I know, I know, it sounds like the subject line of a spam email or a link leading you to a website that will open 10,000 popups and infect your machine with spyware so fast you’ll be lucky to get a click in before your computer is hosed. At best it sounds like a website where you can download some songs from Russia shortly before you’re arrested by the RIAA.
But no, I’m talking about a completely legitimate, legal website where you can indeed get free MP3 songs, no strings attached. Well…there is one catch–you might not like the music. But I sure do.
The concept is simple. Some bands put up websites that include full-length mp3 files of some of their songs. The website 3hive.com aggregates information about the bands and songs in a blog format and gives you links directly to the files. Granted, these aren’t the bands on the Top 40 charts, but if you’re into indie music like I am, then this website is a treasure trove.
It’s a win-win for the bands, labels, and consumer. Lesser-known bands are able to attract a wider audience which fuels sales of albums, tickets for shows, and merchandise. Consumers get free music. Maybe it’s enough to keep them satisfied, maybe not. For example, one recent discovery was Matt Costa, who I’ve never heard of before. But I’m in love with his song Cold December (yes, you can download a legal mp3 from the link!). And right now I’m perusing his other music on iTunes to see if anything else strikes my fancy.
Maybe it’s not a business model that would work for the major labels or their artists, but for lesser known artists 3hive is making it happen. Peruse the site yourself and expose yourself to some non-mainstream music.
Oh, and did I mention that you can subscribe to 3hive’s RSS feed so that whenever new music is posted you’ll know about it immediately?