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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: business models, music, rolling stone

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Eeqmcsq, 28 May 2008 @ 7:33am

    What is fair?

    "I don't think it is fair for the artists to give the music away" - This reminds me of an anecdote I've been formulating for a while. This is probably not historically accurate, but I think the point is valid, and maybe Mike will put up a full blog post about it if he agrees.

    Back in the day when the car was being assembled by the newly invented concept called the factory assembly line, workers were placed along the assembly line and each person had a specific task to perform on the line, like inserting a tire, or tightening up bolts. Workers were happy because they got paid well for their unique tasks. One day the car company discovered machinery and automation. Suddenly, these "unique" tasks were performed by robotic arms that could perform these tasks twice as fast, and for many more hours a day. Many workers got laid off because their once rare and valueable skills had become cheaply and abundantly available by these machines.

    Was it fair that these workers' skills suddenly became worthless? Should laws have been placed to ban these machinery and automation and force companies to hire people? Or should these workers learn to adapt and find some new skills that machines and automation can't perform so they can get hired for?

    Replace workers with musicians, skills with music CDs, and machinery/automation with the Internet, and you have a similar situation.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.