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If You Want To Make Money As A Musician You Need To Be A Musical Entrepreneur

from the that's-how-it-works dept

One of the common criticisms we hear around here when we talk about the various business models that are working for more and more musicians these days, is that it's somehow "unfair" or even "wrong" that musicians need to think about business models these days, since they should just be spending all their time creating music. Of course, this assumes (incorrectly) that the same thing wasn't true in the past as well. For years, musicians have always teamed up with business managers and music labels for that very reason: to delegate some of the business tasks. That doesn't change in the modern era. What does change is that the different opportunities have grown significantly. Either way, Andrew Dubber (who's always worth paying attention to on these topics) recently put a comment on a blog post on this particular topic that is so good it shouldn't be buried as just a comment, so I'm going to highlight some of the key parts here:
Musicians deserve more money than they get. Most train harder and for longer than brain surgeons in order to do what they do, and then they earn less than checkout operators for what they do. I strongly believe that more money should go to more musicians more often than it does....

Making music is not (usually) a job of work. It is a creative act. You don't have the RIGHT to make money from your music. You only have the opportunity.

If you make music speculatively - that is, you create it in the hopes of making money from it, then you are a music entrepreneur. As such, entrepreneurship rules apply.

You may invest a good deal of energy, effort and expense in your creative ideas. You may make a lot of money. You will probably make none. But nobody OWES you money just because you put the work in.

If your business model is to grow and sell oranges, then it's no good picking the oranges, then leaving them on the footpath outside your house with a price tag on each one. It doesn't matter how great your oranges are, or how hard you've toiled in your garden. Someone WILL take your oranges. Some will get kicked to the side of the road. Some will get stepped on. But it's not because people are immoral and don't understand or appreciate fruit properly.

If you wish to be reliably rewarded for your music, then get employed to make music as your job.
Bingo. That's the point I've been trying to make for years on this, but said much better than I could express it. He then goes on to make another point I've tried to make in the past, which is that if you compare the situation today to what it was in the past, there are so many more opportunities to make money. In the past, it was nearly impossible to make money on music because there were so many gatekeepers.
The odds are stacked against you. History is littered with musicians who are disillusioned, embittered and broke. This was true before the internet just as it's true now. The internet is neither your saviour, nor your enemy.

Let me make that bit clear: prior to the internet, most people spent NO money on music. If they bought a record in a year, it was a gift for a nephew (and it was usually rubbish). Some people spent a lot of money on music, because it was tied up with cultural things like identity that they were really invested in.

Back when you needed a record label to just be heard, it was a lottery. The odds were bad, the lottery tickets were expensive, and most of the prizes - if you did happen to win - were just awful. Now you don't need to play that game - but you need to be smart and you need to understand what the rules of the new game are.

You CAN, of course, get signed to a record label (and that lottery is still in play) but you can also be an entrepreneur. I recommend the latter - but not because it guarantees you money.

But the simple fact is that you don't become a successful entrepreneur by making things that people will not pay for, insisting that they should, and then complaining that their morals are to blame. They may not share your morals, but that's not even the point.

It's not their job to understand your needs. It's your job to understand theirs.

You become a successful entrepreneur by meeting people's needs and wants, solving a problem for them and doing it in a way that allows you to make money.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Even if it was true that all the people you wish to target with your art are immoral thieves who you would never invite into your home - why would you insist on trying to change their behaviour as part of your business strategy?
And he concludes by pointing out (as we have in the past as well) where the real "sense of entitlement" comes from:
You may make great and interesting music, and put on an amazing show with amazing costumes.... But decrying a sense of entitlement among those who won't pay you for what you insist on doing is back to front.

The people with the weird sense of entitlement are the ones who stamp their feet and say 'look at all this hard work I put in - where's my money?'


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    That comment is awesome, and the person who wrote it should feel awesome for having written it.

     

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    just this guy, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Thank you

    I tried explaining the idea "You don't have the RIGHT to make money from your music. You only have the opportunity. " on the Artists to fans to artists web site and couldn't get my point across, this is said much better than I could.

    The other conversation I was having was that radio should pay musicians because music is a service. I can't see the difference between a radio station playing for music once and playing it as much as they want (and even making money doing so) and a musician buying an instrument and playing it as much as they want (even making money doing so). The musician wants to be paid more than once but not pay the maker of their instrument more than once.

     

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    Henry Emrich, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Don't waste your time with a2f2a

    It's basically a major-label front operation:

    Two of the biggest "contributors" there are Billy Bragg (board member of FAC), and Indiana Gregg (self-proclaimed "anti-piracy activist".) Jon newton (who, ironically enough, also runs p2pnet.net (a p2p-related news portal), is either a dupe, or has been "bought off" in some way.

    of course you couldn't get your point across. Neither could I, because Bragg & Co. simply don't want to learn anything.

    A2f2a (and p2pnet) are a total waste of effort, as I learned the hard way.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Thank you

    Following the Movie studios twisted logic when it comes to movie rentals. Which is ....

    "It doesnt matter if we sold you the DVD you still have to pay us for every rental or profit share with us"

    the line ....

    "The musician wants to be paid more than once but not pay the maker of their instrument more than once."

    ... actually makes sense, in a twisted, delusional, I am going out of my mind, ignoring reality, substituting my own twisted version of reality, masturbating while eating sushi, kind of way....

    deep breath ... and submit ..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Too bad they just can't be musicians.

     

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    scarr (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Thank you

    "The musician wants to be paid more than once but not pay the maker of their instrument more than once."

    An excellent point, and very well said.

    (Now I'll go hide in a bunker and wait for the lawsuits from Gibson and Fender to end.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Thank you

    The musician wants to be paid more than once but not pay the maker of their instrument more than once.

    Because the musician paid the FULL price of the instrument, not a partial price. A CD or a song sold to an individual isn't sold at $75,000 or $1 million or whatever it cost to write, record, produce, edit, and package the music. Rather, it is sold as a very small fraction of that cost.

    When you find a way for songwriters to make a living recording songs and selling them once only for 99 cents, give us a call. Better yet, when you find the bunch of people willing to pay a buttload of cash for a song, let me know, I will write songs.

    Sorry, but the instrument / song this is a classic misdirection, made by someone trying to deny reality.

     

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    mobiGeek (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Thank you

    You know, the "musician buying an intstrument and playing it as much as they want" immediately reminded me of an earlier Techdirt article I read today.

    I hate to say it, but I think we've just given a large number of instrument makers a new "business model"...

     

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    just this guy, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Don't waste your time with a2f2a

    I was hoping that in time and with people able to get their point across better than I can things would change. I still have that hope, for right now I agree with you it's not worth my time. I will give it a bit and check back in to see if anything has changed.

    I think that music is worth money.

     

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    mobiGeek (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Thank you

    Actually, you are mistaken. The musician pays the price of the INDIVIDUAL instrument. They do not pay for the R&D costs and the production facilities and all the other ins-and-outs of the instrument making process.

    You want to compare apples-to-apples?

    Price of the instrument is based on the marginal cost of that instrument. Same should go for a digital work, however there is this artificial set of monopoly grants and oligarchy practices that block the natural progression of pricing pressures.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Thank you

    "... actually makes sense, in a twisted, delusional, I am going out of my mind, ignoring reality, substituting my own twisted version of reality, masturbating while eating sushi, kind of way...."

    That sounds like....ME! Four periods and everything!

    Gimmie some cash ;)

     

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    mobiGeek (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Don't waste your time with a2f2a

    "music is worth money" is a meaningless statement. What do you mean by "music"?

    I sing holiday songs while putting up candles around the house; is that worth money? I sing (copyrighted) songs to my children at night; is that worth money? I tap my foot at work while writing reports; is that worth money?

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    awesomeness all around, for everybody (except you *AA, you don't get any awesome)

     

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    just this guy, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Thank you

    Because the musician paid the FULL price of the instrument, not a partial price. A CD or a song sold to an individual isn't sold at $75,000 or $1 million or whatever it cost to write, record, produce, edit, and package the music. Rather, it is sold as a very small fraction of that cost. The recording can be sold more than once, the instrument only once. I can see your point about part of the cost VS the total of the cost. I don't believe it costs 75K or a Million to make one song. I would like to see a breakdown of costs thought. When you find a way for songwriters to make a living recording songs and selling them once only for 99 cents, give us a call. I believe in past articles songwriters/musicians have stated ways that they make money selling songs. Sorry, but the instrument / song this is a classic misdirection, made by someone trying to deny reality. It's always hard to find a good example of how one thing is like another. I am not trying to deny reality just put an idea into place.

     

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    Just this guy, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thank you

    Sorry about the lack of carriage returns it looked good right in the preview.

     

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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Thank you

    But wait...if we took the music instrument maker's point of view and applied it to what you said...

    If you pay for an instrument you're not paying the FULL PRICE of the instrument, you're paying a partial price, for one copy. You're not paying for more than a fraction of the R&D, manufacturing investment, advertising, distribution, etc. I guarantee you Fender doesn't design a guitar for $500. Development costs, training and re-tooling a factory, etc all get rolled up into an overhead, a fixed cost to introduce a new product.

    If we take your example of a song costing $75,000 (which for many artists is high, but low for the big-name, highly produced artists), then they should distribute that cost, plus the actual costs of producing and transporting the material. Just like with the guitar you pay for the wood, strings, electronics, shipping, etc, you should do that with an MP3. So if it costs $0.00001 to distribute (GoDaddy charges ~$5/1.5Tb of data), plus one copy's share of the overhead. Back when this was Tapes or CDs, the physical copy was fairly expensive to produce - several orders of magnitude more in fact. These days, producing an additional copy of a song is virtually free. In fact, you could send a copy to every computer on the planet for about $10,000 worth of bandwidth. Imagine being able to give a CD to every cd-player on the planet for that price, INCLUDING distribution and shipping.

    So that's why your argument makes no sense. Buying a CD is no more of a "partial purchase" than buying a guitar is, and arguing otherwise is simply "...someone trying to deny reality."

     

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    Big Al, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Thank you

    "A CD or a song sold to an individual isn't sold at $75,000 or $1 million or whatever it cost to write, record, produce, edit, and package the music. Rather, it is sold as a very small fraction of that cost."
    Your argument falls over in that your assumption for the pricing is that only one copy of the song is ever sold. It is equivalent to saying that Microsoft should charge $250 million for Windows 7 (assuming that was the development cost). They don't, because they intend selling millions of copies.
    The same argument applies to recorded music. The projection of selling 1 million copies means that each individual recording sold now comes in at a marginal price of $1, plus profit.
    Your argument is so full of holes it makes a sponge seem water-tight.

     

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    Marshall Stokes (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Well said

    Mike, I couldn't agree more that Andrew Dubber's comment is dead on the money, so to speak. Love how deftly he points out that the opportunities for musicians today are leaps and bounds beyond what was ever available pre-internet. Also, I had to smile and nod when he described the recording deal game as little more than a very expensive lottery. Excellent!

    On the topic of musicians as entrepreneurs, there is definitely still room for the classic band manager position, and many independent bands and artists work with managers to handle the marketing and business side of the whole thing. Like you said, that hasn't changed, but the opportunities have changed. And more and more artists and bands are tackling their own marketing campaigns and doing everything they can to gain exposure and book tours, and the results they get out of it depend almost entirely on how much effort they put in, which is of course how most businesses tend to work. Bands and musicians certainly do not NEED marketers and business managers to handle everything for them, and indeed most indie acts probably can't afford to hire someone for that stuff anyway, but it seems to me like marketing skills are in some cases just as important as artistic talent. Which brings us back to the running theme around here, that artists need to connect with fans and give them a reason to buy, and that can be done independently with great ease.

    In terms of entrepreneurship, musicians and bands that start out doing their own marketing have a much better shot at succeeding financially than those who don't take the initiative from the start. So many services are out there now to help by providing truly free tools that can add real value to a band's tour or marketing campaign, like the obvious ones (twitter, myspace, facebook), and the lesser-knowns (uvumi, betterthanthevan, do512). With tools like these, artists really do have the power to reach large audiences quickly, to build free press kits, book tours with free lodging, and get their tour dates out where targeted audiences can see them. Make sure the audience can hear the music for free on as many music websites as possible, thus giving them a reason to buy tickets to a show, which may then lead to people buying t-shirts, CDs, stickers, whatever.

    Anyway, there's not a whole lot to say without repeating what has been written on Techdirt for years, but I do believe that, slowly but surely, the marketplace really is changing, and the opportunities that indie acts take advantage of today will eventually become the norm in the future.

     

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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    Sure they can! Being "just a musician" has nothing to do with making money - it involves playing because you love to make music.

    What you're really saying is "Too bad they can't just be self-indulgent artists who do what makes them feel good and have money handed to them."

     

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    Jesse, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    All great points. However, when he opens by comparing musicians to brain surgeons, it makes me want to stop reading. That is a load of crap. There are plenty of musicians that work very hard I'm sure. Even IF some musicians could compare to brain surgeons in terms of training (Mozart?), it is a huge stretch to extend that to all musicians.

    When people are in university, and they want easy credit to boost their GPA, do they do it with a science course, or with an arts course? Nobody says, "hey, my gpa is low, so I think I'll take organic chemistry to help it out." And that's just an undergrad degree. Add four years medical school and x number years residency.

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thank you

    It is equivalent to saying that Microsoft should charge $250 million for Windows 7 (assuming that was the development cost). They don't, because they intend selling millions of copies.

    Interestingly this example actually explains the whole point of this argument rather well - although not, I suspect, in the way the author intended.

    In all the cases (musical instrument, song, Windows 7) what we have is a large development cost being amortised against a production run by adding a "tax" to the cost of the product. Generally this works if the tax is a reasonable percentage of the marginal cost of production. This IS the case for the musical instrument and used to be the case for the vinyl record, tape and (in the early days) the CD. However it is not true now for digital copies of songs. It makes no sense to impose an almost infinite tax on a product whose marginal cost is essentially zero.

    So what about Windows 7. Well first some news. Almost no one buys a standalone copy of Windows 7 from Microsoft for £50-£200 depending on version. (There may be a few idiots out there.)

    The Microsoft business model is actually as follows. Attach the sale of the OS to the sale of a scarce good - usually the computer it runs on. You can't sell many copies of a new OS (that could easily be downloaded for free) but you can add a reasonable tax to the price of a £300 machine.

    For other customers (mainly large corporations) the OS is bundled with a support package. Then there are the can't pay won't pay brigade who would otherwise switch to Linux. To these people (mainly students and academics) Microsoft now basically gives everything away for free.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

    Re:

    Name one person that can be or has been "just a musician" and still made a living.

    The moment you start trying to make a business out of it, you become an entrepreneur and a business person.

     

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    McBeese, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thank you

    What is a carriage and why do you return it? Is it defective?

     

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    An Actual Songwriter, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    I'm a songwriter. I have no day job. Making music is my profession. I have no problem embracing the new business models in music.At this level of the game, they give me more control and the ability to actually make some money from my craft without having a "hit" record.

    However, I will not back any business model that doesn't allow me to make the kind of money I would make if I had a #1 song. Not only that, I will never give up my copyrights. If Microsoft, or Apple or whoever wants to use one of my songs to sell their products, I expect to get paid for that.

    So far, no one has given me any reason strong enough, or "right" enough to justify me willingly backing an idea that would take money out of my pocket.

    When Microsoft allows me to use their name to sell my products, I'll consider it then. Until that point, I'll support the power of the copyright,

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:28pm

    I agree

    I also wrote something similar in September:
    http://questioncopyright.org/compensation

    Dubber's line is better:
    Making music is not (usually) a job of work. It is a creative act. You don't have the RIGHT to make money from your music. You only have the opportunity.

     

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    McBeese, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    Jesse, you didn't get it

    Jesse, your post is a load of crap. Don't judge musicians in the context of a brain surgeon and don't judge brain surgeons in the context of a musician.

    I don't know any musicians that are likely candidates for successful careers as brain surgeons. Similarly, I don't know any brain surgeons that are likely candidates for successful careers as music composers (of any genre).

    I'd bet that people in both fields put in the same amount of time and effort to get to the top.

    Doctors - Musicians - Writers - Engineers - Scientists - Mathematicians: All of these fields require a significant amount of study and intellectual development in order to achieve success.

    Don't disrespect talented musicians and composers by lumping them in with the general arts students. I think you were thinking of Philosophy, Drama, Fashion, etc...

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Speak of the devil!

    From http://questioncopyright.org/compensation
    This may be hard to hear, but: many artists who claim they just want to eat and pay rent are lying (perhaps to themselves). Most artists don't want a living wage — they want to win the lottery. Suggest to most filmmakers and musicians that "success" is about $75,000 a year, and they'll turn up their noses. You call that a jackpot? They're only in it for the millions, baby. If that means working a day job and remaining obscure, so be it. Millions need to be poor so that one can be rich; they're willing to do their time being poor, so that one day they can be rich at the expense of others. Their turn will come, they think.

    I suggest playing a different game entirely, because the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. But those kinds of artists want to play the lottery more than they want their art to reach people.

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:48pm

    Re:

    I'm a songwriter. I have no day job. Making music is my profession. I have no problem embracing the new business models in music.At this level of the game, they give me more control and the ability to actually make some money from my craft without having a "hit" record.

    However, I will not back any business model that doesn't allow me to make the kind of money I would make if I had a #1 song. Not only that, I will never give up my copyrights.


    You clearly aren't a real musician at all but a gold digger. If you had been born 150 years ago you wouldn't have bothered with music because you wouldn't have been able to make enough money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Re: I agree

    Making music is not (usually) a job of work. It is a creative act. You don't have the RIGHT to make money from your music. You only have the opportunity.

    What is missing in this is the other side of the coin:

    Fans don't have a RIGHT to your music, only an opportunity to enjoy it.

    When we get to there being a balance between those two lines, things will get better for everyone.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    Re:

    No one is suggesting that you shouldn't get paid for your work.

    What people are suggesting is that the world is different now, and you should adapt to it. That's all.

    "So far, no one has given me any reason strong enough, or "right" enough to justify me willingly backing an idea that would take money out of my pocket."

    This isn't a matter of right and wrong, it's a matter of reality. And here's the reality: the money is going to get "taken out of your pocket" if you continue to rely on the old business models. What is being suggested here are new ways to put money into your pocket so that you can continue to make a living.

    This is the point that the several trolls on this site ignore -- the site is absolutely pro-artist and pro-compensation. It's trying to help by pointing out that the old ways are becoming less effective, and the attempts to keep them effective are not only going to fail in the long run, but are immoral and damaging ot society as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: I agree

    Yes, fans don't have the right to someone's music. If you don't want them to have it, don't release it. If you keep it under lock and key, and never release the song, then you keep all the control you want.

    The moment you release it, you don't have the RIGHT to force people to do what you want with it.

    You use "balance" in a funny way. Last I heard, 1 million people far outweigh 1 person, so why don't the 1 million people have more say?

     

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    Rodney Ross, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    Musical Entrepreneur

    I am sorry I don't agree with the comparrison of the whole brain surgeon thing however, I do agree with the point of being a Musical Entrepreneur, in light of the economy you find business owners going out of business like never before however, I have found that business Entrepreneur's are flourishing because they are constantly seeking ways to reposition or market their business' in a way that will set their business apart from the crowd therefore a Musical Entrepreneur must be capable of doing the same.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    Wholeheartedly agree with the premise of the article. I play music because I love to play music. If I want to make money (playing music or selling oranges or whatever), I need to either "get a job" or become an entrepreneur (or hit the lottery).

    Now the part about: "The musician wants to be paid more than once but not pay the maker of their instrument more than once"; If I could find an individual willing to pay me as much as the cost of even one of my instruments, then I'd GLADLY give that individual a copy of all the music I come up with for the rest of my life. Heck, I'll even throw in a box of t-shirts. Most pro-caliber musicians have thousands (often tens of thousands) of dollars invested in instruments and gear. I don't get to use my tools for a $.99 fee, anymore than a mechanic pays Snap-On $.99 each time they use a wrench.

    The model doesn't fit reality.

     

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    The Buzz Saw (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:28pm

    Musician vs Surgeon

    A musician may put in more hours of "training", but a musician screwing up results in a decrease in fan base. A surgeon screwing up results in death. THAT is why surgeons are paid more. ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:15pm

    This is the point that the several trolls on this site ignore -- the site is absolutely pro-artist and pro-compensation.


    LOL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 12:56am

    Hey Nina

    If that means working a day job and remaining obscure, so be it. Millions need to be poor so that one can be rich; they're willing to do their time being poor, so that one day they can be rich at the expense of others.


    Hey Nina, how many people "needed to be poor" so you could make your THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR cartoon?

    And how does it feel to know your project came about at the "expense" of so many?

    As per your banker reference in the fanatical opinion-as-fact article you cited, can you please explain why you "deserved" to be able to spend more than 9 times what most Americans make in a year on, of all things, a cartoon?

    ...

    You're so full of shit the cows are jealous.

    P.S: How do you actually spend 300k...on a cartoon? Masnick would be the first one to tell you (given his VAST experience with, and knowledge of, feature film budgeting) that all you really needed was a couple of pencils and a stack of paper! Or if you REALLY wanted to "don the monocle" as it were, perhaps spring for a used Wacom, some pirated software, and a first gen imac?

    Should you ever manage to leverage other people's poverty into selfishly spending vast undeserved amounts of WEALTH on another trivial, vanity project I would suggest you correct your previous error and hit up Masnick early in the process for some more of that real world budgeting experience of his and maybe, just maybe, you won't lose quite so much money on the second go-round.

     

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  37.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Re: I agree

    Well said.

    Copyright is an unethical privilege granted to publishers (to control the public), but it is not a right. It is the suspension of one: the natural right to copy was suspended from the public in the 18th century as the privilege of a publisher.

    Many people confuse right with privilege (probably because the latter are referred to as 'legal' rights).

     

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  38.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 2:39am

    Re: Hey Nina

    I think you want 'Abuse' - two doors down on your right.

    This is 'Argument'.

    Those artists with large audiences will earn large amounts of money from those who WANT to pay them to produce their art.

    No-one has an argument with that. What people argue about is whether an artist deserves to be paid to such an extent that people should be forced to pay them, whether through taxation or loss of liberty.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Jon Newton, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 5:13am

    Re: Don't waste your time with a2f2a

    a2f2a is "basically a major-label front operation"

    Anyne who knows p2pnet, or me, will also know that's a huge load of old bollocks.

    a2f2a was put together so artists could talk to fans, and vice versa. The mission statement is: artists need to be paid, and fans want to pay them. a2f2a.com wants to:

    1. Help each community better understand the other;
    2. Help find a practical and workable system which offers artists fair remuneration in exchange for access to material by fans; and
    3. Help set the agenda for discussions about the role P2P can play within the online digital record industry.

    I've been fighting Big Music (and Hollywood) for close to 10 years and for Henry to say I'm in any way colluding with, or linked to, them is ridiculous.

    Cheers!

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    It's the problem around here - people use examples and parallels that just don't match reality.

    As a musician, you might write 50 great songs in your life (if you are lucky). Even at a moderate wage (say 30k a year) for the 40 or so years you can work, that is 1.2 million. Over 50 songs, that is about 24,000 per song.

    So in theory, the selling price for a song on Itunes (by their logic) should be $24,000. Oh, but you should only be allowed to sell it once.

    It's no wonder the dittoheads on techduh (maybe should be called "duhheads"?) are so out there. They miss the very basics of real life.

     

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  41.  
    icon
    Indiana Gregg (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    Re: Don't waste your time with a2f2a

    @Henry Emrich,

    How have I become some kind of self-proclaimed "anti-piracy" activist? that's absurd. I'm an independent musician and run a music social networking which promotes free music and fair play for artists by paying them via an ad-funded model. I'm not sure where the connection with anti-piracy comes in?

    I believe that the idea of the a2f2a is to bring people together to better understand each other's points of view.

    I happen to agree with the comment made above here in the Techdirt article. Musician's have to act as entrepreneurs. However, the exploitation of music by websites means that people are 'using' music. They are hearing it. They are enjoying it and the nature of the web means that more people can access music. Free music is a great thing; I've been an advocate for that. I just don't believe in sites, networks, ISPs and telecoms that exploit music and film for a profit without compensating the creative people.

     

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  42.  
    icon
    SomeGuy (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thank you

    Unfortunately, he didn't return any, and it's giving us all a headache.

     

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  43.  
    icon
    SomeGuy (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    So far, no one has given me any reason strong enough, or "right" enough to justify me willingly backing an idea that would take money out of my pocket.

    As a point of fact, if it isn't in your pocket to begin with, then no one's taking it out of your pocket. What's the difference between Microsoft not using your music now (and thus not paying you) and Microsoft using your music for free (with authorization)? In neither case does anyone give you money, but in the second case you DO get exposure. So in which scenario are you, the songwriter, better off?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Not again!

    Once more, serious stuff gets a short paragraph, trivia like this goes on and on and on - good thing for the scroll button!
    But comparing something as frothy as making music or other types of entertainment; "real-good feel-good" as it may be, to something as important as brain surgery - Retch! Gasp!

     

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  45.  
    icon
    SteelWolf (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Don't waste your time with a2f2a

    Or, essentially, stamping your feet and saying "I did all this work, now where's my money?"

    I don't know where you're getting your information, but if "sites, networks, ISPs and telecoms" are exploiting your music, that's a lot of people hearing about it. Your challenge as an entrepreneur is to give all of those people reasons to buy - not try and build a new world that's more favorable to your business plan.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    musicmaker, Nov 13th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    free music anyone?

    Okay kids, here is the thing:

    On this age and era for the music industry, it is obvious that trying to squeeze new money in old ways out of the pocket of the new music lovers it's a waste of time. It is more the obvious now that music should be given for free. Why? Because the kids out there aren't gonna pay for yours or anyone's music. Why? Just because they don't have to. They never had to. They are growing up amidst a cultural-digital revolution. To pretend that this changes are not happening is just a waste of your time. If you want to survive or to even get a chance to stand out as a music maker you will need to let go of the old and outdated paradigms and move on to the new world order of digital entertainment. The main focus for capitalizing on your music should be in one or all of the following ways:

    - live performances
    - merch sales(tees, CD, etc.)both at the venue and online
    - adding a "donate" button to the artist's web page
    - creating a paid "premium" fan membership to your music page where you provide exclusive content (videos, live recorded concerts for download, discounts on tickets, etc.) My advice is that you charge a buck or two for lifetime membership.
    And at last but definitely not the least:
    - music licensing

    Now, off course there are many other ways to make money. The idea is to use your music as "bait" if you may. The thing is, if you want to make money with your music in any way you'll have to either turn yourself into a entrepreneur (clever)or bid your music to a label (not so clever). Sure, you can always try both. But the more you focus your time and energy into one thing, the better and faster results you'll get.
    Choose your guns.

     

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  47.  
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    Indiana Gregg (profile), Nov 13th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    @Steelwolfe and @musicmaker live performances, merch sales, etc. are all fine & good. However, how would it all apply to film makers, actors, actresses? Do they go on tour with a live performance?

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    satinder, Nov 14th, 2009 @ 7:02pm

    want to earn money

    want to make money online in a fast way then join the given sites below.you can earn money really in a fast way. https://bux-matrix.com/satinderkhehra1 http://www.theclickers.net/ptc/index.php?ref=satin derkhehra1

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    SteelWolf (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:48am

    Re:

    Well, this topic thread is about music, but yes, it is all about the performance. The movie theater is the concert stage of film and should be a unique, enjoyable experience. When movies are made on efficient budgets and people are paid fair, rather than exorbitant salaries it isn't terribly difficult to come out ahead.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Terence, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:38pm

    You talk out your own ass sideways. I spent thousands of dollars on music pre 1990.

     

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  51.  
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    Mojo Bone (profile), Nov 20th, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    The amount of training, manual dexterity and left-right brain integration required to become a brain surgeon or a musician is actually very similar. The only major differences are that someone has to sign off on a brain surgeon's qualifications and the brain surgeon needn't own (nor purchase) his own tools. Well, that and if I inadvertently hit a Bb in the middle of a C major scale, nobody gets paralyzed. (also, you can be a perfectly average brain surgeon and still make really good money) I also take issue with Dubber's (and Nina's) lottery comments; the music business has nothing in common with a lottery other than the occasional unexpectedly large payouts, because anyone with a dollar can be eligible for a lottery jackpot, while it takes years and years to grow a good musician, and even longer to grow a good songwriter. (see brain surgeon comments above)

    The idea that making music is easy and fun is complete horsesh*t, but we sell it to the public because that's what you're buying. It's actually as agonizing as giving birth, and then somebody comes along and steals your baby and claims it for their own OR they tell you it's too ugly to feed and should be put out to sea on an ice floe. On some of my darker days, I begin to believe that there are people in this world that don't deserve music, and that we should at the very least have a single day out of the year, International Music Day, when no music of any kind is allowed to be played anywhere on the planet, and all y'all can have a great time listening to nothing but the sound of the wind, some ducks and geese and a few million cheerful car horns. Of course music is a gift, but musicianship is not, it has to be earned.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Chad, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    Artist IS entitled

    Of course the distinction here is once the music begins to make money.
    If I make an independent album, or a what I think is a better mousetrap or car tire, of course I don't have a RIGHT to make money, I have an opportunity.
    What we are talking about here is once the music is released for profit, and then piracy becoming a problem.
    No one should copy my mousetrap or tire or my music and sell it or give it away.
    No, you DO have a right to make money from your music once it is marketed. You as opposed to someone else, or in the case of free piracy (no one makes money, including you).

    If I work out a deal where I get 70% of proceeds either from online sales or at the door at a performance. I " should get / am entitled to / deserve " whatever you want to call it, 70%. Duh.

    And another thing, I don't like the general tone that because an artist has other successful (or semi-) streams of income on their site that piracy should be overlooked.

    If a real estate investor is making 1.4 million a year but should be making 1.5 million, there should be corrective steps taken. Maybe the investor is paying taxes or fees that the seller should be paying during a transaction, whatever. In any case, the realtor doesn't need to worry about an entire property being cloned and sold or given away the way the modern artist does.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Jason Webb, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:06pm

    Entrepreneur

    Thanks for the article. I am a young finance professional myself who recently launched a fund in Utah and I love to read about others who did the same and made it to the top. Hope to be there someday.
    Thanks and Regards/-
    Jason Webb

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Josh, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 11:48pm

    Re:

    When people are in university, and they want easy credit to boost their GPA, do they do it with a science course, or with an arts course? Nobody says, "hey, my gpa is low, so I think I'll take organic chemistry to help it out."

    True, but they take "music appreciation," which is just a BS course. Nobody says "Hey, my gpa is low, I think I'll take vocal pedagogy IV."

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Pete Mason, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Thanks for the Article

    Excellent points you make. Thank you.

     

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


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