Sunday, January 20, 2008

Music Business Models

So little time and so many things to write about. My February copy of Wired arrived before I had time to remark on the article in the January edition by Davis Byrne of Talking Heads on "The Fall and Rise of Music". In the article, Byrne describes 6 different business models for musicians in the new world on digital music. They range from the sell your soul to the record company at one end of the spectrum through to eschew any other organization so that you can create sell and distribute your music yourself. Moreover, Byrne gave examples of musicians who are using each of the business models to show that they are valid models that are used.

From his experience of record deals with big record companies, Byrne advises any young artist to avoid selling your soul to the man, or even taking the the standard record company deal where they just own everything that you do. Surprisingly, there many who hold the opposite position. In December Tech Crunch published their list of the 20 most popular posts of 2007. One of them was by Michael Arrington on "The Inevitable March of Recorded Music Towards Free". It is interesting to read the comments in response, particularly the many comments from people who live to sell their soul to the big record companies and their anger that the big record companies are becoming not so big.

I have laid out my opinion on the future of music in several previous posts. It is great to see Byrne explain the alternatives in such a dispassionate way. It is also great to know that there are forward looking people who are building next generation music businesses, for example RCRD LBL.

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