50 Cent Is The Latest Artist To Understand The Economics Of Music

from the not-so-hard dept

More and more musicians seem to be recognizing what fans have been trying to tell them since Napster first came on the scene nearly a decade ago: it's not file sharing that hurts the music business, it's treating your fans badly that hurts the business. We've been seeing more and more musicians recognize this over the past few months, and the latest to join the pack is Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent. In an interview, he noted that while file sharing may hurt record labels, it doesn't seem to hurt artists or any other part of the music business: "What is important for the music industry to understand is that this really doesn't hurt the artists." He notes that shows are still packed and fans are fans no matter how they first hear the music. He says that the labels need to learn to adapt and embrace the technology while noting that the thing labels should be doing is making money on the scarce goods that are made valuable by the music: "The concerts are crowded and the industry must understand that they have to manage all the 360 degrees around an artist. They, (the industry), have to maximize their income from concerts and merchandise. It is the only way they can get their marketing money back." This isn't that surprising or new, and we've noted recently that hip hop stars seemed to implicitly realize this well before most of the rest of the industry. However, it is yet another big music industry name saying this. Yet, why is it that the RIAA is still out there insisting that suing fans is the right strategy? Why is it that the RIAA claims it's trying to protect the artists, and even getting new legislation moved forward, when the very artists it's trying to protect are arguing against those policies?
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Filed Under: 50 cent, economics, music, recording industry


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  • identicon
    Technomancer, 10 Dec 2007 @ 2:41am

    Go Shorty!

    Glad to see that there are some people within the music industry that aren't clinging to the old distribution models. Let's face it; our world is going to change. If you can't accept that, and change with it, then you're going to wind up a relic of the past.
    The record labels have had many opportunities to adjust, and were practically handed the key to survival in the form of original Napster, but flubbed it miserably. Perhaps they will start to listen to people like 50 Cent, and at least salvage some of their hard-won name recognition.
    Companies like Allofmp3.com have proven a very simple truth: If you make songs cheap enough that it's more convenient to pay for than to pirate, people will beat your door down handing you money.

    Charging a flat rate for unlimited downloads or a very small fee per song = Winner.

    Gouging the customers for all you can get for a CD, or making them pay a buck a song for DRM-protected content just makes people look for alternate ways to get what they want.

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

  • identicon
    Tim Sewell, 10 Dec 2007 @ 2:42am

    RIAA claims

    Of course, in reality, the RIAA and similar bodies have precisely zero interest in protecting artists and an overwhelming concern to hold on to their previously-lucrative business model for as long as they possibly can. They just can't believe that they are going to have to come up with a new way of making money.

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

  • identicon
    innocent bystander, 10 Dec 2007 @ 5:05am

    Sad Times

    As soon as it becomes all about money, music is not.
    Plenty of true musicians make money as a by-product of their art. The real shame is that people are not honest enough to go buy their music, or is it that the people who "share" certain types of music, realize it is crap, and is not worth purchasing because they won't even listen to it in a week anyway.
    Proof that greed and stupidity abound in the record industry,
    "50 Cent Is The Latest Artist To Understand The Economics Of Music".

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

  • identicon
    Tricky, 10 Dec 2007 @ 5:09am

    They are just lazy bitches who don't want to change. Until they change their actions, I won't buy anymore music. There will always be another way to get what you want and lawsuits don't scare people anymore. Everyone thinks it won't happen to them, so they will continue doing what they do until they find another way that suits them.

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

  • icon
    Jeffry Houser (profile), 10 Dec 2007 @ 5:37am

    The Record Industry isn't Changing..

    The record industry isn't changing, but the music industry is. It's all about selling records, tapes, CDs, (or digital downloads). That is what record labels do. The labels often don't usually have a piece of the artist's other activities (such as live performances or other merchandise sales).

    Artists have long been living in a world where they are making no money off their studio works due to restricting label contracts.

    One could argue that the original Napster (or current file sharing methods) may have been good for artists, but they are not good for record labels.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 5:50am

    ...and Mike Masnick continues to not understand what it is record labels do.

    It's not about manufacturing CDs.

    If it wasn't for the marketing and development investment of record labels, no one would know who 50 Cent is.

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

    • identicon
      Chronno S. Trigger, 10 Dec 2007 @ 6:43am

      Re:

      Tell that to indi bands like "Shiny toy Guns" Link 2, "Arctic Monkeys" Link 2, or how ever many other bands there are out there that aren't on a label.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re:

        Are you talking about the "Shiny Toy Guns" that are signed by Universal Music?

        That Shiny Toy Guns?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re:

        Funny about the Arctic Monkeys, because their last release was on Warner Bros., but whatever you must be right.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 8:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, their last one. But they did originally catch the public's eye without any label's help. That's what the point of Chronno's post was. "No one would know..." Yeah right.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 12:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then they decided to take the next step towards the mainstream they needed WB's marketing muscle.

            You can make a nice little career without the labels. You're not goting to get mainstream without a significant investment in marketing.

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

    • identicon
      Last.fm fan, 10 Dec 2007 @ 8:32am

      Funny...

      95%, if not more, of the artists I like, I didn't find out about through any direct activity of the record labels. I found out about them through other fans (Last.fm) or online review sites. I sample by downloading from p2p and, if I like the music enough, I start buying music from that artist. No, I don't end up purchasing everything that I download, but I sure buy more than I would if I didn't get to know music this way.

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

    • identicon
      dorpass, 10 Dec 2007 @ 8:40am

      Re: Coward being Cowardly

      If it wasn't for the marketing and development investment of record labels, no one would know who 50 Cent is.

      Artists like SPM came up without any record label support whatsoever, in fact even Forbes wrote about it a few years back. SPM also pulled other artists that you now hear on the radio just about daily, like Baby Bash. That's just a couple examples of artists that made it without record labels. But of course, you rather live in the world of "what if" than "this is what really happened."

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re: Coward being Cowardly


        Artists like SPM came up without any record label support whatsoever,


        That's a myth. He signed a co-marketing deal with universal with a $500K advance.

        Besides, isn't he in prison for child molestation for the next 40 years or so...

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

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 10 Dec 2007 @ 5:55am

    Re #1 Technomancer

    I would just like to suggest that instead of saying "DRM-protected" it should say "DRM-encumbered" to more accurately reflect how everybody (except those selling DRM and those trying to cling to outdated business models) feel about it.

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

  • identicon
    comboman, 10 Dec 2007 @ 6:00am

    Does any one else think...

    ...that a gun-toting gangsta' like 50 cent is not exactly an ideal poster-child for copyright reform? Sure, he's OK with downloading, but he's probably also OK with drug-dealing and pimping too.

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

    • identicon
      Wolfger, 10 Dec 2007 @ 9:56am

      Re: Does any one else think...

      last time I checked, gun-toting was still legal in this country, if only barely so. Possession of a firearm is no indicator of one's respectability. Even if Dick Cheney does it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re: Does any one else think...

        Not if you're a convicted felon it isn't.

        50 has convictions for both heroin and crack distribution.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 10:25am

        Re: Re: Does any one else think...

        While it may be legal, considering that the last week has given us mass shootings at one mall and two churches, I think you may have picked the wrong day to defend the right to bear arms...

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

  • identicon
    hddman, 10 Dec 2007 @ 6:34am

    Huh...

    Now, if we could only get rid of unions....

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

  • identicon
    Gun-Toting Gangster, 10 Dec 2007 @ 7:35am

    Re:50-Cent

    Stop the hatin on my profession. Extortion is a perfectly legal way to make money in the 21st century. Shout out to fellow Gs like the patent trolls and the RIAA.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2007 @ 7:49am

    Is this the same 50 cent that took the $1,000,000 advance from a record label when he signed?

    Do you suppose he would have paid that back to the label if he had flopped (like most acts do)? I'm guessing he wouldn't.

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 10 Dec 2007 @ 8:06am

    ..and Mike Masnick continues to not understand what it is record labels do.

    It's not about manufacturing CDs.

    If it wasn't for the marketing and development investment of record labels, no one would know who 50 Cent is.


    Maybe, maybe not. Can't say that for sure.

    Oddly enough - some other artists seem to be well known without an 'Industry Group' backing them...

    Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven.... need I continue?

    People will seek out music - just because the 'industry' isn't shoving them down our throat doesn't mean a thing, lol.

    The consumer doesn't need 'marketing' - large corporations who make their profits off the backs of artists because they can market junk - well, they need marketing. But again, if there was just a huge file sharing network with zero advertisements and marketing, I guarantee some artists will still become quite well known.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2007 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven.... need I continue?

      These guys were regional hits at best in their lifetime. Even now with more than 100 years to build their brands, their work is niche.

      Besides that, it's just a specious argument.

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 10 Dec 2007 @ 8:08am

    Oh yeah, and people will still go to their concerts and buy music media (electronic, DC, or otherwise).

    Just like.. well.. Music had been for 700 years before we had a 'Music Industry'. History's clearly proven Music can succeed without the RIAA, no doubt about that.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 10 Dec 2007 @ 8:56am

    Here's a model for record companies

    Imagine a recording label that specialized in being a portal for getting material by your favorite artists. Imagine searching on "50 Cent", to use the example from the article, and having his label's page for him come up. Imagine a free preview of every track they have by him. All of it. And videos. Imagine easy downloads of all of it, even if they are charging for it. Make it easy to get. Link to every magazine article about him. Put his concert schedule up with links for buying tickets. And sell CDs to anyone who wants to order them.

    Now go a couple of steps farther. Any time he appears in concert with some other opening act, provide links. Sell their music. Do what online retailers are doing and provide links to other stuff that 50 Cent's fans are also buying. Generate some buzz by putting up new live tracks regularly.

    Fans aren't buying record companies. And musicians aren't playing for the record companies, they're playing for their fans. And yes, I do have friends who are musicians. I know it is a business. Record companies need to be about making money by making it easy for musicians to reach fans and for fans to hear the music they want to hear.

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

  • icon
    chris (profile), 10 Dec 2007 @ 10:48am

    wait, 50 cent said this?

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

  • icon
    chris (profile), 10 Dec 2007 @ 10:50am

    wait, 50 cent said this?

    have you heard him talk? there is no way he said that. there was nothing about guns, or booty, or the F word.

    are you sure it was 50 cent and not one of his handlers?

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

  • identicon
    Tom Reeves, 10 Dec 2007 @ 7:12pm

    Mr. Cent v. Mr. Big Cent

    Thanks for the post. I linked to it on my comment on Mr. Cent's quote. Wouldn't you say that Mr. Cent - artist - is in conflict with Mr. Big Cent - label executive? Tom / www.pwnership.com

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

  • identicon
    wyly, 11 Dec 2007 @ 5:46am

    Horse shit.

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

  • identicon
    jw, 11 Dec 2007 @ 6:17am

    fans

    50 has a point but then an effort should be made by these guys to have the law changed-I know we forget but we still have laws in this country

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

  • identicon
    tayshawn autry, 10 Jan 2008 @ 9:21am

    yo 50 cent

    i need to talk to you i can rap and i need some help look you can call me at this number 910-214-8098 so 50 cent call me cuz i am and specialed call me 50 cent i am for the north

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

  • identicon
    anonymous, 31 Jul 2008 @ 3:28am

    Megaupload downloading

    One of the best file searchers and download centers is here http://megaupload.name/
    Find al the necessary information there!

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

  • identicon
    John, 25 Aug 2008 @ 11:19am

    need some help

    sup bro, i did hustle high time to contact this great 50 cent. can you help me in this area? i am an oncoming rapstar.

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

  • identicon
    Mensah Gabriel, 15 Apr 2009 @ 11:38am

    good workdone

    It so nice to hear from a great man this time. i think his good works would continue to be loved by many people and through that would be care and help and even be loved more.
    Good workdone

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


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