Let me preface this by saying I love this place, the people, what it stands for and what goes on here . This is intended as a starting point for discussion about the future of the site, particularly focusing on education, and is in no way a stab at MB or a bitch about paying for the great services MB and CA provide. If it matters, I have paid for quite a number of downloads and intend to give this composition lesson a go if I can find a good enough connection in time.
Here is a tentative suggestion, I'm just putting it out there so it's at least on the table and not discarded without due consideration.
Would it be possible to provide the instructional downloads for free?
If they were free you could put them on youtube (or something similar) and cut out your bandwidth costs for downloads. Obviously I don't know what the running costs are for the site (but I'm damned curious, can you share them?) and there are many other expenses to cover besides. I just wonder if charging for the downloads is the best way to do that?
Some quick thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head:
- The personal tutoring that CA seems to be leaning towards would obviously still have to be purchased
- Reputable artists already upload tutorials for free anyway, why not encourage this even more and provide a platform where people can post, rate, discuss and promote them?
- This is a community of thousands of artists all posting awesome work every day, much of which is unpaid practice or for fun. I know this is a delicate path to tread, but would it be possible to put this output to work in some way that would be helpful to us members and make a little dough for the community as a whole? This idea was briefly mentioned in the Castle whatever IP theft thread, in the form of making a Facebook game like that. I'm not necessarily saying that would work, but can't we think outside the box a little? Personally I'd be stoked if my 'leftover' work was doing something useful like this.
- $90 doesn't sound like much to some people, but keep in mind that this is a global community, and not everyone uses $US. I think we should be doing our best for people who really don't have any opportunity to make a living off art otherwise.
- If the download stuff is free, piracy becomes a moot point. You can't pirate personal lessons.
This is all motivated by the idea that having free instructional downloads of the quality of the MB/CA ones would be of incredible, unprecedented value to the artists of the world. It would really just be an awesome step forward I believe.
I hope this prompts some interesting and perhaps valuable discussion.