than a bare mp3.

  5. The web is very interactive (constantly clicking around) compared with traditional audio and video mediums (click “play” one time, and then sit back for a while).

    The massive mp3 library / iPod autoplay / web of music technology is a bit of a failure when it comes to helping people really engage in a focused music experience. The tech is about an abundance of choices, and that’s not always a good thing when it comes to listening to music.

    So, I hope that song pages can work as a way to focus people more on one song at a time; and also help people hear and enjoy the connections between a handful of songs at a time. The “at a time” part is maybe more web time than linear time–but, it’s the difference between hearing Frog in a Well once and forgetting about it and hearing it once and remembering it, thinking about it, going back to hear it again, recognizing it in other tunes, playing the melody yourself sometime, etc.

  6. >> Are song pages more like…
    big-ass gatefold

    > every song should have a URL.

    then shouldn’t every song have a URL with a little information about the song. should this URL be embedded in the sound file? so you learn more about the song?

  7. I’ve been mentioning this concept to visual artists recently, too – do you think there’s a difference between ‘song’ pages and ‘painting’ pages?

  8. Song pages are like neither.

    Song pages are a preliminary step in the evolution of a new art form–a new multi-media, wikified way to “see”, “hear” and “experience” music.

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