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Jasonspitz
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Less than 12 hours after we recorded this, Goldiblox replaced the "Girls Parody Video" with a new version that has a different music track. They also released a "let's be friends" statement to the Beastie Boys. Still, I think the conversation in this podcast raises some great points about artists' rights & the use of music in advertising, and it's worth hearing. The Beastie Boys' actions (and their outcome) prove that artists should defend their music and advocate for themselves in a calm, reasoned, but firm manner.
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From a business perspective, I think the real kicker will be whether they can do a deal with an ISP to bundle their service with a mobile/internet plan. Bundling can be a really powerful way to get people to subscribe to something they wouldn't otherwise whip out their credit card and pay for separately. It could help Beats clear a huge hurdle to large-scale adoption.
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Somewhat unrelated (but not really): I use the Spotify channel on my Roku player all the time. It's so convenient to sit on the couch and use one remote control to jump seamlessly from video-streaming to music-streaming. It sounds great coming through my living-room stereo system. Whether or not Netflix gets into the game, I think there's a lot of potential in music subscription services running on TVs.
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Chris, you're missing my point. Even serious, hardworking bands fail to maximize the full potential of D2F because they lack the time or business skills to run a successful, profitable D2F business. I certainly agree that D2F is a new opportunity, but its promise goes unfulfilled without A) the knowledge of how to run a profitable business, B) the time to devote to it, and C) the work ethic to really do it right. Most bands don't have that combination of factors, even if they have 1 or 2 of them. They might sell some stuff D2F and make a little revenue, but they won't build a profitable business off it.
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Your concluding paragraph is spot-on, Clyde. Very well said. Direct-to-fan is not (in my opinion) a way to bypass LABELS, but rather a revenue model that bypasses the MIDDLEMEN like distributors & retailers, so the transaction occurs directly between the customer and the artist. Labels (indie or major) can absolutely be involved, and sometimes they may even manage the campaign. Whether you're totally DIY-ing it, or getting support from a team of helpers or a label, "nurturing a direct relationship with fans" is essential. I especially like Gumroad's "Overlay" tool...and the fact that they only take a 5% transaction fee (most D2F platforms take 15%).
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Hey dumbass: "Highly competitive setting" = the Grammy nomination process. "Right tactical choices for networking" = gaming an out-of-touch userbase who still has a major impact on Grammy nominations. Now, we can get into a discussion of whether the nomination process is flawed or easily manipulated (I think it is), but given the current "rules of the game", yes -- Al Walser is EFFECTIVE. He got what he wanted. All of Clyde's points still stand, and you come off sounding like a whiny bitch.
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Every point in this article is 100% correct, and it's stuff that a lot of bands need to take to heart. THANK YOU for spelling it out so clearly.
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The headline is wrong -- it should be "Artists & Labels Need to CREATE the New Music Industry". After all, they are the engine that drives it. The majors created the "old system", and now it is failing; the indies and artists must create a new model, not just "accept" the future that is happening around them. Also, the author is wrong when he blames the internet for the decline of artist development. Years before the web took hold, major labels became arms of mega-global corporations like Vivendi and TimeWarnerAOL, and the true A&Rs were replaced with profit-obsessed corporate types. They didn't care about "development", only fast profit. If your band didn't have a hit single on your first album, you were canned or left to wither on the vine. "Artist development" at major labels was dead before the internet came along. Now, here's my main point -- the author needs to differentiate between MAJOR labels, who often fall victim to those six points outlined above, and many INDIE labels who are actually doing it right. A lot of indies offer fair deals like 50/50 splits and treat their bands with care and devotion. Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Anti, and ATO are independent labels that practice true artist development, and they're showing signs of success & stability. Instead of whining about how labels are "lazy gluttons", let's shine a light on the labels who get it right and use them as role models for how to succeed.
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Thanks Adam! We're working on getting The Upward Spiral into iTunes. It should be there very soon. Keep your eyes peeled!
Toggle Commented May 25, 2012 on Hypebot Debuts The Upward Spiral Podcast at hypebot
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May 25, 2012