Amanda Palmer Talks About Connecting With Fans: Fans WANT To Support Artists

from the and-so-they-do dept

With our CwF + RtB experiment in full swing, we've asked some of the participating artists/authors to provide some guest posts about their own experience with new business models and new promotions. Amanda Palmer, one of the artists involved in our Techdirt Music Club, is someone you're hopefully familiar with by now. She's really been at the forefront of experimenting with these sorts of business models and agreed to write a guest post about her experiences.

As part of this, we're also doing an early announcement of the special promotion that we'll be running next week only. If you don't want the entire Techdirt Music Club, you can just order Amanda Palmer's part: the Who Killed Amanda Palmer book of photographs and short stories -- signed by both Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman -- and Amanda's signed CD as well. That's available now... but only through August 10th until midnight PT.

And here's Amanda's post:


i've been talking with a lot of folks lately about "why this works". the things i find myself saying over and over to people is that twitter and the new networking technologies are simply new tools for artists who have been super-connecting with their fans all along.

i started my band in 2000. we didn't play rock clubs. we played in our friends houses, in our own houses, in art galleries, in lofts, at parties. then we gradually brought the party indoors, into clubs that would book us once they knew we'd bring in 50 drinking/paying bodies. i treated our email list like gold. i obsessively stayed up all night and added named after every show. we took the time to meet every single fan who wanted to meet us after every show (i still do this, and i know that brian does it in his current punk band, world/inferno). but this wasn't because i felt it was mandatory....i did this because we LIKED it.

i got into music-making in the first place because i was so hungry to just CONNECT WITH PEOPLE. to me, the meeting&greeting was part of the reward, not a chore. but not all bands think like this. we were lucky. we liked it.

i'm still lucky, because i STILL LIKE IT. i actually love sitting down for an hour or two and bantering back and forth with my fans on twitter. they're all intelligent, funny, cool people. very few of them are mundane or obnoxious. very few of them ask stupid questions. there's a huge amount of respect between me and the fans and between the fans themselves. i feel proud that my music has brought all these freaks together, and i still like attending the party.

for artists who have NO desire to do this, it's quite a quandary nowadays, because many fans have come to expect it.

it's a slight catch-22: it's impossible to hide and it's impossible to fake.

and artists who have huge walls about what they're willing to share can end up seeming irritated....and letting someone else tweet for you is the kiss of death. the last tweet a fan ever really wants to see is : "hey THE ARTIST'S fans!! check out THE ARTIST'S new single, available now on itunes!!!" people hate that shit. not when you know you can go somewhere else and get: "fucking hell, let me share with you guys i'm feeling..."

re: the connecting to fans, and giving them a reason to buy....

what i've found is that once people trust and love you as an artist, some percentage of them will buy ANYTHING if they know the actual exercise is to simply put money in the artist's pocket. case in point: when i did my hock-weird-shit-from-my-apartment webcast auction a few months ago, fans wrote in asking if they could bid on the glasses and wine bottle we were drinking from. the answer: fuck yes. why not? they sold for a few hundred dollars each. the reason? these fans knew that it wasn't the objects themselves that were important. they knew that i was raising rent money, and they wanted to help; wine bottle was pure symbolism.

another fan tweeted in that they'd love to get involved by buying a signed postcard for $20...would i do that? when i told them that sure, i'd do it, 70 other fans wrote in and wanted one for themselves.... and most of them KNEW that i have a section of my website that states clearly that if you simply send me your address, i'll send you a signed postcard...FOR FREE!

but they wanted to help. and be involved. and involved them i did...before ending the webcast i read off a list of all their names. i knew they'd dig that...and i hadn't promised anything. i just knew that being recognized means so much when you're sitting randomly alone behind your computer, watching a webcast, feeling only slightly connected.

so:
connecting with fans, if they LIKE YOUR ART, automatically gives them a "reason to buy", even if it's NOT ART, because they want to SUPPORT YOUR HABIT.

i think we're going to see more and more of that as fans come to realize that the music is free but comes with the emotional price-tag of supporting the artist in any way the artist puts their proverbial hat out (merch, mementos, special packages, literal/web-based tip jars...or wine bottles).

how much do you think the hardcore fans who buy the $300 vinyl/art-print bundles would simply buy a random pretty book of monochrome prints by an unknown artist in a bookstore?

my guess: they will look at the bundle book a few times, admire it, appreciate it, put it on the coffee table or the bookshelf. and they will listen to the vinyl....probably. but are most of those people vinyl-philes? art print collectors? the point is, they will get two other things that are more important: bragging rights and the knowledge that they were singlehandedly involved with and supporting an artist's personal enterprise. because they love the artist, and they want to support him/her, period.

but the nature of fandom & its responsibilities is going to have to change to the same extent that the musicians are going to have to look at their lives & livelihoods (as "working musicians") more honestly.

as musicians rely more and more on fans/listeners/audience within this kind of honor system, the fans/listeners/audience will have to ante up or the system just won't work.

my hope is that the future culture of music will equate the pleasure of hearing a brand new band in a teeny club with the moral responsibility to toss them a few bucks to keep going, instead of just walking into the night, feeling lucky.

p.s. i created this video about a month ago with my fans at the beach at the tail end of a twittered flash-gig in LA. watch it, it's awesome.
Thanks Amanda! To get the signed book & CD check out the Amanda Palmer Special, or get the entire Techdirt Music Club for just a little more. Or, if you want to go all out before midnight PT on Monday the 3rd, if you buy both the Techdirt Music Club and the Techdirt Book Club before midnight PT, August 3rd, we'll throw in a free Techdirt hoodie, or a free lunch with Mike Masnick.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ryan, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Thanks for Sharing Amanda

    as musicians rely more and more on fans/listeners/audience within this kind of honor system, the fans/listeners/audience will have to ante up or the system just won't work.

    Given that it has been an incredible public shame to tip waiters "poorly" for even average service for so long (which should so obviously be the restaurants' responsibility if they have to "earn a living"), I doubt this will be a huge issue. I'm sure the cost of producing quality music requires a lot more overhead than waiting and without the steady wage, but music fans can be fanatical. Not to mention, this is a case where it actually is the fans' responsibility to pay up if they want to continue to hear their artists. What she describes here is really not much different than what a salesman, fundraiser, or anybody that deals with clients on a regular basis has to do every day, yet some idiots still feel that music won't happen unless the government forces the public to subsidize musicians for laying on the couch 90% of the time. As Amanda has shown, it can even be downright fun.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 9:29pm

    let me just throw some names out there. leonardo da vinci, giuliano de medici. patron of the arts. in 2009 we can all be patrons of the arts, our money system and internet make it so easy. end the hostile relationship between fans and musicians and let us be patrons and artists.

     

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  3.  
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    Yair Yona, Jul 31st, 2009 @ 10:36pm

    Inspiring

    Every time she writes something regarding this subject, I'm amazed by the simplicity of things, and how many people still try to keep the cards near their chest and won't give up selling the album, or refuse to join the online community for this kind of phobia or another...

    thanks Amanda!
    Yair

     

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  4.  
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    Wesley Parish, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 12:38am

    Way to go, Amanda!

    More'n one way to skin a cat, even if the cat doesn't like to think so!

     

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  5.  
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    Richard, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 2:49am

    Where we hope this model leads

    No more megastars making a fortune so big that it wrecks their lives.

    More musicians making a living - even a good living.

    Fewer middlemen taking a cut and adding no value.

    Closer relationships between musicians and fans.

     

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  6.  
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    Alex Porteous (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 3:35am

    I've been to a couple of Amanda Palmer concerts in London. She was joined by a dance troupe called The Danger Ensemble who were apparently working for free, all they asked were that people chucked some money in a bucket for them at the end of the show. They were so entertaining that I felt it was impossible not to and, to be frank, I'm normally a bit of a cheapskate. If they can get me to cough up then they are on the right track.

    In the second of her concerts they also auctioned off a painting, though I can't remember how much for it was certainly a hefty amount and I think far beyond what was expected.

     

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  7.  
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    Kevin Stapp (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 4:48am

    Patronage

    The more I hear about 'new business models' for musicians the more I'm reminded of a very old business model: patronage. Throughout much of history artists (painters, composers, sculpters, etc.) were supported by patrons who commissioned the artist's work. Some of the greatest works of Western art (think Sistine Chapel) were created at the behest of a rich patron. The unique aspect of the patonage model is the patron commissioned the artist to create something out of a true appreciation for art itself. There wasn't any real intention to take financial advantage by reselling the work. Patrons paid for art for the art's sake alone.

    Amanda Palmer's efforts to connect with fans is a sort of crowd-sourcing patronage model. These 'fans' are really just patrons of the art Amanda Palmer creates. Rather than find one patron to support your art you find 50 or 100 or more. Like the rich patrons of history the fans aren't interested in profiting from the artist they support; they simply appreciate the art itself. It will be interesting to see if the patronage model supplants the commercial profit model for music.

    Amanda, any plans to come to Houston?

     

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  8.  
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    indeciSEAN (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Re: Inspiring

    every time she writes something like this i'm amazed by how many people try and use the "well if she wasn't signed to a major label she wouldn't have fans in the first place...NEXT" argument. idiots.

     

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  9.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Financial breakdowns for book and music club?

    I also posted this under the Sobule thread.
    _____


    I haven't tried to compare prices between what the artists are charging if you buy their books and music directly from them versus from Techdirt, but how does that work?

    Are you offering the package at the same price as the total of the individual items? If so, are you getting the items from the artists at wholesale prices? Or are you getting them at full retail and not taking a cut? Or are you charging more for the package deal than people could buy the items individually, so that Techdirt gets some income?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Step right up future musicians! Form an orderly line! Here are the NEW steps to being successful: First, land a big label contract then at some point go solo, then swallow the pride you apparently never had and resort to selling a bunch of useless shit from your apartment on twitter, and this is the important part: as you're sitting there personally signing another bar of Irish Springs try not to cry while pretending to feel empowered and if all goes well, you too will have (almost) enough money to buy...a Hyundai! Form an orderly line I said! No pushing!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Inspiring

    Based on the insider tag next to your name, I assume you also got the home delivery of the Masnick kool aid. Chug it down, things make more sense after.

     

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  12.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    I'm not as cynical as you, but I tend to agree with you. The lifestyle that Palmer has is not the music business of recent years. It is the music business of centuries ago.

    Not everyone who got into music wants to do all the side stuff to make what will probably be a modest living.

    I've been suggesting that realistically a lot of people should not expect to make a living at music. They should get good paying day jobs, then play music for friends and family for fun. The end result may turn out to be more satisfying and more lucrative for them. For income, they can find whatever projects/careers are most lucrative. And they can play whatever music they want to play without regard to whether it makes any money or whether fans will tip them or sponsor them. They are free to make whatever music they want.

    There is no real reason why the income-earning projects have to be directly linked to the music. They can exist in separate worlds, and for most bands/artists, that is how it is done.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    The same thing can be accomplished by getting a "real" job, working 40 hours a week, and being a weekend warrior.

    All Amanda fcuking Palmer has done is prove that there are enough stupid people out there willing to pay her for junk - and guess what? Without the original record deal and the exposure that came with the promotion done for the Dresden Dolls, she wouldn't be able to do that (at least not at the prices she got for the stuff).

    Anyway, once all of her fans have a t-shirt, sales will disappear. It's all about music, t-shirt sales are a distraction, not a focus.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    "... and if all goes well, you too will have (almost) enough money to buy...a Hyundai!"

    That is still better than a typical deal with a major label.

     

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  15.  
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    Suzie E100 Mortgage, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 10:17am

    music

    I think you are absolutely right. Music is about being free but for so long it has been controlled by the conglomerates.
    The internet brings freedom back to artists, it just needs to find a way to reward the artists for their work in a reasonable way.

     

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  16.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, that's what I'm saying, too, though in less cynical terms. The weekend warrior model is what most local music has always been. You become your own patron. You make money in your day job to fund your own music.

    The people who use the Palmer model are either going to be exceptionally good at what she does or they are going to be people who can't or won't do any other sort of work.

    The standard joke is, "What's a musician without a girlfriend?" "Homeless."

    Those husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, etc. who bring in the money to support the musicians who don't make enough have long been a mainstay of the music business.

    I think community support of talented artists is realistic for some. But probably not for most. People who really want to make a living at music tend to go into music teaching as their day jobs.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    IN the end, it isn't any different from most jobs. I know talented people who have, over a number of years, built their own homes or completely renovated them. They did it more for the love of the job and wanting to get their own thing.

    Every day, I see plenty of people who work in the business of building homes and renovating, making plenty of money, often working for big companies or conglomerates.

    Both of them are right, the only difference is that the work alone do your own home types aren't trying to fib and tell us this is the only way homes should be built. There is an acceptance (and sometimes an envy) of the other side by both sides.

    AFP has answers that suit her personally, but those answers don't apply to most of the musicians out there. Trying to make us think it does is just wrong.

     

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  18.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re:

    Most musicians weren't or aren't going to get major label deals, so tossing that argument into the discussion isn't really relevant.

    And in theory, you should still come out ahead with the label deal in that if you are making no money selling CDs via the label or making no money giving away your music on your own, but the label deal comes with promotion and allows you to get a better booking agency, then you are ahead as long as you haven't signed a 360 deal that taps into your touring and merch sales.

    What I'm mainly concerned is that the fantasy of getting a label deal is being replaced by the fantasy of being a DIY artist and making enough money to support a band full-time on music alone. Just as a few stars have gotten rich on label deals, a few artists will make the DIY model work (where the band is grossing at least $300,000 a year -- enough to pay all the band members and staff a decent living). Most will not. Few will even gross $120,000 a year, which is what it would take to pay a four-piece band $20,000 a year each and have something left over to cover bills and pay any staff.

    When we talk DIY, we need more real numbers to see what are the income and expenses for these models. Then people can decide if it's worth the work for them.

     

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  19.  
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    Richard, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:18am

    The obvious "day job"

    Is ...teaching music.
    There are plenty of opportunities. Most schools have at least a couple of music teachers or you can teach privately. My guess is that the vast majority of "professional" musicians earn their living by teaching and always have.
    Don't knock it Gustav Holst was a music teacher and historically teaching the patron to play, sing or even compose has been an important component of patronage.

    Many musicians also find teaching rewarding in its own right even if they may not need to do it for financial reasons
    I recently went on a singing weekend course run by Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span) with her daughters. It was a magical time and you could tell that the teachers were enjoying it as much as any of the students.

    This is a common model in many fields including sports and games (Golf, Go) and much of academia. Remember that Universities run on the basis of combining teaching with research (for music composing and performing~research).

     

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  20.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re: The obvious "day job"

    Yes.

    The musicians I know who aren't signed to major labels but who are making a full-time living at music are teaching. Some give private lessons. Some teach at schools. Some work for churches.

    It's a far more likely path to music-related financial independence for most musicians than some of the ideas being cited as examples.

    And some combine playing in clubs and teaching with playing at weddings and private parties. Again, not as glamorous as some of the ideas being tossed around, but it's how a lot of musicians make enough to pay their bills.

    Music as art is generally less lucrative than some of the more practical ways to sell music skills.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Most musicians weren't or aren't going to get major label deals, so tossing that argument into the discussion isn't really relevant."

    Actually, I throw it in there because it is often part of the discussion at Techdirt. Part of Mike's view on the world is to cut down, cut out, and wipe out the record labels. In essence, it is to return the entire music business to the DIY stage.

    DIY is fine, but it likely isn't the answer for everyone, and it almost certainly isn't the answer for the vast majority of the music enjoying / music buying public.

    The real power of a record deal isn't in the money made selling the CDs, it's in the record label's contacts and ability to get your music heard by your target audience over a wide area. The real money for a band is made by touring, but the reason touring works is because of the exposure on radio, TV, magazines, whatever, on a wide enough scale to make the money. To make 300k gross, at $5 net per ticket, you have to sell 60k tickets, with 200 people in the audience each night, and play 300 nights. That is more work than a 40 hour a week j-o-b, that is 6 nights a week.

    The real money is made when that goes to $10 a ticket, or 400 people in the audience, or whatever combination you like. In order to find 150 venues to play for 400 people a year, you need exposure. That is almost impossible to do in the DIY model. Even AFP owes her current status at least in part to two record contracts and the exposure (and ability to tour) that those contracts created.

     

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  22.  
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    Richard, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: The obvious "day job"

    "The musicians I know who aren't signed to major labels but who are making a full-time living at music are teaching. Some give private lessons. Some teach at schools. Some work for churches."

    Haydn, Holst, Bach.....

     

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  23.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was responding to this comment. He was one of the folks saying DIY is better than a label deals.
    _________

    "... and if all goes well, you too will have (almost) enough money to buy...a Hyundai!"

    That is still better than a typical deal with a major label.
    ____

    I've worked with both artists signed to major labels and unsigned artists. Yes, the label deal definitely comes with some perks. You are far more likely to get signed to a good booking agency if you have a label deal than if you don't.

    You are probably more likely to get on one of the late night TV shows if you have a label deal.

     

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  24.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Lots of musicians work on tips

    Given the number of musicians who have jobs waiting tables, hosting, or bartending, they are very familiar with the concept of tips.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yup, it's a long list - more chance to get a good opening act spot, more chance to get on the summer festival circuit, more chance to get on the air interviews in a given city, etc. Most of the people here don't understand what a record label deal really means to an artist. A small number of DIYs will do fine, but as was mentioned before, it almost becomes like patronage and has little to do with real wider appeal.

    AFP may be happy with what she does, good for her. Just don't come looking to tear down the recording industry that allows the rest of us to enjoy nice fresh music on a regular basis without having to be detectives!

     

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  26.  
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    The Celebritized.com Team, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fans do want to connect that's why we built the social platform celebritized.com!

     

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  27.  
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    Kevin Stapp (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Re:

    Did you forget the primary means of income for musicians (even recording artists today)? They are called concerts.

     

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  28.  
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    herodotus (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    "Part of Mike's view on the world is to cut down, cut out, and wipe out the record labels."

    Don't you get tired of spouting these childish and inane mis-characterizations of other people's words?

    Obviously not.

    "In essence, it is to return the entire music business to the DIY stage."

    It's going there whether you like it or not. The only exceptions to this rule will be the handful of megastars making tween-consumed pablum, like Hannah Montana. Face it, Hannah Montana is the shining face of what is left of the music industry.

    Or is Hannah Montana an example of the 'nice fresh music' that you 'enjoy on a regular basis' 'without having to be a detective'?

     

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  29.  
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    Debunked, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Slightly Bothered

    I don't know if anyone else had the same slightly disconcerting reaction to playing the above linked video clip and at the end finding out that it was a cover of a Cat Stevens song. So the words in mouth that help her super connect with her fans came from someone else.

    I was ready to discover a new artist (not knowing Amanda) and felt a bit cheated (especially prefaced with her quote of "it's a slight catch-22: it's impossible to hide and it's impossible to fake.")

    Is it possible that the strain of super-connecting has left out a vital step- actually sitting down in solitude and writing a new song?

    Please don't think that I am too down on Amanda- I am just trying to figure out things as a musician myself and how much time to spend on connecting v.s. writing.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    Tee-hee. If you think Hannah Montana is the entire music business, then you need to take some lessons.

    Go pull the top 100 in each category, and start figuring it out. Hint, the music business is big, wide, and full of talented people, most of which you probably know but don't want to admit.

    There is plenty going on. Hannah Montana ain't it.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Inspiring (what??)

    Based on the insider tag next to your name, I assume you also got the home delivery of the Masnick kool aid. Chug it down, things make more sense after.

    Well, ever since the early 90s, Mike has had to deal with hecklers. I recently uncovered what looks like a 1994 video of him holding a press conference when someone in the background keeps whining. Perhaps the result of this conference made him decide to pursue a degree in labor relations and economics.

    Take a look:
    http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/07/31

     

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  32.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Slightly Bothered

    "I don't know if anyone else had the same slightly disconcerting reaction to playing the above linked video clip and at the end finding out that it was a cover of a Cat Stevens song. So the words in mouth that help her super connect with her fans came from someone else."

    She does original stuff, too. The point of posting that vid is that it was made with the help of fans.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Slightly Bothered

    Yeah, but it's a bit of a face palm moment when you realize that her best connection with fans is to use someone else's material.

    Real fans would know her songs and help her with HER songs, not someone else's.

     

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  34.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Slightly Bothered

    "Yeah, but it's a bit of a face palm moment when you realize that her best connection with fans is to use someone else's material."

    Musicians cover each other ALL THE TIME. That's not a facepalm moment, that's just how the world works. You might be surprised to learn that most musicians consider it a high compliment to be covered.

    You might as well complain that she didn't make her own instruments.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Slightly Bothered

    "You might as well complain that she didn't make her own instruments."

    That's a reach.

    It isn't a question of her complimenting Yusaf Islam, but rather that her seeming best connection with her fans is through someone else's music. That's pure facepalm at it's best.

     

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  36.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Slightly Bothered

    "That's a reach."

    Not really. You seem to be missing the whole twitter-flashmob-concert-video shoot part of 'connecting with her fans.'

    I bet she didn't weave her clothes either.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Slightly Bothered

    "You seem to be missing the whole twitter-flashmob-concert-video shoot part of 'connecting with her fans.'"

    And you seem to be missing that she would better connect with her fans in the long run if she did her own music. Getting a bunch of people to a place is nice, having them sing someone else's song is just silly.

    I bet you didn't make your own keyboard either - meaningless information from someone trying to get away from the point.

    FACE PALM!

     

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  38.  
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    roostertronic (profile), Aug 1st, 2009 @ 10:24pm

    Help protect US dvd and music industry from legal pirates

    surf: US vs Antigua WTO online gambling Bush Uigea for proof of this article

    US global trade debacles endangering US copywrite protection: Need Pres Obama attention.

    US lost to Antiqua in the UIGEA unfair trade dispute. US offered the small Caribean Nation $500.000 compensation. The World Trade Organization panel awarded the right for Antigua to violate US copyright protection. Antiqua can now produce copies of U.S. DVDs and music CDs without having to worry about copyright infringement up to $21 million every year.

    It's a landmark moment for global trade. Mark Mendel, lead lawyer quote "That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a very potent weapon."
    In response to the arbitrator's decision the U.S. has requested Antigua hold off on imposing sanctions authorized by the WTO until Washington can revise its commitments to the organization. What happen if Antiqua decides to implement the WTO decision? ZookZ (zookz.com) has announced plans to capitalize on the 2007 WTO ruling

    Comment: Using US patent rights a " stake" in global trade issue should be a concern of Congress in Patent Reform Act of 2009.

    The simmering dispute escallated into Goliath.- Recent development in the fight against the UIGEA have mushroomed into:
    a) word that the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is considering filing a class action lawsuit against the government over the UIGEA.
    b) Violation of Trade Agreements. June 14, 2009, Amy Calistri
    On June 10th, the European Commission released a report finding that U.S. online gaming laws and their enforcement are in violation of the World Trade Organization's General Agreement of Trade and Services (GATS). The European Commission's investigation was prompted by a complaint lodged in December 2007 by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) following the United States' 2006 passage of the UIGEA.
    The report made it perfectly clear that there are high costs associated with U.S. infractions, citing the losses in revenue and stock market capitalization incurred by European companies who had to vacate the U.S. market.
    c).Seven countries now including Australia, Canada and Macau have filed compensation claims against the United States in its ongoing internet gambling WTO case with Antigua and Barbuda.

    Rep Barney Frank Statement on European Commission’s Report on U.S. Internet Gambling Laws.
    . The report concludes that the U.S. measures constitute an obstacle to trade that is inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. It also concludes that U.S. laws deny access and discriminate against foreign suppliers of gambling and betting services inconsistently with U.S. WTO obligations.
    “This is further argument for repealing the law which currently restricts the personal freedom of American adults to gamble online.

    Spirit of innovation on Felony level Bush: Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.

    An Inventor, author of this article awaits the USDA reply from his offer to ease the suffering of Rural America from escallating unemployment. which resulted from legislation prohibiting breeders' interstate and foreign transport of their product.The inventor narrates the economic situation and solution for job creation in its articles on 333chamfil.newsvine.com entitled "Economic recovery for the rural areas and small businessmen" and "Challenge to athletics, couches". The Rooster Electronic Invention can be jumpstarted anywhere and can apply online license in the Carribean but prefer US. Surf Yahoo.video for prototypes and search for cockfighting alternative, cockfight skills and High score wins. The invention proposes an ONLINE Roosterbox. Browse : roostertronic2.webs.com

    Intellectual Property Office Phil.* Rooster Electronic Boxing * Application No. : 1200002498 * Published IPO Official Gazette *Inventor : Eduardo De La Peña

     

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  39.  
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    prata (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What nice fresh music? Granted, I'm not big on US music, but I do own a radio and I haven't heard _anything_ nice or fresh coming out of US radio stations. It's all real garbage. Same back beats and same melodies recycled a billion times with nothing new. What is nice and fresh about that?

    Disclaimer: I grew up in the 80's and 90's when music was changing constantly, and it's really seemed to stagnate as far as I'm concerned, for the types of music that I enjoy.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    prata, it sort of falls into the category of "you are too f--king old". Your grand parents hated that noisy Elvis guy, your parents hated heavy metal, and now you hate the newer stuff that sounds to you like a Xerox machine on high speed mode. It's the way it goes.

    Music is like fashion - right now you can pretty much dress as you want and nobody cares. Music is doing the same, with everything from gentle blues to death metal, reggaetron, and so on.

     

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  41.  
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    herodotus (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 11:37am

    "Tee-hee. If you think Hannah Montana is the entire music business, then you need to take some lessons."

    No, she isn't the whole industry, but she is the ideal: lots of money from all kinds of crossover merchandise, and a tween audience that spends their parents money on junk much more freely than they will ever spend their own money once they get to college.

    "Go pull the top 100 in each category, and start figuring it out."

    I Gotta Feeling
    The Black Eyed Peas

    Bilge.


    Best I Ever Had
    Drake

    Bilge

    Knock You Down
    Keri Hilson Featuring Kanye West & Ne-Yo

    I have heard less annoying uses of autotune on 12 year old kid's MySpace pages.

    You Belong With Me
    Taylor Swift

    Hannah Montana with a nicer body. The music is almost more annoying, though.

    Use Somebody
    Kings Of Leon

    They are cute, but completely forgettable. I give them a 2 and a half.


    Fire Burning
    Sean Kingston

    Ow.

    Boom Boom Pow
    The Black Eyed Peas

    Because they are just that good, right?
    BILGE!

    Sorry, if looking at the top 10 is that painful, going through the top 100 would definitely make me have to pull a Van Gogh.

    "the music business is big, wide, and full of talented people, most of which you probably know but don't want to admit."

    Not at all. I admit that many of the recording engineers are very talented at making marginally gifted teenagers sound much better than they will ever sound in concert.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    "Hannah Montana with a nicer body. The music is almost more annoying, though."

    If you are spending you time checking out the bodies of underaged girls, I think you have bigger problems than the music business.

     

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  43.  
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    herodotus (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 11:57am

    "If you are spending you time checking out the bodies of underaged girls, I think you have bigger problems than the music business."

    Well she did have her picture taken with her shirt off. In Vanity Fair even. So I am pretty damn sure both her dad and her record company were OK with it, though there appears to have been some backlash.

    But touche. That's what I get for talking to an idiot.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    You walked into it, sorry ;)

     

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  45.  
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    indeciSEAN (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Inspiring

    i donated $5 to the site. a site which i (and apparently you) read - amongst many others - daily. do i do the same when and where i can? yup. do i agree with everything on here or out there? nope.

    BUT

    that's neither here nor there in regards to amanda palmer and the comment i made, now is it?

     

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  46.  
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    indeciSEAN (profile), Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re:

    while this made me chuckle, i'd wager herodotus didn't mean to imply they were "checking out underaged girls" and moreso just saying something that's obvious......so much of the music hitting the charts these days -- the fabricated pop and such -- IS reliant on image, height, weight, and bone structure...

    i don't know mylie cyrus' body from adam but i don't so much associate her with being sold as a sex object (yet) whereas looking at the way taylor swift is being marketed....? "look at this down home country vixen....she's like the girl next door but she can sing....p.s. she's legal"

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Thanks for Sharing Amanda

    "Given that it has been an incredible public shame to tip waiters "poorly" for even average service for so long"

    What upsets me is that often times much of that tip goes to the restaurant. Someone tips the waiter they want the waiter to get the tip, not the restaurant.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspiring (what??)

    "Well, ever since the early 90s, Mike has had to deal with hecklers. I recently uncovered what looks like a 1994 video of him holding a press conference when someone in the background keeps whining."

    That person who kept booing him should be jumped or something. He calls Mike a liar but then he acts maliciously and he expects us to believe him. Why should we believe someone who acts unethically over Mike who was even decent enough to offer the person time to tell his side of the story?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspiring (what??)

    Btw, I'm not suggesting anyone should actually jump him. He may deserve it but we should absolutely not resort to violence.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspiring (what??)

    Except I don't think it is Mike.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspiring (what??)

    At first I suspected it wasn't him but then I figure maybe it was him when he was younger? I have no idea, maybe you're right.

     

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  52.  
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    Fsm, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspiring (what??)

    Definitely would have hopped up to where that guy was and popped him in the mouth.

    And yes, we should definitely resort to violence in situations like that. Otherwise he has no incentive to stop.

     

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  53.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Meanwhile the same contracts don't allow artists to keep their music, if they break away from the label (as copyright is most times owned by the label and not by the artist, sometimes even the artists' names aren't owned by them, anyone ever heard of Prince?)

    Artists gets pennies on the dollar that the record labels get for music sales.

    A lot of the settlement money that they collect in the artists' names, don't actually go to the artist, but to the pockets of the labels.

    Yes, labels still have a function even in this day and age, but the maffia practices they have come to rely on for income should stop.
    Labels still have a function: as advertisement agencies for artists, nothing more.

     

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  54.  
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    NotHowardZinn, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 5:35am

    Re:

    Yes, yes. Everything is crap and you're too cool for the room. Let me predict: you only like things that are 30+ years old, or obscure Eurotrash or world music groups that just about no one who isn't slamming E all day has heard of.

    So, we stipulate: all pop music sucks. Now what?

    As for the original post, another example of a very, very minor artist achieving mild success by selling everything but what people come to her for: her music. I agree that things are trending this way. But the purchasing of music (or any content) by proxy is silly in the long term. People will end up with collections of crap from artists they "connected with" (ooo...aren't we all feeling warm and fuzzy) at one time, but now can't remember at all. The MP3s they once downloaded will be gone from seven hard drive crashes ago, or the last time their netstorage account expired and they didn't realize it. They wind up with the crap, but not the music. Eventually, the cycle will complete and a "new" business approach will arise that - shocker - allows people to buy the music without all the crap. Maybe even get an actual hard media copy on whatever is cutting edge at the time.

    I agree that the trend is going toward "free" music and a patron model. But this notion of selling crap as a proxy for paying for music is silly long-term. it's amazing that it's being taken so seriously here and in a few other niche areas.

     

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  55.  
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    The Music Void, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 7:01am

    DIY??

    "and letting someone else tweet for you is the kiss of death"

    I personally think that the artist should definitely be connected to the fans, but, realistically, if the artist is expected to deliver a quality music product, singles, live shows, etc etc once their profile starts to rise, there is no enough physical time to do all the online strategy/PR by themselves.

    For further info, read DIY Shouln't mean DO IT ALL YOURSELF! here:
    http://www.themusicvoid.com/2009/07/diy-shouldnt-mean-do-it-all-yourself-part-2-interview-wit h-willoe/

    ps. great blog!

     

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  56.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Meanwhile the same contracts don't allow artists to keep their music, if they break away from the label (as copyright is most times owned by the label and not by the artist, sometimes even the artists' names aren't owned by them, anyone ever heard of Prince?)"

    If the label owns the music or if the artist gives it away and lets the fans do what they want with it, the net result is that the artist doesn't make any money from the music either way.

     

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  57.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    So first, I'd like to know if the content (music + photos + stories) are really free. I can obviously find torrents of that stuff, but I'd like to know if there are free legal versions. As I understand the CwF+RtB=$$$ model (BTW the equation by the way is so geeky/cheesy that I can't bring myself to explain it to people like that and have to find another way) the content being free is a pretty important component. Especially for the coffee table book. I seriously doubt that anyone who is considering purchasing such an item would be content with a digital version unless they were completely broke.

    Also when it comes to things such as labels, I think a lot of people have it wrong. Labels can still exist and make money under this model. You can't really delegate the CwF part of the equation, but you can still have someone help you out with ideas and you can DEFINITELY delegate the RtB section of the equation. Also, record labels can provide you with a network which can have a multiplier effect. Even if you have done the whole thing perfectely on your own, it is likely that you will have a hard time booking good places or getting good financing for your first tour. Record labels can bridge that gap by vouching for you with concert organizers, banks etc... They can also help maintain your website, train you in dealing with fans etc... There is TONS of money to be made by the labels that adopt this model.

     

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  58.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re:

    "But this notion of selling crap as a proxy for paying for music is silly long-term. it's amazing that it's being taken so seriously here and in a few other niche areas."

    Yes, now it's no longer the music business. It's the "stuff selling business." If music is the branding vehicle to sell stuff, the artist might be better served teaming up with a corporation: use the artist's music in the commercials to sell the corporation's stuff. Bands are going that direction in the form of sponsorships.

    We are also talking about the celebrity branding business. (i.e., Put out an album and use that leverage to sell a line of clothing.) It's already been done, so we might as well look at what has worked and hasn't worked for all the celebrities (musical and otherwise) who have trademarked their names and used it on various products.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    heheh...it's always been the "stuff selling business."

    Unless you expect an artist to pump out an infinite quantity of quality art indefinitely, you have to offer the audience products to buy...or you can try to change the media format...oh wait, we already did that a couple times (vinyl to tape to cd), I doubt that would work again...so back to the "stuff selling."

     

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  60.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, now it's no longer the music business. It's the "stuff selling business."

    It's *always* been the selling stuff business. It's just that it used to be selling plastic discs (before that cassette tapes, and before that vinyl discs).

     

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  61.  
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    givesgoodemail (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:36am

    Hard to take seriously

    I guess it's just the grammar Nazi in me, but I have a very difficult time taking seriously anyone who cannot find the shift key when she/he types...

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, but here's the funny part. Amanda Facepalm Palmer is trying to connect with her fans to sell them stuff (mostly junk left over from previous tours, when they were supported by a label), and she is doing it with someone else's art (music).

    She isn't even bothering with the art part, she is skipping right to the flea market mentality.

    As I said elsewhere, it's opportunity cost: Would you prefer a talent artist to spend then time making music, writing new music, rehearsing and recording it for sale, or would you prefer them to run a t-shirt and miniputt operation? Plenty of people can sell t-shirts, only a very few can truly make amazing music.

     

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  63.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who says that the artists HAVE to give the music away?

    With the first: the label owns the music, period. You leave label XYZ, you lose access to the creative works you produced while under label XYZ, so you can't use these works anymore, unless you pay the label a certain amount of money to be able to use the old products of your own creativity for a new project (such as a Best Of-cd).

    With the second: the artist still holds all the rights to his or her music, and can still do with it whatever he or she pleases.

    There is the difference!

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The label doesn't own the music, they own certain rights. Those rights do expire over time. The artist may have sold them all the rights (bad move) or sold the rights to a publishing company (just about as bad) or may control the rights themselves. It all depends on the contract.

    "With the second: the artist still holds all the rights to his or her music, and can still do with it whatever he or she pleases."

    You forgot to list what the artist gives up, like exposure, distribution, promotion, and all those other things. Record Labels aren't a unidemensional thing that you try to make them out to be.

     

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  65.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's reinforces my point. The stuff selling business has been around for centuries, so we can look at what has worked and hasn't worked over time. I don't think we're talking about a new business model here.

     

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  66.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The DIY model is what most artists will be dealing with because they won't get a major label offer or will get a bad offer.

    But I have seen that with the right label offer, doors open that wouldn't be opened otherwise.

    I used to be 100% in favor of DIY. But I have seen the major label arrangement work, so I no longer dismiss it out of hand.

     

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  67.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:04am

    Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    The content doesn't have to be free for a CwF+RtB=$$$ to work.

    Connect with Fans, give them a feeling that they matter for you as an artist.
    Reason to Buy, give the fans what they want, like quality music/films/books, and they will give you, the artist, money for your effort. In other words, give the fans a reason to buy your stuff.

    Nowhere in this did anyone state that the music should be made free of charge. Yes in a world were goods can be made infinite, the price (according to economic laws) should approach zero. But the other point is that the price is also what people are willing to pay for products. If people are willing to pay $10 for a book, then these people should be able to pay $10 for the book.

    As Amanda Palmer explained here, people were willing to PAY for an autographed photo that they were able to get for FREE on her website! Which is the complete opposite than what you started your comment out with.

    Indeed, labels have still a place in the CwF+RtB model, as in the promoters or the artists, but not as the content owners. Artists should be the only legal owners of their creative output, not a faceless corporation. Artists should also have the final say in what's going to happen with their works.

     

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  68.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not debating that labels should be removed from the equation. But labels need to change their role in this. Have them work as the promoters (their original roles) of the artists, and have them help the artists out where the artists are struggling. Such as indeed getting exposure and distribution.
    But I don't see how the labels owning rights on the music helps anyone but these labels? It hampers creativity, and it hampers the music industry itself.

    And when do those rights expire?
    I have little faith in that, as we can see with copyrights in this day and age (70+ years after the death of the rights-owner, but as a corporation technically can't die, basically those rights are locked away forever)

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    All that, but you forget one simple thing:

    She forgot to be the artist. She is a t-shirt sales person, an autographed photo seller, and whatnot. But when it came down to the simple concept of marketing her music, missy went off on a tizzy because marketing people told her to work her image and hide her belly. Sounds to me like someone who missed marketing 101.

    In the end, if she has so little to offer as a musician that she can only connect using other people's music, then I would say perhaps she is better off running a flea market for money.

    "Artists should also have the final say in what's going to happen with their works."

    They always do, until they sign those rights away to make money and get famous. It's the trade off, and oh yeah, the label doesn't "OWN" the music, they have rights to it.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If any arrangement allowed the artist(s) to have all of their needs met and allowed them time to create amazing music, I'm all for it.

    But no major label record deal has, does, or will do that. The artist has, does, and will continue to have to do something else besides create amazing music in order to survive. They'll have to perform, travel, pimp themselves, sell their sweaty stage garments, beg, sleep on fans' floors, etc - and that's IF they're amazingly talented artists.

    There are two things that major label deals usually do that have not been addressed in the comments: 1) financially obligates the artist to the record label and 2) moves the ownership of the art from the artist to the record label.

     

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  71.  
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    NotHowardZinn, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:51am

    Re: Hard to take seriously

    She's connecting with her fans, man. Don't you get it? Not capitalizing and/or using poor punctuation means that you're more artsy and counter-cultural. She's trying to sell an image that sells her stuff. Everything but the music.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    Well, CwF+RtB=$$$ might not depend upon content being free, but it is advertised on this blog as an alternative to copyrights and intellectual property "protections" in general. I'm sure we can at least agree on that. So, I think that experimenting with the business model has to provide copyright-free content. (Well, that's not technically possible, but I'm sure you know what I mean by that) I think it's hard to argue that the experiment that Amanda Palmer is running shows CwF+RtB=$$$ is a good replacement for copyrights if the content is still locked up.
    As I said earlier, who the hell is a big enough fan that they are ready, able and willing to spring money for an autographed book and then decides that electronics is good enough for them? Just about nobody. I'm not buying the book because I'm not ready, able and willing. However, I'd love to see the pictures and read the story. And guess what, if it's something I really like, I am going to buy it. (when I have money that is) That's part of the model. The content is about building that fan base. If you keep your content under copyright and you prevent people from downloading it, you are denying yourself some of the best aspects of the model. Now, I am not saying that Amanda Palmer is doing this, I am simply asking if the content is available freely... She will make a ton more money if it is than if it isn't. (If CwF+RtB works that is)

     

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  73.  
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    NotHowardZinn, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    Big if.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's reinforces my point. The stuff selling business has been around for centuries, so we can look at what has worked and hasn't worked over time. I don't think we're talking about a new business model here.

    No, not new business models. But certainly new ways to implement it thanks to technology. And most certainly a new way of looking at these business models for many in the industry.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "
    But no major label record deal has, does, or will do that. The artist has, does, and will continue to have to do something else besides create amazing music in order to survive. They'll have to perform,"

    Here's the thing - that wonderful label deal does more than just turn a recording into a CD. It pays for the recording (Jill Sobule's home made cost her $75,000, full on might cost many times that). It pays for promotion. It pays for better bookings (so the musicians can be musicians, not t-shirt sales men), it pays for the contacts to get the music out there to the audience that might like ti, it pays to get the local marketing that gets the bands interviewed on radio, picked up by Rolling Stone, or played on MTV.

    All of those things go a long way to making the band popular enough to attract enough people to their shows to make the money (and to sell more records) and so on. It isn't a one way street, it is a relationship that needs both parts to make it work.

    Amanda Facepalm Palmer is selling t-shirts on a friday night because she dumped her record label, didn't get the exposure on MTV, didn't get the interviews, and as a result, DOESN'T HAVE A GIG. That's why she has the time to sit at home and sift through the junk from tours past and sell it, because she has spare time.

    How hard is it to understand that basic situation?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


    I used to be 100% in favor of DIY. But I have seen the major label arrangement work, so I no longer dismiss it out of hand.


    Yes. I've said repeatedly that there's absolutely still a role for labels. Some bands may want to go DIY, but I'd bet many still need partners, whether you call them a label or something else. I'm planning a post sometime soon about a band doing many of these things successfully within the context of a major label relationship...

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here's the thing - that wonderful label deal does more than just turn a recording into a CD. It pays for the recording (Jill Sobule's home made cost her $75,000, full on might cost many times that).

    Actually, no, it doesn't. The point of Jill's experiment was to pay full on the full cost as if it were a record label deal. Sure, perhaps some rockstars will spend more, but I was recently talking to a musician (a successful one, with over ten albums out) telling him about Jill's experiment and his was response was: "Give me $75k and I'll put out another 10 albums. You don't need that much money any more to make a high quality album."

    It pays for better bookings

    Uh, labels rarely do bookings. But you knew that.

    it pays for the contacts to get the music out there to the audience that might like ti,

    Right which is why Amanda's own manager noted that her label got them just a tiny bit more exposure which didn't last. Amanda's own efforts got her many more dedicated and loyal fans.

    it pays to get the local marketing that gets the bands interviewed on radio

    As if kids still listen to the radio.

    picked up by Rolling Stone, or played on MTV.

    As if kids still pay attention to either. How old are you? This is no longer the 80s.

    Amanda Facepalm Palmer is selling t-shirts on a friday night because she dumped her record label, didn't get the exposure on MTV, didn't get the interviews, and as a result, DOESN'T HAVE A GIG. That's why she has the time to sit at home and sift through the junk from tours past and sell it, because she has spare time.

    And a HUGE following and made more money in June thanks to her music and her fans than most standard major label signed musicians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, I can't understand why you insist on not telling the truth, or at least stretching it out the window.

    "And a HUGE following and made more money in June thanks to her music and her fans than most standard major label signed musicians."

    Her huge following isn't enough to pay for her full act to tour (collection plates for the dancers? Staying in someone's house for free?). She didn't do music in June, she sold stuff from previous tours to her small but loyal fan base.

    "it pays to get the local marketing that gets the bands interviewed on radio

    As if kids still listen to the radio.

    picked up by Rolling Stone, or played on MTV.

    As if kids still pay attention to either. How old are you? This is no longer the 80s."

    Mike, 2 things: Kids aren't the only ones buying music (but they are the ones "infringing" it), and just as importantly, scary, but they do actually watch TV, they do actually watch music videos, they do actually listen to the radio (they just don't want to admit it). Otherwise there would be no alt-rock and few "urban" music stations, because all their potential listeners would be MP3 dazed.

    "Right which is why Amanda's own manager noted that her label got them just a tiny bit more exposure which didn't last. Amanda's own efforts got her many more dedicated and loyal fans."

    Amanda Facepalm Palmer gave her record label the virtual finger, so it's pretty hard to tell what would have happened. Safe to say that the Dresden Dolls would likely still be a local band in the Boston area without promotion (which Amanda benefited from and based her solo career on). She didn't just drop out of space, did she?

    "Uh, labels rarely do bookings. But you knew that."

    Labels themselves don't normally book (except for conglomerates like Live Nation), but they do have their agencies that are used, and they do make deals that allow smaller acts to run as opening acts for their larger bands (or even bands from other labels). But you knew that.

    "Actually, no, it doesn't. The point of Jill's experiment was to pay full on the full cost as if it were a record label deal. Sure, perhaps some rockstars will spend more, but I was recently talking to a musician (a successful one, with over ten albums out) telling him about Jill's experiment and his was response was: "Give me $75k and I'll put out another 10 albums. You don't need that much money any more to make a high quality album.""

    On the other side, your buddy Trent Reznor typically spends a long, long time in the studio, and only saves on the bottom line by self engineering much of it and so on. But putting a band in a studio, with a name producer, to produce a commercially viable album isn't free. Someone who is recording at home on their own equipment and not considering the costs of their own time, space, heat, electricity, staff, etc, yeah, they can do it cheaper. Then again, McDonalds is cheaper than Ruth Chris. It's amazing, isn't it?

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Another anecdotal argument from TechDirt's masters. Mike, define "HUGE" please. I think this is yet another example where scale matters and you chose to ignore it.

    Also interesting to see you dismissing radio, almost as though it doesn't exist, similar to the way you sometimes seem to dismiss the traditional music industry. These are still multi-billion dollar industries. Surely, it's more difficult for them to eek out the margin they prefer and their shares are declining, but they are still massive factors in music adoption and distribution. Dismissing radio, videos and such out of hand really undercuts your arguments. Inconvenient truths they are, I suppose.

    I know that a lot of your musings on TechDirt are about what you think the future should be. But it's also important to accurately and completely reflect what the state of the present market is right now.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Another anecdotal argument from TechDirt's masters. Mike, define "HUGE" please. I think this is yet another example where scale matters and you chose to ignore it.

    Have you seen the number of folks who show up at her events when she suddenly twitters that she'll be appearing somewhere? You don't get that turnout without a huge following.

    Also interesting to see you dismissing radio, almost as though it doesn't exist

    No, don't make up stuff. It doesn't make you look smart. I didn't dismiss radio. It is still a big player, but it's been growing smaller, especially among demographics that matter. You can pretend otherwise, but you'd be a fool.


    I know that a lot of your musings on TechDirt are about what you think the future should be.


    Nope. Never. My musings are one where the market IS going. Not should. Should is a moral statement. I don't care about should. I care about "is". If you haven't figured that out by now, I don't know how to help you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The label deal does not pay for the recording. It loans money to the artists to get their music recorded, thereby obligating them to pay back said loan. That's why label artists don't make squat from album sales. This is a key point and is one of the reasons that among artists, the labels are viewed with a high level of skepticism. This is also why artists have to perform live, sell other stuff like t-shirts, posters, and other sundries, live in a van or, if they're willing to take another loan, ride in a tour bus, or sleep on fans' floors, etc.

    I really don't see why it's a big deal that artists are choosing not to seek major label deals and opting for other alternatives. This DIY thing has been happening and been a successful model for as long as I can remember (1970s) and probably before that too...with the tools available to artists today and the unwillingness of the major labels to incorporate the new tools to their own advantage, it seems logical to me that more would choose this alternative approach. If I were at a different stage in my life and had the passion to be a musician/artist as my primary gig, I doubt I'd look for a major label deal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I really don't see why it's a big deal that artists are choosing not to seek major label deals and opting for other alternatives"

    It isn't a big deal. That's the point. Unless you are Mike, then suddenly it's a major economic shift and quite possibly a disruption in the time space continuum (wait, that last part came from Star Trek). It's something that has been around for a long time, and will likely be around for a long time in the future.

    What is funny is that Mike looks at it and sees a future where there is nothing but indie acts, no labels (he says he isn't against labels, just against them having any income stream it seems). In many ways, he is like a vegetarian running into a steak house and screaming at the people "eating flesh". He does it with the same gusto too.

    ;)

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Have you seen the number of folks who show up at her events when she suddenly twitters that she'll be appearing somewhere? You don't get that turnout without a huge following."

    No, no I haven't. I have no idea who she as. As the Pontificator-in-Residence, it's really kinda your job to educate the uninitiated. So, how many people show up when she tweets? Perhaps she's got a small but dedicated following....a high response rate on small numbers, rather than a typical low rate on big numbers. I have no idea as you've presented no information other than your subjective assessment that it's "huge." And since you seem to have some sort of interest in this artist, since she's a participant in your experiment/fund raiser, I take your assessment with a grain of salt.

    "No, don't make up stuff. It doesn't make you look smart. I didn't dismiss radio. It is still a big player, but it's been growing smaller, especially among demographics that matter. You can pretend otherwise, but you'd be a fool."

    There's your emotional reaction again, Mike. In response to the previous poster's comment that "it pays to get the local marketing that gets the bands interviewed on radio," you said, "as if kids still listen to the radio." and as for MTV and Rolling Stone (the magazine world), you said: "As if kids still pay attention to either. How old are you? This is no longer the 80s." So you introduced the demographic construct in order to dismiss that radio, music television and magazines are important factors in the dissemination of music. Looks as if you decided to frame the argument using the demographics in order to flimsily support your contention that radio, TV and print are non-factors. The CORRECTION you included in your response to me is accurate ("It is still a big player, but it's been growing smaller, especially among demographics that matter.") but that is definitely not the impression you clearly left in your prior post. And I can tell you that the "demographics that matter" in the magazine world, don't stop at 18 or 25, as an example. To quote you, you can pretend otherwise, but you'd be a "fool."

    On the IS versus SHOULD, okay, that's your subjective point of view, fine. The fact is that the more economically vested in your view of "IS" you become, the more subjective and insistent you become. Look at your own "experiment" which, while entertaining, basically appears to be simple fund raising for you and your buddies, not to mention the books, speeches, etc. None of which I begrudge you...enjoy, make what you can while you can. You can say and even really believe that it's because that's where you genuinely see the market going. I see you working hard to make it GO there in your microcosmal world, which attaches more subjectivity and emotionality to it as you take it further and further. Your are not a dispassionate, academic observer, but someone with increasingly vested interests in seeing the items you predict (okay "observe") come to fruition. Nothing wrong with that, but it colors your verbiage and strains objectivity.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, no I haven't. I have no idea who she as. As the Pontificator-in-Residence, it's really kinda your job to educate the uninitiated.

    It's impossible to educate people who choose to be ignorant.

    I have give you plenty of information. If it's not enough for you, then that's not my problem. You can hire us if you want more, but I'm not your personal economics instructor.

    Nothing wrong with that, but it colors your verbiage and strains objectivity.

    This is an opinion site. Always has been. I've never made any claim otherwise.

    What I find hilarious is the way people shift their responses to me.

    (1) When I showed how these economics work at the macro level, people said "that's just theory."
    (2) Fine. When I showed how they worked with up-and-coming musicians, people said "well, that only works for up-and-comers."
    (3) Fine. When I showed how they worked for big names, people said "well, that only works because they have an audience."
    (4) Fine. When I showed how it worked for both up and comers and big names at the same time, people said "well, that's just a few examples, there's no way to see how it works at a macro scale.
    (5) When I point out that I've already shown how it works on the macro scale (that's what I did first) people tell me that I can't comment on this because I haven't done any of it myself.
    (6) So I go and do it myself, and now you tell me that I can't comment on it because I'm not objective?

    I give up. You don't want to learn... fine. But I've dragged you to the water. You don't have to drink -- but don't scold me saying there's no water.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike the Magician, you're misdirecting again.

    I remind you that if you want people to understand your points, you need to provide more info...burden is always on the author to provide context so they are properly understood. You respond with the prejorative and "insulting" (to use your oft used term) "It's impossible to educate people who choose to be ignorant." Huh? I'm asking to be educated...provide me information so I can see if your argument - belief in this case - holds water.

    I asked you to please define what "huge" as it relates to this artist. You respond "I'm not your personal economics instructor." Believe me, though I read a lot of what you write, I don't want you to be my economics instructor (and you're not the only one who spent time at Cornell, bub). Strangely, I didn't ask about economics, I asked you to provide a modicum of data to support your "huge" claim surrounding this artist, an artist in which you appear to have some sort of interest. More emotion, frustration with your readers and, yes, misdirection.

    Then you proceed into a tirade that lays out your various, broadly cast frustrations with your own readership. You are saying that you "showed how it worked" at various levels and such. Blah, blah. You cite a limited numbers of examples and wonder why people don't see it as definitive, broad-based, irrefutable proof of your contentions. There are tens of millions of businesses and probably tens of thousands of business models in the world...you find a few dozen, perhaps more, and then stamp your feet that everyone is "ignorant" or a "fool" for not seeing I your way. Evidence of either frustration or desperation...I can't tell which anymore. But you certainly seem to be getting a bit too cool for your own room.

    And finally your HILARIOUS comment that 'What I find hilarious is the way people shift their responses to me." Mike, hello? I addressed your points, one of which was a thinly veiled attempt to reframe a poster's question in response (the kids thing). A cheap literary trick. And then you respond to me with points and insults all over the map, redirecting and shifting to the max. Ironic at best, hypocritical at worst. You're making it difficult to want to take the time to read more of your stuff. Nobody's scolding you (a very interesting, personal and emotional word to chose). But I am questioning you...that's okay, isn't it? After all, this is an "opinion site."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So I go and do it myself, and now you tell me that I can't comment on it because I'm not objective?"

    All you have proven is sheep buy stuff. You can comment on it, but you are drawing the conclusions you want (CwF works great!) as opposed to the more like (and less complicated) theory that some idiots will buy your stuff. There are certain people here (like my buddy RD) that would probably buy used toilet water from you. Does that make it a valid business model?

    At least I get one small satisfaction in knowing I am not the only one who has caught onto your system. It is remarkably like most prophets, long on "do as I say" and short on explainations to questions.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I remind you that if you want people to understand your points, you need to provide more info...burden is always on the author to provide context so they are properly understood.

    No. There is no burden on me. I explain my points. The vast majority of the folks here seem to understand it. It's worthless to waste time on those who don't.

    I asked you to please define what "huge" as it relates to this artist.

    Again, you are free to look up that data yourself. We've pointed to it and discussed it in the past. Search engines are your friend. I am not your personal answerman.

    Then you proceed into a tirade that lays out your various, broadly cast frustrations with your own readership.

    No, not my readership. A very small group of folks who appear to enjoy disagreeing, just because they're afraid of what is happening in the world.

    But I am questioning you...that's okay, isn't it? After all, this is an "opinion site."

    I've answered those questions, again and again and again. And next week you'll be back insisting that I haven't. That's why it's difficult to take the complainers seriously. We've addressed their concerns, and they still pretend we haven't.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Again, you are free to look up that data yourself. We've pointed to it and discussed it in the past. Search engines are your friend. I am not your personal answerman."

    Huge was 150 people (mostly schoolgirls, if I remember correctly) in Australia.

    Huge indeed.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, you know very well (actually we've discussed this before) that the percentage of your readers who actually participate in the forum is likely to be relatively low. Not the 1% of talk radio, but probably far less than 5%. I don't fool myself into thinking that the vast majority of your READERS (not commenters) agree with me, but I'm willing to bet that those disagreeing with you represent something larger than "a very small group." The few of us that speak up from time to time, surely represent a decent percentage of your readership. Come on, Mike. You seem to study group dynamics a great deal...you KNOW that's likely true. And you also know that it is much easier to enter a forum with an affirmative comment than anything controversial, so that further depresses the number of commenting dissenters. Maybe, just maybe your comfortable sense of general agreement isn't because you are so scary right, or your evidence so scary convincing...as you said before, don't be a "fool."

    So, are you going to dismiss this substantial group and look only toward those who will validate you? And accusing those of us who disagree with you of being "afraid of what is happening in the world" is about as snarky as you can get. You are not all-knowing, sir. Just one of many relatively knowledgeable (in your chosen datasets, anyway) commentators on business events. No more, no less. Methinks you are so used to being agreed with in your ivory tower than you find it increasingly tiresome to deal with the unwashed who simply don't see things as "clearly" - or have the vested interests - that you do.

    Very disappointing to this longtime reader.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Another one of Mike's strategies...when he knows the answer is weak, he'll avoid providing details. The rest of the time, he'll lecture everyone about providing details for their arguments. A shame.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, and it often ignores the rest of the facts in play:

    The same "tour" saw Amanda passing the hat to pay for her dancers, and sleeping in people's private houses to save money. So how can an artist that attracts such a "huge" crowd be playing essentially for tip money?

    Further, it brings up another issue: If Amanda Facepalm Palmer has such a huge following for her music, why the need for dancers and other distractions from the material? I can see many of the non-talents who are stars these days needing the dancers and whatnot to cover for their lack of talent, but we are talking about an "artiste" here, someone with such a high quality product that she doesn't need a record label to attract a huge audience on demand (twitter).

    Things aren't adding up here. Huge is a very, very slippery term, isn't it?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    The variable in an experiment is always the biggest if in the room.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Very disappointing to this longtime reader.

    Fair enough. Message heard. I'll try to keep it in mind in future posts and conversations.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    The more info, the better

    I'd like to have as many musicians as possible weigh in on their income and their expenses. It would be very educational for all of us to know how much they are making per show, how many shows they are playing, what they are selling in terms of merchandise, etc.

    I know the bands in Denver/Boulder, and I've talked to people familiar with Austin, LA, NY, Nashville, etc. The artists/bands who are surviving on music alone, without day jobs, is very small. So I'd love to know about all those successful bands bringing in enough money to pay all the members a living wage.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    She used a Cat Stevens song for her fan appreciation video. Great, and now people use that fact as a blunt weapon to beat this initiative into the ground, and saying: "See, it doesn't work if you use your own stuff."

    The labels have rights to the music, indeed, but they ACT as if they own the whole fucking thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    "She used a Cat Stevens song for her fan appreciation video. Great, and now people use that fact as a blunt weapon to beat this initiative into the ground, and saying: "See, it doesn't work if you use your own stuff.""

    No, the point is only that if you are going to truly connect with fans, shouldn't they be fans of your music? If your only connection with fans is through someone else's music, have you not in some way failed?

    I would hope that shining examples of success wouldn't have such obvious issues.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    No, the point is only that if you are going to truly connect with fans, shouldn't they be fans of your music? If your only connection with fans is through someone else's music, have you not in some way failed?

    Most musicians do cover songs every now and again. If you look at her albums, she does plenty of original songs. But lots of musicians (even big rockstars) regularly do cover songs, and it often endears them even more to fans (they like hearing new/different versions of songs from singers they like). You're really stretching if you think performing a single cover out of a ton of originals is somehow an "issue." If that's true, than pretty much every famous artist out there from the Beatles to Springsteen and beyond has these same "obvious issues."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is the content all free here? Also record labels still have a place...

    No, the point is only that if you are going to truly connect with fans, shouldn't they be fans of your music? If your only connection with fans is through someone else's music, have you not in some way failed?

    Yeah, and shouldn't all of your lyrics be be written in some language you created yourself? If you're just reusing words in some language than someone else already created, then have you not failed in some way?

    I too would hope that shining examples of success wouldn't have such obvious issues.
    [/sarcasm]

     

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    Gordon Clark, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Everybody's Gotta Live

    Dear Amanda,
    Being somewhat older I don't pay much attention to the current music scene. Rock and roll peaked for me in the early '70s, and radio ain't what it once was.
    I still listen to current music though, but most of my favorites, sadly, are dead. One of my top favorites was (still is) LOVE, and Arthur Lee. Somehow I discovered the youtube of you in Harvard Square with a bunch of people singing "Everybody's Gotta Live". To be honest, it brought tears to my eyes! One of those great ballads that deserves to be heard. Obviously you are a wonderful person and I love you for doing that. I promise to check out the rest of your work! BTW, on the comments about covers, one of the greatest is Hendrix's cover of Dylan's All Along the Watchtower. Bob liked it so much that HE did a cover of Jimi's version! (Oh yes, and Arthurly was friends with Jimi)
    Music that stands the test of time appreciates good coverage!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Bored of Palmer, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Amanda Palmer is a fucking tool. She is a social climbing Scientologist and part of a network of Scientologists who continually promote each other. She is involved with Scientologist Neil Gaiman who has given over $100,000.00 to the CULT. Scientologists are not allowed to associate with "Wogs" or outsiders so Palmer's gotta be in the cult. The fact that Gaiman and Palmer launched their relationship with a book and soundtrack is pure Scientology, just like Beck getting involved with Ribisi. All the Scientologists care about is the bottom line so Palmer's dreadful songwriting abilities, tantrum throwing, exposing the world to her underwear, rape stories and bisexuality are all fodder for their profit machine. Neil Gaiman, unbelievably, tries to pass himself off as a children's author, while lying about his Scientology status, his marriage and now having a public midlife crisis with Palmer. Scientologists think the internet is a big superstore where they continually promote each other at our expense. The sooner these two idiots go away the better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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