Arctic Monkeys and the Gift Economy

NPR reported on a UK band called the Arctic Monkeys. While I only heard snippets of their songs, I was more interested in their rise to fame. The Arctic Monkeys built a following around their web site where they provided music to download and videos to watch for free.

The logic runs counter to much of conventional wisdom. Giving away as much as you can puts you ahead of those who sell. Of course at some point you need to pay the bills and should charge for your work, but the open source approach to music is a fascinating way to see who rises to the top.