thefutureofmusicRemember a while back when Radiohead stunned the world and released an entire album – with no price ? Basically they left it to their fans to decide what to pay – pay a premium or ‘steal’ it – my paraphrasing of what good people will think – not their words.

Turns out they did very well with that approach – but of course the nay sayers suggested that of course Radiohead can afford to do that – they are Radiohead.Β At the time, I was on a bit more of a rant about the stupid music industry than I am these days. Not because the music industry has become more wise – or even that the problems have gone away – just time I guess. I am not part of the industry – simply a passionate watcher from the peanut gallery that involve himself with the professionals in the creative industry and help wherever I can.

I have written before – and will reiterate now – “the music industry is dead” …. and if you don’t actually agree with that statement, you must surely agree that “the music it produces is dead”.

BTW – this is totally seperate to MUSIC itself. It is alive and well thankyou very much. The choice, the models, the approaches, the variety – #awesome. Its happening all around – it is amazing what goes on if you just lift your head up and look.

The challenge however remains. How do you ensure that the artists make a living – a good living. Are rewarded for what they do. (BTW – substitute writer, artist, pinter, photographer and and and for ‘musician / artist’ n this post – you end up with a similar story.)

So I have written and talked about reintroducing the patronage model, sponsorship, packaging, differentiation and a whole host of other things.

Hit that fast forward button to 2013 Ted – and have a listen to what Amanda Palmer says.

The content is only tangential to the point above – the really interesting focus is those last lines.

Once again it is language. As she so eloquently puts it “stop trying to work out how to MAKE the fans pay and start thinking about why they want to pay.”

Spot On – and all sorts of good reminders throughout – but the key … ‘ask’ !! And you know what – it’s true. In all walks of life people always try to get something for nothing. Harlan Ellison had a lot to say on this topic – but I have friends on Maui who kind of get pushed into the corner by larger entities – you should do this … think of the exposure. Seriously – PAY!!

Some posts over on my music blog that you might like to explore if any of this resonates

this one

and this one

or even this most recent rant

8 thoughts on “Just Ask

  1. I saw Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet over the weekend. The Tom Courtenay character at one point was discussing Opera with some kids – and commented how Opera had been taken over by Rich people – and had therefore essentially destroyed it – sucked the life out of it … I thought that was truly insightful. After all – as the character said – Opera used to be about people for people.

    The parallels with Rock struck me. Replace ‘Rich People’ with ‘Music Industry – and the life is indeed sucked out of the genre. That’s how the dross we get delivered today continues to get through – because it is pushed – by the pushers !

  2. the problem lies with our society, art can only thrive as much as it is appreciated. People need to, as you say, raise their heads up and look, they might be surprised at what they see

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