The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Is free music really the answer?
Old 25th July 2007
  #31
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

The article at the top is way off -- the exception being the "adapt or die" philosophy which is old hat around here. It sounds like a speech a baby boomer rock & roller gives his teenage grandson/daughter who's got talent and aspirations. You know, "despite the fact that the drama and the money are all but gone for somebody trying to break in, there are still some table scraps you can feed on. And, oh, yeah -- you'll have to find them yourself, because there's no longer any significant incentive for a businessperson to go out of their way for you anymore, either. Good luck!"

Or, OK, maybe it sounds like a college professor discussing the "current state of the music industry" in songwriting class. Yes, the information is relevant and applicable. But, as somebody pointed out, the "tour, promote, sell" idea has been around forever (in rock 'n roll terms). And the 'quality' argument?!? Give me a BREAK! You're gonna try to sell quality in the age of reality TV? If anything, the above plan applies more to an act with shock value than an act with subtle, understated substance.

In the same breath, you're gonna tell me that there's an overwhelming glut of media BUT people will listen long enough to buy into quality if you "put it out there" relentlessly?

And don't get me asking, "what IS quality to you, anyway?" Could I take an emotionally charged, flawlessly delivered, impeccably recorded 20 minute piece for string quartet by a contemporary composer and market it this way? With 'artist samples?"

Nope, sorry, next...whoever said 'cookie cutter' is right. You have to be sucked into a formula to guerilla market like this, or you have to shock people so hard that in 15 sec. even the most ignorant can recognize that they're about to witness something way off the beaten path. Or you wind around that road of practiced quasi-relevance...you know, get your 'network' of friends to use words and phrases like "Beatlesesque" or "with reckless, rocking abandon not unlike Johnny Thunders in his heyday." "Who's in your band? Two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. No, really?" So you become not the next Neil Young, but the Neil Young 'they' know. Kinda reminds me of guitar companies selling "Relic" copies of vintage instruments which are already dinged and faded...

***

Yes, certain artists will be able to apply this plan successfully. But Phish already did it, String Cheese Incident did (and does) it. Indie punk and hardcore acts did it for years. That shows that the market has room for a success story here and there -- it doesn't prove anything particular about this recipe.

The difference between then and now to me is actually a couple of negatives: the rampant glut of media and lack of mystique that the internet/youtube culture brings about.

quietdrive's quoted post is on target. Why is it that on our very own MUSIC BOARD people will justify sharing CD's and music saying it's a digital Manifest Destiny, but talk of software sharing is absolutely taboo? For the record, I am against software piracy. But I find it troubling that, as opposed to recognizing that there is a dichotomy involved and railing against it (or at least grudgingly accepting it as inevitable), there are people ON THIS BOARD who see "free music" as some kind of promised land -- and many of these people would like to work 'in the biz' or at least make it a profitable hobby...

***

An analogous situation to the "give away, tour, promote, sell" ethic proposed would be if software developers GAVE AWAY software so they could sell you the "Geek Squad"-style support package. It's bulls&*t, and you know it. And they're selling a heckuva lot of iPods and computers because THEY looked the other way and WE (i.e.: the powers that be in the music biz) got blindsided.

Is there an iTunes for DVD movies? NO. Is there an iTunes for software apps included with your Mac, so you can borrow your buddy's Final Cut Pro and...oh, by golly, it WORKS with no copy protection...NO

And an iTunes collection is not one item; it's entire libraries. Click, drag, done, with no deterioration. This can't even be likened to tape dubbing in the slightest.

...if EVERY program was like that (think: PT plug-ins), then they'd sell more computers...the injustices involved would be but a minor side-effect (note sarcasm). But, "can I borrow your hard drive to fill up my iPod?"
Old 25th July 2007
  #32
Gear Nut
 
dorisinger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
so in addition to _the purple cow_ i'll also recommend _the anatomy of buzz_ for anyone who's interested in the kinds of yammering i just engaged in.
gregoire
del
ubk
.
Might also consider reading: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell.

It is about the epidemiology of trends - as in hits, blockbusters, social ideals, epidemics, etc.

The former music industry was driven by the blockbuster - one hit made so much flippin money that a relatively few number of hits could support an entire industry. Now, the choices in music are effectively infinite and the market is fragmented and segmented - it is very difficult to establish the critical mass necessary to catapult a song into truly blockbuster status. As a result, with fewer huge hits, there aren't the stratospheric profits to spread around the rest of the industry to develop artists or fund projects that might someday become the next hit and the next stratospheric profit. Without the blockbuster, the whole industry is limited in its viability.

So, it's back to the way it used to be - musicians on the road (and this includes virtual roads and super highways), getting by. Largely on their own. Making a living from their shows, merchandise, music sales, and very likely supplemented by their day jobs - doing it because they love to make music and play music and express themselves and connect with people. With the full realization that if they work hard they may be able to make a modest living at it, but that they'll be unlikely ever to become filthy arena-rock rich. It's the E.F. Hutton thing - making money the old fashion way - by earning it. It's no different than it used to be - far and away most people didn't hit the jackpot. But now, the upside success is more like winning a scratch off rather than winning a Power Ball Mega Millions - so there isn't the money or incentive in the system to fund all of the long shots. The long shots will have to do it themselves.

Sure, there will be the occasional blockbuster, but there will probably be a lot more "scratch offs" - and the odds will be a lot better if you've got a good product (i.e. good songs, good show, good recording, innovative music, etc.) and if you find creative and persistent ways to get that product out in front of ever narrowing audiences. Is free music a way to get there? I have no idea.
Old 25th July 2007
  #33
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisinger View Post
So, it's back to the way it used to be - musicians on the road (and this includes virtual roads and super highways), getting by. Largely on their own. Making a living from their shows, merchandise, music sales, and very likely supplemented by their day jobs - doing it because they love to make music and play music and express themselves and connect with people. With the full realization that if they work hard they may be able to make a modest living at it, but that they'll be unlikely ever to become filthy arena-rock rich.
Click here: Howstuffworks "How Web Advertising Works" web advertising primer

If you have a music video or myspace page viewed 1 million, 10 million, or more times (* not 1 million VISITORS, 1 million VIEWS...it's very different), just remember:
Just because YOU didn't see a dime doesn't mean it wasn't a hit for SOMEBODY.

SOMEBODY bought a car from that ad revenue. SOMEBODY put a down payment on a house or sent their kids to private school. And you don't even get a thank-you card for promoting the heck out of THEIR cash cow.

Makes the "evil record labels" not seem so evil anymore, eh?
Old 26th July 2007
  #34
Gear Nut
 
dorisinger's Avatar
 

herding cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano View Post
If you have a music video or myspace page viewed 1 million, 10 million, or more times (* not 1 million VISITORS, 1 million VIEWS...it's very different), just remember:
Just because YOU didn't see a dime doesn't mean it wasn't a hit for SOMEBODY.
Gregg,

I agree, completely - but I would consider 10 million views to be on the blockbuster side of the scale. And, as you know, there are sites implementing revenue sharing methods with the creators of content - this would certainly help to align everyone's incentives and probably, at least theoretically by making it more worth someone's time, stimulate higher quality content - which could be a win/win for everybody.

Though any system is unlikely to be really fair to the artists/creators unless you have a collective organization with enough members and clout to negotiate a "royalty" system of payments based on internet views, much in the same way that other intellectual property is compensated on TV and radio and live venues. It would require artists to join an organization and negotiate as a group - and agree to only provide their content to entities that will agree to their terms. Though as you have pointed out, this is difficult to control in the digital realm because of all the file sharing issues - though should be do-able with the larger "legit" entities like MySpace, YouTube, etc., which is probably where most of the views would be, anyway.

Pie in the sky, I know. Fortunately, I don't have a dog in this hunt, music/recording is just a hobby - so take my opinion for what it's worth, $0.02.

-david
Old 26th July 2007
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisinger View Post
I agree, completely - but I would consider 10 million views to be on the blockbuster side of the scale.
1) It's exceptional, but not unheard of. And if a YouTube hit takes off (think "Let's Get Some Shoes" or Lasse Gjertsen's timeline-edit-only drummer), it can go from zero to millions of plays in a few short months.

2) iPhones have YouTube capabilities and AT&T has included unlimited wireless internet in the plan (and the iPhone is local wi-fi capable as well). With this in mind, what do you think viewership numbers are gonna look like this time next year? What if ten million views becomes just a milestone for a vid that's "starting to catch on" with the public. Should the creator(s) of that vid, through a Nielsen/ASCAP-like organization, get $5000 in their royalty check? $10000? $2500? Then what if 100 million views started to be the "hit" number. What then?

If this started happening, do you think venture capitalists would form production groups? What would that influx of money do for the audio/video production community? Would the big studios still be closing, or would they be airing "weekends at [studio name]" and pulling in a reliable royalty check?

That's my problem with this whole thing: it's not "adapt or die," it's "adapt and die anyway...while Silicon Valley gets rich."

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisinger View Post
IAnd, as you know, there are sites implementing revenue sharing methods with the creators of content
Please post examples (not SNOCAP).

BTW, I think we're on the same page -- I'm making the same points you are. Now's the time for collective bargaining (pie-in-the-sky...).
Old 26th July 2007
  #36
Gear Nut
 
dorisinger's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=Gregg Sartiano;1399856
Please post examples (not SNOCAP).

BTW, I think we're on the same page -- I'm making the same points you are. Now's the time for collective bargaining (pie-in-the-sky...).[/QUOTE]

There's probably a pretty big opportunity to the organization that could acheive this - seems like one of the existing PRO's would make this a priority, though they've probably been caught in the headlights just like the record companies in terms of the new reality.


Examples (all for video):

Google Offers Revenue Sharing to Video Content Creators: Technology Evangelist


YouTube plans revenue sharing with users - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

Metacafe's Online Video Revenue Sharing Goes Live
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump