Freeing the Music

David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars

These are two really good articles about where the music industry needs to go, back into the hands of the musicians and out of the hands of cranky old men.

Like IDR stated in the comments, hit the NIN site and read Trent’s experience with self distribution so far.

It’s not the shiny, happy utopia that one might think. But I never stated it would be and neither did David Byrne. There are several (as David counts 6) ways of doing the distribution thing. There is NO Silver Bullet that will take down the record company monopoly and free the artists and the music…not yet anyway. It’s gonna be a lot of trial and error, great ideas and horrible ideas, good luck and shit luck. It’ll probably be ten times harder than just signing your life away to the record company. But down the road, when the times have changed, when the freedom is realized, THAT is when it’ll be worth it. Trent, Saul, David, Thom, and the hundreds of small artists/groups already doing this are the trailblazers. They are opening the way to the future.

  1. #1 by IDR on January 17, 2008 8:22 am - 8:22 am

    take a look at the last post on the site. He goes into detail about their experience.

  2. #2 by djLicious on January 17, 2008 2:12 pm - 2:12 pm

    To get all academic…

    Trent and Radiohead could have made more money – had they chose not to create the massive consumer surplus that they did. That is, all those free-downloaders enjoy a whole lot of utility over and above the dollar value that they would have given up to attain that utility. Had Trent and Radiohead attempted to extract that massive consumer surplus (by charging some minimum amount), they could have made much more money. Instead, they chose to flood the consumer market with tons of consumer surplus – a good thing if you’re a music listener, and a bad thing if you’re a music-maker who wants to eat.

    My guess is that next iteration of this music marketing model will be closer a traditional one in which some minimum price is set, but listeners will have the option to pay more – sort of like tipping. But the fundamental shift here is the banishment of the big, fat bloated middle-man record company that no longer brings value to music distribution. That’s where musicians will win.

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