Rolling Stone Recognizes The Future Of Music: Forget The CD, Sell Other Stuff

from the sounds-familiar dept

Video Savant writes in to let us know about a new Rolling Stone article that probably won't be all that surprising to folks who read Techdirt on a regular basis. Basically, bands today aren't relying on CD sales to make money (or even as a measure of their own success). Instead, they're using the music to sell all sorts of other things having to do with themselves. While the article does focus a lot on licensing deals, the much more interesting deals aren't the ones where songs are licensed, but where the musicians themselves are being paid to create new music. That's what the guys from They Might Be Giants are doing: Dunkin' Donuts is paying them a million dollars to create new music for Dunkin' Donuts commercials.

The article also touches on how important the video game market is for the music industry these days, talking about efforts by bands to license their songs into video games, knowing how much more attention it gets them. While some video games will pay good money to license songs, it seems like bands are so eager for the exposure that many would (and probably should) do it for free -- knowing that the increased exposure will help them with everything else they do. On that note, another reader, Lucretious, sends in a story about how the video games Rock Band and Guitar Hero are driving tremendous interest in music, to the point that bands are releasing songs for use in those games even before an album comes out.

Of course, what may be most amusing, is that the Rolling Stone article reads remarkably similar to a USA Today article we wrote about three years ago, which looked at how the Chinese music industry had successfully adapted to rampant unauthorized copying of music. Musicians there learned to adopt new business models and thrive -- just as bands in the US are doing today. While the CD may be disappearing, the music business continues to thrive.
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Filed Under: business models, music, rolling stone

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  1. identicon, 28 May 2008 @ 6:43am

    I have been saying this for months now. They need to refocus where the income is generated from music. Make the actual music free, or close to free, with no limitations on how it can be used. But, when you are giving the music away, market other products to the person downloading. If they are big fans, they will likely purchase other stuff, like shirts, dvds, concert tickets, etc... And if the record companies are giving away music, there will be an enormous amount of internet traffic, thus they would have the ability to charge a pretty penny for advertising on their artists sites. There is income to be made from free music, they just need to know how to do it. And before you say it... no, I don't think it is fair for the artists to give the music away. But, it is the only choice they have at the moment. People that want the music for free, don't have to look to hard to find it. They might as well market some of their other stuff to these people.

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