Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Make Money At Music

94.9 KUOW/Seattle's Steve Scher snagged me with a teaser to his show yesterday:
"...industry analysts and executives have bemoaned the imminent death of the music industry ever since the birth of the Internet. In reality it's only the record business that's in peril. Album sales once built musical empires. Now touring is the cornerstone of an artist's financial success. Bands who make the road their home are not just insulated from the drop in record sales — they can be profitable! How can you succeed in the modern music industry? Tune in to find out."

The podcast is worth a listen as local booking agent Ali Hedrick talks about the end of record labels and the beginning of management companies/360 deals. Ali brags that she always tries to have tickets to her events available at venues so fans can buy them with no service charges as well (though of course the majority of tickets still sell including "convenience" charges).

Then, this morning, "Lee Brice" emailed to offer to sell me tickets direct from the artist to his shows, cutting out yet another "middle man."

It will be interesting to see if this "added value" approach can provide a long-term business model that keeps musicians playing and music buyers smilin' - while getting more dollars into the hands of creative types as well as lower prices or a better experience to the consumer with less of a "cut" for agents, brokers and traditional exec's.

I can dream, can't it?

1 comment:

New York Times Media Decoder (click to read it) said...

The discussion of whether bands and music acts are co-opted by Madison Avenue when they allow their songs to be used in commercials has evolved over the years. Once, the practice was loudly decried as “selling out.” More recently, it has been explained — even accepted, in some circles — as a way for musicians to gain attention and make money, as the recording industry undergoes profound changes. The debate came to life in a lively, humorous fashion on Tuesday night in a segment of “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central. Stephen Colbert, who won a Grammy last year for best comedy album, pretended he was having trouble filling out a Grammy ballot in his “favorite category” of best alternative music album. “I do love being a kingmaker,” he said, and to help himself decide between two of the acts in the category, the Black Keys and Vampire Weekend, he called band members on stage for a “sell-out-off.” “The only way to determine which alternative band has the most edgy, noncommercial appeal,” Mr. Colbert said, “is which one got their songs in more commercials.” Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend faced off with Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. In a “battle of the bands” format, they went back and forth, proudly presenting clips from commercials that use their songs. The Black Keys narrated clips from commercials for Zales, Victoria’s Secret and Sony Ericsson. Mr. Koenig countered with clips from spots for Honda, Tommy Hilfiger and Hewlett-Packard that all used songs by Vampire Weekend. Mr. Colbert declared that both bands “have equally whored out your music,” and they thanked him. But the mock battle then turned physical as the Black Keys and Mr. Koenig pulled out weapons like bats and chains to settle the matter. Mr. Colbert, unmoved, pulled out a crowbar and shouted, “Leave some for Daddy.” The segment ended with an appearance by an executive of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which administers the Grammys, who pretended to join in the mayhem with a broken bottle. Alas, the “sell-out-off” was undecided. Perhaps a rematch can be staged, including acts with considerable exposure in commercials like Train.