100 Songs in a Day

Friday, January 17, 2014


(Motern Media)

One way to make money making music online is the boring way. Write one song that does incredibly well and live off the royalties for the rest of your life. Matt Farley is a musician who's gone a different route. He's written over 14,000 songs and he makes a tiny bit of money each time someone plays one on Spotify or iTunes. OTM producer and TLDR co-creator PJ Vogt visited Matt at his home recording studio to see how it all works. Programming note: This story originally aired on TLDR -- OTM's new blog and podcast.

Comments [9]


Matt Farley discovered that many people search for certain words and phrases in song form, and he delivers those goods. It is a business model that works; the business of goods\services for money. When the marketplace wants 'art'(whatever 'art' actually is), the marketplace will pay for 'art'. Matt Farley has figured something out, the 'art' of figuring something out perhaps. Be upset with society and how it interacts with media and 'art'; there's no reason to be upset with Matt Farley for being smart.

Feb. 23 2014 12:20 PM
Bev from San Antonio TX

Kudos to Farley for his entrepreneurship. I was impressed with the creativity and in this economy no doubt the extra $26,000 for the year with really very little time spent is commendable. Go, Farley!

Feb. 10 2014 04:16 PM
Norm from New Jersey

To everyone outraged at this guy for writing spammy, formulaic songs: He's doing the same thing Wesley Willis did, and he had thousands of fans across the country. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean others won't. I think this guys songs are funny. Hope he keeps writing them.

Jan. 30 2014 10:39 AM
DWT from Indiana

This really made me laugh. For those who feel it's a disrespect to more "serious" artistry," I can maybe sympathize. But this guy is just doing his thing, and his thing is unquestionably an aspect of our current media culture. That makes sense of the spot on this show. This guy isn't telling anyone he's better than them. He's just doing stuff.

Jan. 22 2014 07:12 PM
matthew g from Los Angeles

Why are these TLDR pieces sneaking their way into OTM? If I want to listen to TLDR, I'll subscribe to it. The tone, content and seriousness of the two programs are worlds apart, making it a jarring listen. It doesn't matter if there is staff overlap. I feel they should be kept separate.

Jan. 22 2014 06:12 PM

I'm stumped.

What is admirable about applying spam-inspired algorithms to the creation of art?

Where's the value - other than cash to his -- presumably innocent -- family?

Ghastly, dreadful anti-songs, written and sung with contempt for both the audience and the spirit of creativity. It's Nick the Lounge Singer, but with a primitive command of sub-Rundgren harmonic cliches. This, on OTM!

I've admired OTM since its beginning, but Farley? It's like thewire.co.uk featuring Journey. It's not a commentary on the state of current culture, it's merely evidence of its corruption.

Jan. 19 2014 11:36 PM

There is no honor in being a "starving" artist. This is a craftsman using his skills to make a living. This is no slap in anyone's face. If he were working for an advertising agency, he would be honored. He is keeping his skills up and learning new production aspects. A friend, who is a college level photo instructor, pointed out there are way more commerical photographers who create art, than artists who become commercial photographers.

Jan. 19 2014 03:55 PM

Wow! And you want to know why more people don't contribute to NPR? I thought at first this was a PARODY of an On the Media piece. It is UNETHICAL for you run a piece just to promote your friends! Maybe if you presented this as an example of the "garbaging" of the media, it might have been legitimate. But instead you're simply promoting a talentless conman who writes songs about "poop" as if it were some form of art. I had no idea that so many 12-year-old boys listened to NPR.


Jan. 19 2014 12:20 PM
A. Real Songwriter

It makes sense that, since society has become a mockery of existence, that someone who is a mockery of music, would do this to himself. The "flute of shame" I think is a fitting end result for this so called "musician", and for the reporter as well. And I am a songwriter who started later in life whose songs inspired investors to supply my piano rig, SUV, the cost to record a CD and make copies and a computer and cell phone. So I know first hand how making a creation that inspires works.

Jan. 19 2014 11:14 AM

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