Team Free Music Archive

The Synergy Between Free Music and Web Monetization

In this short article, FMA Team shares inside updates, outcomes and follow ups related to the rebuild of the global iconic music service; Free Music Archive. Our main goal; create sustainable spaces & systems in favor of independent creators to continue creating and sharing original music online.

Chapter 5

As our team continues to improve FMA member pages, our main priority lies with FMA Artists, focusing on making sure they have a suitable and fruitful space to share new albums and tracks. Free Music Archive already has an immense catalog to browser through, thank you to the growing number of artists and musicians on FMA, but the FMA team will not stop reaching out to new creators and introduce FMA; a space for creators to grow.

FMA Invites New Artists

FMA already has countless musicians and artists all over the world creating music and sharing their talents with online users in need of original music. Even so, FMA must continue to reach out to new artists to inform, update and introduce new opportunities.

Recently, we invited more than 500+ new Artists that have submitted their music to FMA in the past. Since then Free Music Archive has gained 200+ new independent artists & musicians, this number increases daily. This means a whole lot more completely new music in all kind’s genres on FMA for media makers to use for their projects.

Now new artists and musicians can easily sign up for a new Free Music Archive account & have the complete control and rights to upload and manage their music on FMA. Don't miss out and join FMA and share your music with other creatives around the world. To create your own FMA artist account, please follow the FMA steps & instructions here.

FMA Seeks New Opportunities for Artists

While rebuilding FMA, we recognize the crucial importance to create and find new opportunities and possibilities in favor of all FMA Artists and Musicians, especially now facing difficult times, next to the ongoing value gap in the lack of fair remuneration within the industry.

In an effort to push forward more music productions and make way for new music to be shared, our team is proud to be part of the direct financial support from rights organization Buma/Stemra and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science for their initiative, an investment fund for music, to help support artists and music publishers based in the Netherlands.

We invited multiple talented musicians to participate, supervised by Tribe's Head of Music; Marko Roca, who challenged each artist to create something different, unique for this project and the result speaks for itself

Four amazing new albums with completely new original music! Over 30 new fresh tracks are ready to be discovered on Free Music Archive and ready to license for media projects on Tribe of Noise PRO.

Check out the brand-new albums and explore these amazing artists and musicians with the FMA Fresh Dutch Vibes Mix put together by our own Head of Music; Marko Roca.

We also managed to reach out to 800+ FMA Artists to ask for possible examples of their music featured in a (social) media campaign for a consumer brand, in order for FMA and Tribe of Noise to participate in a request for a proposal for a Global Beauty Brand.

FMA Team will continue to search for new doors to open for Free Music Archive & Tribe of Noise Artists!

For the next half of 2021, we are focused and determined to build more web monetized solutions together with Grant For The Web, an organization that values online creators and are working hard towards a more sustainable ecosystem of the internet. FMA Artists can already use Coil/web monetization on their FMA artist, album and song pages but a big step forward would be to introduce web monetization to the millions of FMA users.

Our next steps?

As the FMA journey continues, we want to do our best to ensure our support for FMA musicians to bring forward their value in the music industry, in societies, cultures, and around the world. Our team strives to rightly inform and guide users on FMA.

We will continue to keep an open-door policy to all artists, musicians and members that have any advice and suggestions for FMA. Part of this rebuild journey is to walk alongside the FMA community, introduce them to new exciting developments and new opportunities.

More inside stories by FMA?

The FMA team will share insights we have gathered with our FMA community and publish them on Coil.com So, make sure to follow us and check out our previous chapters! • Inside FMA Chapter 1Inside FMA Chapter 2Inside FMA Chapter 3Inside FMA Chapter 4

Coil.com?

Coil is a fun way to enjoy original (premium) content from journalists, musicians, photographers, game developers, podcasters and many other creatives. With your Coil Creator account enabled in your browser, small amounts of money will travel from your account to the content creator. All-you-can-consume-content. You never pay more than $5 for a month access to tons of creative content while supporting the creators. More information? https://coil.com

In this short article, FMA Team shares inside updates, outcomes and follow ups related to the rebuild of the global iconic music service: Free Music Archive. The mission remains clear; create sustainable spaces & systems in favor of independent creators to continue creating and sharing original music online.

Chapter 4

As we enter the next half of 2021, trying to adjust to the new normal, there is no doubt that self-releasing, independent musicians are struggling to make money with live gigs and royalty payments generated by the major streaming music services.

Free Music Archive and Tribe of Noise – two leading services for free to download, original music for over a decade – are committed to step up. “It's our job to develop and launch relevant, direct opportunities for talented musicians out there. The artist stays in control to embrace the new model”, says Hessel van Oorschot, Chief of Noise and one of Tribe's founders.

Welcome back Curator!

The team has been steadily working on rebuilding Free Music Archive (FMA). During the FMA rebuild process in October 2020, we invited FMA musicians to claim their page, login and upload new music. Within months we reached out to FMA Netlabels with management tooling to co-work with FMA musicians and as of May 2021... Curator Tools are back:

• Explore New Tracks & Artists • Create amazing FMA Mixes • Share captivating FMA Blog Posts

With access to an FMA Curator Page, FMA Curators can now create & manage Mixes, all from the ever-growing catalog of FMA. To highlight these Mixes, you are able to create & manage your own FMA Curators Blog and add your Mixes in blog posts for FMA visitors and users.

We give FMA Curators guaranteed traffic to showcase new music and their stories. From time to time we will actually shine a super bright spotlight on one curator by publishing their Mix on FMA's home page, the most desired page we can offer.

Interested to become a FMA Curator yourself?

We welcome you to join FMA here and encourage you check out FMA Curators already making noise with FMA tracks!

Our next steps?

As the FMA journey continues, we want to do our best to ensure our support for FMA musicians to bring forward their value in the music industry, in societies, cultures and around the world. Our team strives to rightly inform and guide users on FMA.

We will continue to keep an open-door policy to all artists, musicians and members that has any advice and suggestions for FMA. Part of this rebuild journey is to walk alongside the FMA community, introduce them to new exciting developments and new opportunities.

More inside stories by FMA?

The FMA team will share insights we have gathered with our FMA community and publish them on Coil.com So, make sure to follow us and check out our previous chapters! • Inside FMA Chapter 1Inside FMA Chapter 2Inside FMA Chapter 3

Coil.com?

Coil is a fun way to enjoy original (premium) content from journalists, musicians, photographers, game developers, podcasters and many other creatives. With your Coil Creator account enabled in your browser, small amounts of money will travel from your account to the content creator. All-you-can-consume-content. You never pay more than $5 for a month access to tons of creative content while supporting the creators. More information? https://coil.com

Wow! Tens of thousands of plays and thousands of album downloads in a matter of days?! A typical response from one of our musicians while Free Music Archive (FMA) is slowly spreading her powerful wings to prepare for a new exciting journey. Destination? Empower creators and curators to stay in control while audiences around the world enjoy free to access, original music.

Chapter 3

Since our first meet ups with the FMA community, we learned valuable lessons from three different user groups: (registered) visitors, curators and musicians. All with different expectations to manage. In this article we focus on the musicians who are now able to log in again and manage their account and music on FMA.

First things first!

In the month of October 2020, our team invited the first musicians to log in again, test, explore and report back to us. Their feedback was used to evaluate old habits (“we used to be able to...”) and introduce improved procedures (“we never liked...”).

We had to take this into account since the internet back in 2009 (FMA's launch) was still open to all, social networks were rising and most of us felt comfortable online and in control. But today we – as a platform freely sharing open licensed music with the world – have to take more responsibility.

Large parts of the internet are run by a few major players who serve you by serving advertisements.

Or more related to the music industry: Access to “all the music ever created” is cleverly replaced with recommendation engines. Playlists generated by predictive models and influenced by major record labels.

Yes, some of these services out there host 50M+ songs. No, subscribers are not pushed towards discovery, they are served convenience and playlists benefitting the shareholders.

Striving for better!

So can FMA contribute to an open internet? Where do audiences around the world have free access to the same databases of open-licensed music without “paying” with personal data or limited by algorithms and sponsored content? Yes, we can!

However, we must put emphasis on the importance to understand and value the creator behind the Creative Commons licensed music. This is next to our mission to continue to inform and educate online users to keep in mind that;

To create greater spaces and opportunities for independent musicians out there, we know uploading music to and downloading music from the internet needs our full attention now more than ever.

An FMA mission!

  1. Help musicians to understand licensing before they upload.
  2. Help visitors to understand open-content before they download.

Deliverable 1 As of now, FMA musicians can upload their original music via a new upload wizard. One that is more efficient and feasible and puts emphasis on all relevant details needed including the importance of the chosen Creative Commons license.

Deliverable 2 FMA users can now download original music via a new download procedure that informs and put an important spotlight on understanding and respecting the chosen open license of the FMA musician.

We have mentioned this before, this journey will take time as we continue researching and learning as much as we can from all corners of FMA. But with half a million registered members, our global SEO position and the right partners we are well-positioned to lead by example.

Our next steps?

Let's talk about the important role of FMA music curators and netlabels. Coming soon! We are also working very closely with FMA artists to take them through their “basic” dashboard, the new features like the monetization option (e.g. voluntary pay for play option powered by Coil.com) and take in all their feedback.

More inside stories by FMA?

We will continue to write stories like this one, share the insights we gathered with our FMA community and publish them on Coil.com So, make sure to follow us and check out our previous chapters! • Inside FMA Chapter 1Inside FMA Chapter 2

Coil.com?

Coil is a fun way to enjoy original (premium) content from journalists, musicians, photographers, game developers, podcasters and many other creatives. With your Coil account enabled in your browser, small amounts of money will travel from your account to the content creator. All-you-can-consume-content. You never pay more than $5 for a month access to tons of creative content while supporting the creators. More information?

Header photo by Nico Smit https://unsplash.com/@nicosmit99

Chapter 2

Since Tribe of Noise acquired the iconic Free Music Archive in September 2019, the excitement and anticipation for an FMA relaunch have been felt from both our side and from the FMA community. FMA plays a significant role in the lives and careers of many independent creators around the world.

Even though the demand for Free Music Archive is very high, especially in these unknown times, it was crucial that our team takes the time to rebuild the core platform IT infrastructure; the part of the rebuild that the FMA community could not see. We made it our mission to repair. We couldn’t accept the alternative: hundreds of thousands of error messages a day blocking people free access to original music.

Great things take time

As open content advocates, we have serious plans for FMA. Striving to rebuild Free Music Archive as a fair alternative for all the digital music services out there behind paywalls or freemium (pay with personal data) models.

And since we have one huge advantage already; the FMA’s community, we decided to reach out, connect, communicate, listen and be completely open about our vision and ideas. We took in all suggestions, remarks, advice, and even a fair share of criticism.

All in all, a great learning experience in terms of the importance of company transparency and passing on direct user feedback to our development and management team.

FMA’s Superpower

There are three reasons why FMA needs to push beyond the basic relaunch that’s taking place right now: traffic, traffic and lots more traffic!

• Musicians need visibility; FMA’s organic search engine optimization (SEO) is powerful. For some keywords even a leading resource in the online world. Next to this, individual artists see their FMA artist page rank higher than any other profile page on major digital platforms. Opportunity! The current FMA artist page template needs a complete overhaul without losing the SEO power.

• FMA visitors like podcasters, YouTubers, filmmakers, game developers, digital media makers, students, and hundreds of thousands of others visit our platform on a daily basis to find original, open-licensed music. Combined with our “royalty-free” music offering on Tribe of Noise PRO, we can serve all creators with or without a budget, in need of that unique sound for their projects.

• While we are running FMA in “basic” mode right now, visitors still download 2-3TB of music every single day. Just imagine the potential when we start adding more advanced features and premium content.

Inviting musicians to upload music

Starting this week we are inviting FMA musicians to visit FMA, login and check their music, personal data, contact details, and other relevant information. We will also allow them to upload new music and artwork. The FMA front-end design changes will be minimal, but we listened very carefully during all the meetings we had in the last months:

1) The music upload procedure will be more stable/enjoyable

2) Our upload tool and our staff is prepared to assist musicians in choosing the correct Creative Commons license(s)

3) Important and relevant licensing information will be provided when people hit the download button

4) We have restored the “contact artist” option

5) We have included our first “web monetization” process for musicians interested to join this journey.

The Perception of Free

Today, Free Music Archive equals “free to access” and “free to download”. In many cases, it also means “free to share, remix and build upon”. But users that access and downloads original music under Creative Commons licenses without any Creative Commons licenses must understand the basics before reusing the original music. This, although well-written, is ignored too often.

Lesson learned: If you need to educate users, make sure the information is offered at the right moment.

Outcome: We will introduce the most relevant licensing information the moment someone hits the download button.

Premium content

Nevertheless, FMA is this amazing community where people can freely access and download unique, original music and connect with the musicians. We strongly believe this is the beginning of a bigger journey. During our research, we have learned that next to “free” there is a serious hunger for “premium” content and services, e.g.:

1) Curated content (mood, genre, theme) 2) Music packages (multiple versions, multi-tracks, etc) 3) Support to guarantee license conditions

So from a musician’s perspective, FMA needs to step up and deliver more appealing interfaces and monetization models (fair trade). The FMA visitor interested in experiencing and downloading premium content must discover a clear to navigate, enjoyable and valuable artist page with all the tools to download, connect with creators, financially contribute to their success and safely reuse original music.

Our next steps?

In the upcoming weeks, we will work very closely with FMA artists to take them through their “basic” dashboard, the new features like the monetization option (e.g. voluntary pay for play option powered by Coil.com) and take in all their feedback. When we feel comfortable that we have a stable, easy-to-use platform again we will launch our more ambitious project: FMA Next.

More inside stories by FMA?

We will continue to write stories like this one, share the insights we gathered with our FMA community and publish them on Coil.com So, make sure to follow us and check out our previous chapter! • Inside FMA Chapter 1

Coil.com?

Coil is a fun way to enjoy original (premium) content from journalists, musicians, photographers, game developers, podcasters and many other creatives. With your Coil account enabled in your browser, small amounts of money will travel from your account to the content creator. All-you-can-consume-content. You never pay more than $5 for a month access to tons of creative content while supporting the creators. More information? https://coil.com

Chapter 1

Let’s go back to 2018. Breaking News: *Free Music Archive is shutting down due to a lack of funds. Phones started ringing and emails filled our inboxes. It was clear from the start that Free Music Archive needed to stay, not only because it became the leading free source for original music with millions of monthly users, but the music and community found on FMA, are like no other.

In September 2019, Free Music Archive was acquired by Tribe of Noise, a Dutch company with many common features, servicing a community of more than thirty-four thousand independent artists across 194 countries. The connection between Free Music Archive and Tribe of Noise was undeniable. Both communities support Creative Commons licensed music but most importantly, both strive to create space for opportunities to arise for independent creators.

But how to rebuild a global iconic music service while increasing support to musicians? Especially during a time when live events and performances have been put on hold due to the pandemic. We had to ask the bigger question:

Does online music, perceived as free, can still create value these days?

After analyzing an earlier survey of more than 5,000 respondents, it is certain that FMA members benefited a lot from a free, open, and fair platform like Free Music Archive. Users go to Free Music Archive to find original music for videos, films, podcasts, radio shows, games, and even school projects. But does the general public understand that free to access does not automatically mean it’s always free to use? And do artists uploading music to FMA expect a fair trade or just a ‘thumbs up’?

To find out, we connected with the FMA community. We gathered insights from more than 4,000 FMA musicians, curators and net labels. With the new normal, we met online via the webcam and interviewed more than 40 individual FMA members, majority being FMA musicians. We were very curious to get their direct input for the rebuild of Free Music Archive.

The elephant in the room

When gathering insights for Free Music Archive we had to ask FMA end-users an important question: are you willing to somehow financially support the FMA artists? And surprisingly, even though FMA is free to access, the majority is willing to tip or donate to FMA creators from time to time.

We dived in slightly deeper and also asked our target audience which tools or services we and the FMA musicians can offer based on a feel-good/fair trade basis. Not surprisingly but the majority mentioned and suggested a “donate” button.

Other great feedback we received from the FMA community: pay for some form of “safe to use” certificate, pay for curated content, pay for premium content, or subscribe to a low-cost service with advanced play(list) features.

COVID-19

The FMA community also felt strong against advertisements, paywalls and anything that tries to capture and sell user data. Many FMA respondents told us that they still rely on finding new music and new artists during live gigs and events. Something that’s really hard these days.

So, we investigated if FMA musicians think their current online presence is sufficient enough to connect with (new) fans and peers. From the insights we gathered, we can report that:

7 out of 10 FMA musicians are looking for a new way to present themselves online.

All clear signs to continue the rebuild of Free Music Archive with the help and guidance of the FMA community itself. We now know that FMA musicians are up for new opportunities online and would like to see FMA back to its iconic self.

Our next steps?

We will continue to keep an open-door policy to all artist and musicians that have any advice and suggestions for FMA. Starting next week, we will invite the first FMA musicians back to FMA to log in and check all their existing music files, information and metadata.

Part of this rebuild journey is to walk alongside the FMA community, introduce them to new exciting developments (e.g. web monetization), free sharing vs getting paid by supporters and learn how to create value these days.

Moving forward, the first big project is obvious; it has to be a new online home for artists. Free Music Archive wants to empower musicians through fair trade and at the same time keep access to music free and open.

More inside stories by FMA?

We will continue to write stories like this one, share the insights we gathered with our FMA community and publish them on Coil.com So make sure to follow us!

Coil.com?

Coil is a fun way to enjoy original (premium) content from journalists, musicians, photographers, game developers, podcasters and many other creatives. With your Coil account enabled in your browser, small amounts of money will travel from your account to the content creator. All-you-can-consume-content. You never pay more than $5 for a month access to tons of creative content while supporting the creators. More information? https://coil.com

Modern artist photo by Bratislav Milenković https://www.bratislavmilenkovic.com/music-producer/

Real music created by artists from the heart. Let's turn on some music. Yes, click the link, start the music and continue reading ;–)

The number one resource for free music – Free Music Archive – just changed ownership (oh no!) but don't worry, the new owners have no intention to kill the music on FMA or the free download model.

But nothing is really for free, right? Well, if “free” means that you can access, download and use the music without a budget than yes, there is such a thing as “free music.” It just comes with some conditions. Nothing horrific, just some basic terms to agree upon.

By the way! Did you turn on that 15 min track in the first paragraph? What do you think? We call it our “Linger Longer Latte” demo. Music suitable for coffee bars around the world. Do you want to try something else? What about some: hip-hop, chiptune, halloween or blues? These ones are all on FMA. Free to download, go for it. Or just click the “play page” button in the top right corner to listen for hours.

Back to my point of “Free”. Free music is cool for people without a budget who respect the creator's conditions (credit the artist and/or no commercial use allowed and/or use the same license for your media, etc)

If you rather want hassle-free access to awesome content to incorporate in your YouTube video, Twitch stream, podcast or any other media production and you have a small budget I also have a message: don't settle for those soulless stock libraries, stop doing that. It doesn't do your media justice and in fact you are not helping the next gen musicians trying to get heard and make a few bucks. Rather go here: Tribe of Noise PRO << shameless self promotion with the best intentions to help musicians >>

And I want to test something on Coil. If you are subscribed to Coil you get a 20% discount code for any purchase this and/or next month on Tribe of Noise PRO. Yeah! Subscribers will see the code below...

Read more...

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.