by Mike Masnick

Musicians Realizing They Have More To Sell Than Just Music

from the the-aha-moment dept

Last year, for Good Morning Silicon Valley I wrote up a possible business model that encouraged free file sharing, with the core of the idea being that musicians offered a lot more to people than just the music on their CD. By seeing the music itself as a promotional item for other products, they could encourage more people to download their music for free, while still making money. It appears a few others are starting to get this idea, and while we've posted links to a few music labels like Magnatune and Loca that seem to get it somewhat, this New York Times article about ArtistShare suggests some musicians are really catching on. While most of the article focuses on how ArtistShare cuts out many of the middlemen, there are a couple of paragraphs that note that much of the focus is on letting the free downloadable music encourage people to sign up for much, much more -- such as "access to printed scores, rehearsal sessions, interviews, post-concert question-and-answer sessions and commentaries." Another musician offers an online music lesson. What's fascinating is that for the jazz artist most discussed in the piece, Maria Schneider, her fans are spending an average of $53 -- much more than they would spend on a CD. Also, much of that money goes directly to her, rather than to the record company. Now, the problem with this model still, is that it's small time, and there's no publicity included. So, none of the musicians are getting as much attention. However, they are getting more money, and that's a start. If more musicians realize they can start actually making money this way, then it may force more record labels to embrace this type of model -- while including promotions in the package.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 6 Jul 2004 @ 9:25am

    Big Fish Can Dunk

    Let's compare music to sports.

    - When big league athletes stage walkouts, does the general public feel sorry for them because they don't get paid enough? No, big-time athletes and musicians make plenty.

    - Does the general public protest the injustice of major leagues, and therefore flock to minor-league sports? No, they stay loyal to the big leagues.

    - Both major league athletes and musicians are often monstrous characters that abuse drugs and rape teen girls. Does this prevent people from looking up to them? No, parents still teach their kids to look up to these guys as their role models.

    - Large sports games and music concerts are both prone to spectator riots. In a process well-documented by social scientists, when the mob mentality takes over, thought processes become more primitive, a type of primal bonding occurs, and this adds to the mystique of sports/music.

    Both industries are taking advantage of basic human weaknesses -- the desire for heroes/idols, and the herd instinct. As long as these human weaknesses exist, there will always remain big-money monopolies in both industries.

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