Terry McBride, of Nettwerk, an interesting label based in Canada, has been running a whole series
of interesting experiments
that show how a modern record label can still be useful
. When I saw McBride speak at Midem earlier this year, he mentioned an experiment he was running, which I never really wrote about. However, Nancy Baym
points out that it's starting to get some press. The idea is a free concert to attend... where you're asked to pay what you think it was worth on the way out
. Nettwerk artist k-os is doing this, setting up a "Karma table" where you can also get a free copy of k-os' "fan-mixed" album. This was the other experiment Nettwerk is running: rather than letting fans remix
the album, they released all the stems so that fans could mix
the album itself -- and then they're releasing both the best fan-mixed versions and
the professionally mixed versions.
It's an interesting experiment, and it will be worth watching (especially if McBride is willing share any of the actual results). It does seem like a risky move, because you're taking on the whole upfront cost of putting on the event -- giving away a scarcity
, rather than an infinite good. However, depending on how the rest of it is structured they could end up making some decent money out of it. I'm just not sure it's really the best model, since giving away the scarcity for free gets much costlier much faster.