Music can be shared under open source principles that allow remixing, for instance under matching Creative Commons licenses and on platforms like Soundcloud. It is common sense, that a release as open source makes the piece more attractive, it can gain through word-of-mouth advertising and can become more popular than non-free pieces.

Does anyone had measured the positive effect on popularity for music? Or, if such a thing for music don't exist, how is it with other forms of work? How useful is opening up the work as a tool for marketing?

  • I'm not sure that a piece would become more attractive to the public at large by being freely shared, but good question regardless.
    – Dan Getz
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:00
  • If a study exists that shows it doesn't get more popular or it even loses popularity it is good as well. I want to know if there are facts about the effect on popularity than mere feelings.
    – Mnementh
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


I believe the biggest difference releasing music under an open license makes is that the music can be used in other works (like videos) and become popular through them.

As an anecdotal example, consider Kevin MacLeod. He is known primarily thanks to the huge library of CC BY-licensed music he created, which was featured in a huge number of works.

But this would also mean that for music that's not very suitable for use as soundtrack, open license might not help.

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