Give my music away for free...
Or why should I not give my music for free? You can make your music available for free under Creative Commons (CC) and sell licenses of it and monetize it on different platforms in different ways. A Creative Commons license does not exclude other licenses. Note that the user can only use the track under the license they choose. Many customers choose to purchase a license because it gives them a proper license certificate. This makes it easier for them to proof their rights and gives them a certain guarantee. Creative Commons on the other hand are a bit more tricky to proof and defend, especially since they are not recognised on all platforms. Furthermore, as an artist you can change the Creative Commons license of your tracks, which makes the whole matter even more tricky for the user.
But won't people cheat?
One argument against offering your music for free is that more users are likely to cheat and use your music in their videos, even if your CC license does not allow them to. Content ID helps you protect and keep track of illicit uses of your music on YouTube.
A compromise could be to make some of your tracks available for free download as if you would give a free template of your work. And this brings us to the next thought:
Your music as a gift to the world
Music is a means of communication and as such, you are communicating your ideas, inspirations, and stories with the world through the medium of music. As Victor Hugo once wrote: "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
And communication only works if there are ears to listen. Is that not the wish of each artist? To be listened to, to have an impact? Your music makes people move, reflect, it can make them happy or sad. When you share your work you are inviting other people into your world. Imagine for a moment that someone gets inspired by your work. Imagine your music can create special moments for your listeners. Imagine your music creates memories, it makes people dance, it invites them to dream... That is the most wonderful feeling that many artists around the world, be it musicians, painters, or writers, are striving for. Your music can be a gift to many people. Maybe this can be some food for reflection on the topic.