Ever since Napster came out, it was easy to see that it was going to be increasingly difficult to just make money selling CDs. This seems fairly obvious, of course, but when people asked where the money would come from, it seemed equally obvious that the money would come from using the music to promote other items for sale, such as concert tickets, fan clubs, access to the artists and plenty of other ideas. Some people responded that (a) no artist would make as much and (b) what about artists who don't like to tour? There are simple answers, of course. Most musicians don't make any money. Under this plan, those few super star artists may not get as rich, but it would be much easier for other artists to make a reasonable amount of money -- since they wouldn't have to go through the same record label/radio promotion process. As for the question of musicians who don't want to tour... too bad. I'd love to be able to sit here and have people pay me entirely based on what I wrote yesterday, but it doesn't happen. I needed to come up with a business model that continued to make me money, and so do musicians. One group that seems to have at least figured out the basics of this is the Pixies. Rather than sign a record deal, they admit: "That's not where the money is. The business is with the real customers, the fans. They're the ones who say, 'OK, we'll come and see you perform." So, they haven't signed a record deal, but are out making money touring... and selling exclusive recordings of the shows right after they happen (which might violate a patent, but that's another story). It's funny that the music "industry" which is supposed to house the business whizzes is struggling to figure out what they can do other than sue people, while the musicians are out there reinventing the actual industry.
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