Around here, we're always on the lookout for cool and interesting ways that musicians can connect with their fans. But oftentimes, the criticism against experimenting with new business models that don't rely on "selling music" tries to assert that "not everyone can do that!" -- and that not every artist can make a living
from selling T-shirts or concert tickets. But those arguments miss the point. It's obviously true that not every artist can make a living by just
selling T-shirts or by playing putt-putt golf with their fans. The point is that there are an infinite number of ways for artists to sell unique offerings to their fans -- stuff that fans will want to buy because there's a connection to the artist.
Now, I'm not a Justin Bieber fan, but the news that he's designing his own line of nail polish
targeted at teenage girls -- sounds like another example of an artist trying to connect with his fans (and make money by doing so). Clearly, not just any musician can sell nail polish with heart-shaped glitter suspended in it. But this nail polish line highlights the fact that musicians can endorse almost any product (no matter how silly) and expect a reasonable business model -- if the endorsement has even a hint of authenticity.