Phoebe Bridgers offers a holiday cover of ‘So Much Wine’ to friends on her Facebook page, where she has more than 8,700 followers. But since she started selling the album on her website last February, it has been snapped up by more than 7,000 people, according to a BBC investigation. When Bridgers became worried that her post was attracting so much interest, she went through her Facebook profile and found that she was sharing songs from her upcoming album with more than 2,000 friends. She eventually realised what was happening. She began to block the offending posts, but it quickly became clear that they were still being shared and liked. Eventually, she started to get the sense that the problem was wider.
On her website, she offers free shipping and a 30-day refund policy, and also features the ability to “refer friends” to buy from her. The problem with her website though is that it is set up to automatically post a link to her Christmas playlist on her Facebook page, in order to entice people to buy the album. Because Bridgers does not have the ability to sell her songs through a marketplace such as iTunes, she is effectively selling the songs for her friends or fans to download, at a price that is usually far too low, especially in the current economic climate. “In our case, everyone loves Christmas, and it’s free and shipping included,” she says. “I decided to take advantage of the platform and try to make money off it, especially since it’s free and I enjoy it. No matter how small or big your music library, it’s an opportunity to get more people interested about your music and to help you sell it.” Bridgers’ description on her website says that the company was founded by a group of friends who “dreamed up a way to use their passion for music to build a community for people to express themselves and promote their own unique talent.” She is adamant that the album’s tracks are her own and she is just playing to her friends and fans’ tastes through the links on her website. “I try to use the best sound-track and sound-track ideas I have,” she says. “I