Blink-182's Tom Delonge: Time To Adapt, Give Music Away For Free, Monetize Other Things

from the another-one dept

This one's from a couple months back, but I missed it at the time. Reader Amber Walker sends in this fantastic video interview with Tom Delonge of the band Blink-182 from the Guitar Center blog, where he makes many of the points that we discuss here, noting how technology has made it cheaper to make, promote and distribute music, and he thinks the big opportunity is in giving your music away for free, and recognizing that there are other things to sell, such as merchandise, but also subscriptions and other types of events.
Some quotes:
The one thing I've learned is that, like any other type of art, it evolves. So if you're a business that supports a type of art, you need to evolve with the art. Now, a lot of things have happened that have made creating art a lot easier with the computer. And it's also made the distribution of art a lot easier.... What I have chosen to believe is that if you look at your band with a modern filter, your band has so much potential to have all these different elements about it. You can create all this really cool merchandise and concert/live experiences. You can create a really cool portal on your website. You can mix all these elements together and I always believe that if the tools are available, you can monetize all these other elements, and not really worry about selling the record. In fact, I believe that, you should take down every barrier and put as much music out there for free...

In my mind, the way the music industry is changing is that music is easier to make and it's easier to give away for free. And that will enable the band and the music and the art and everything to be bigger than it's ever been. It's just how do you collect that and how do you build your business...

I think the internet's a funny thing, because anything... that cuts through the noise on the internet will get found. The beautiful thing about the Western world is that all good art will get found no matter what. It just might take a little bit more time for some than others.... To try to really make a presence known, a band needs to capitvate people online first, no matter what -- it can be with a video or a film. It can be a song or a live broadcast. It needs to be something that's really clever. To do that, you should study the campaigns that work....
Of course, he notes that at the core of this is still good music. He says that you don't remember a band years later just for the marketing, but you need that to get attention, and then you need the music to live for itself, which leads to an interesting mantra:
The true art is not just creating the music. The true art is seeing how many people that music can touch in various ways. That's the art. Because you can be as artistic as you want and no one hears it and no one likes it. The true art is trying to break through the noise and getting millions of people to notice.
Sounds quite a bit like the difference between invention and innovation that we talk about, doesn't it? Nice to see yet another artist who has this all figured out.
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: blink-182, business models, free, music, tom delonge

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Curt, 1 May 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Re: the true art?

    No I dont think hat was his point at all. A band may come up with dozens of ideas for songs to put on a album. Great thats alot to work with. Shit most of them might even all written. Great like i said. But the true art is figuring out just which ones to put in the album or demo. These dont have to necessarily be th "best" written songs or the most slick tracks you made. It just has to work with the entire body. "Nevermind" by Nirvana is a textbook example I think. Its not really grungy, or metal, or Punk. Its just pop in a rock sense. Everyone got into it at the time and the reaction was obvious.

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.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

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.