Indie super giant Sub Pop may resort to giving away music

In case you hadn’t noticed over the last decade or so, the music business isn’t doing too hot. Other than a few major artists, album sales continue to fall each quarter. And if you thought digital music would be the savior, think again; a recent Australian study found that over 98% of all BitTorrent files are illegal. Now comes the time for labels of all size to either sink or swim. And in an effort to stay afloat, indie label Sub Pop is playing with the notion of discarding some weight in the form of music.

According to the Seattle Weekly (via Prefix Magazine), the label, founded in Seattle, WA in 1986, is discussing the idea of giving away digital downloads of music when fans buy what they’re calling tchotchkes — merchandise from the standard band t-shirt to key-chains and beer cozies — in an attempt to shift that old paradigm and possibly get back into the black. While it may or may not be a joke, one has to think that you’d make more money for a Shins t-shirt than a song your little brother can download in a snap.

As always, stay tuned if things get this bad for labels. Here’s an idea: The bands on your roster can also do manual labor. Imagine Animal Collective washing your car before that night’s show. We can always dream…


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