Do you make your music available free? Why or why not? How do you distribute your music and how succesful have your efforts been?
I'll start the conversation. I do give most of my music away for free on my website. (Both free as in speech--where I give people certain rights to do with my music as they will--and free as in beer--that is, no $.) This music is available under a Creative Commons license. My reasons for doing so are here.
In terms of how it's working for me, making my music free has led to some great opportunities. It's been performed, used in a video game, and promoted by other artists, in part I believe because of its freedom in those instances.
I give people the option of donating via PayPal on my website if they like my music and want to give something back. To date, I haven't received any donations... :) (well, I keep hoping... :)
So, from a financial perspective, it hasn't brought much back. But from an exposure, connection, and networking perspective, I've been rewarded enough to want to continue using this process.
How about you?
This is a large subject and I know it can be a very passionate for some. I don't want to start any wars about what people should or shouldn't do. I open this subject to start a dialog with you all to see what you're doing and how it's working for you.
Please join me in the conversation... I look forward to hearing your perspectives.