Why Not Both?

Tim Lee writes: "The long-term threat to the music industry is not pirates, but musicians themselves. Many of them would rather be famous than wealthy, and will give their music away if that's what it takes to get it widely heard. As dirt-cheap, Internet based methods for getting music to fans continue to improve, labels will have less and less to offer such bands." This is almost certainly true, but it's also worth pointing out that being famous can, itself, be reasonably lucrative. I started this blog on precisely the terms Tim Lee suggests -- I had some notions, I had means of placing said notions on the internet, and I figured I'd consider myself lucky if I could get anyone to pay attention.

It was a hobby. But, of course, as things turned out I was able to get people to pay attention. But, of course, having a website that all these people read on a daily basis and that a wider family of people read at least sometimes has proven to be a valuable commodity in its own right. I've never charged anyone a dime to read the blog, and can't imagine circumstances under which I ever would, but that doesn't mean "giving it away" is necessary a terrible economic strategy.