Another Musician Recognizing New Business Models
from the about-time dept
The Penny Distribution blog has alerted us to the news that musician Kristin Hersh has actually adopted something very much like the model I described. Her plan is even a little more advanced, as there are different "levels" of membership with different benefits included. At the base level of $10/quarter (which still seems a bit pricey to me -- I would think that it would help more to have an opening level that costs less than a big record label CD per year), you get a sticker, a poster and a copy of her new CD before anyone else does. As the prices get higher, she starts to get more creative. For $30/quarter, you'll also get "a works in progress sampler CD" of new music that she's working on, plus you'll get yourself and one other person on the guest list for one of her shows. There are even higher levels of support, including one where you'd get to spend time in the studio with Kristin all the way up to getting executive producer credits on her next album.
I think this is definitely a move in the right direction -- and I'm hopeful that other bands will start to adopt similar policies. In this case, it feels like the prices are a little too high, and the benefits are a little too low, but it may depend on how popular the artist is (Penny Distribution says Hersh is popular -- I've never heard of her). Also, in her mission statement about the new model, she seems to be suggesting that this model is "principles over profit" where she's unlikely to profit as much through it. That doesn't sound right either. If you embrace this model properly, you should certainly be able to profit nicely from it -- as you can drum up a larger, more committed following who are more willing to pay sums of money directly to you, rather than filtered through a bunch of middlemen all taking their cuts.