1 Mar 2011, 18:37This was one fishy story
4 Dic 2010, 17:51This is an article which I copied from here
in order to give anyone having problem with that site a chance to read it.
The original is accompanied with audio interviews and graph images which I couldn't copy unfortunately, try to Google if interested.
David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists and Megastars
By David Byrne 12.18.07
Photo: James Day
David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music
Full disclosure: I used to own a record label. That label, Luaka Bop, still exists, though I'm no longer involved in running it. My last record came out through Nonesuch, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group empire. I have also released music through indie labels like Thrill Jockey, and I have pressed up CDs and sold them on tour. I tour every few years, and I don't see it as simply a loss leader for CD sales. So I have seen this business from both sides. I've made money, and I've been ripped off. I've had creative freedom, and I've been pressured to make hits. I have dealt with diva behavior from crazy musicians, and I have seen genius records by wonderful artists get completely ignored. I love music. I always will. It saved my life, and I bet I'm not the only one who can say that.
Bonus Track: "Ex Guru"
"Here's the 'cover' I did of the Fiery Furnaces tune — the words in the first half are theirs and in the last two verses they are mine. Kind of a new way to collaborate."
— David Byrne
Courtesy Thrill Jockey Records
What is called the music business today, however, is not the business of producing music. At some point it became the business of selling CDs in plastic cases, and that business will soon be over. But that's not bad news for music, and it's certainly not bad news for musicians. Indeed, with all the ways to reach an audience, there have never been more opportunities for artists.
Where are things going? Well, some people's charts look like this:
Some see this picture as a dire trend. The fact that Radiohead debuted its latest album online and Madonna defected from Warner Bros. to Live Nation, a concert promoter, is held to signal the end of the music business as we know it. Actually, these are just two examples of how musicians are increasingly able to work outside of the traditional label relationship. There is no one single way of doing business these days. There are, in fact, six viable models by my count. That variety is good for artists; it gives them more ways to get paid and make a living. And it's good for audiences, too, who will have more — and more interesting — music to listen to. Let's step back and get some perspective.
What is music?
First, a definition of terms. What is it we're talking about here? What exactly is being bought and sold? In the past, music was something you heard and experienced — it was as much a social event as a purely musical one. Before recording technology existed, you could not separate music from its social context. Epic songs and ballads, troubadours, courtly entertainments, church music, shamanic chants, pub sing-alongs, ceremonial music, military music, dance music — it was pretty much all tied to specific social functions. It was communal and often utilitarian. You couldn't take it home, copy it, sell it as a commodity (except as sheet music, but that's not music), or even hear it again. Music was an experience, intimately married to your life. You could pay to hear music, but after you did, it was over, gone — a memory.
Technology changed all that in the 20th century. Music — or its recorded artifact, at least — became a product, a thing that could be bought, sold, traded, and replayed endlessly in any context. This upended the economics of music, but our human instincts remained intact. I spend plenty of time with buds in my ears listening to recorded music, but I still get out to stand in a crowd with an audience. I sing to myself, and, yes, I play an instrument (not always well).
We'll always want to use music as part of our social fabric: to congregate at concerts and in bars, even if the sound sucks; to pass music from hand to hand (or via the Internet) as a form of social currency; to build temples where only "our kind of people" can hear music (opera houses and symphony halls); to want to know more about our favorite bards — their love lives, their clothes, their political beliefs. This betrays an eternal urge to have a larger context beyond a piece of plastic. One might say this urge is part of our genetic makeup.
All this is what we talk about when we talk about music.
All of it.
What do record companies do?
Or, more precisely, what did they do?
Fund recording sessions
Loan and advance money for expenses (tours, videos, hair and makeup)
Advise and guide artists on their careers and recordings
Handle the accounting
This was the system that evolved over the past century to market the product, which is to say the container — vinyl, tape, or disc — that carried the music. (Calling the product music is like selling a shopping cart and calling it groceries.) But many things have changed in the past decade that reduce the value of these services to artists.
Recording costs have declined to almost zero. Artists used to need the labels to bankroll their recordings. Most simply didn't have the $15,000 (minimum) necessary to rent a professional studio and pay an engineer and a producer. For many artists — maybe even most — this is no longer the case. Now an album can be made on the same laptop you use to check email.
Manufacturing and distribution costs are approaching zero. There used to be a break-even point below which it was impractical to distribute a recording. With LPs and CDs, there were base manufacturing costs, printing costs, shipping, and so on. It paid — in fact, it was essential — to sell in volume, because that's how many of those costs got amortized. No more: Digital distribution is pretty much free. It's no cheaper per unit to distribute a million copies than a hundred.
Touring is not just promotion. Live performances used to be seen as essentially a way to publicize a new release — a means to an end, not an end in itself. Bands would go into debt in order to tour, anticipating that they'd recover their losses later through increased record sales. This, to be blunt, is all wrong. It's backward. Performing is a thing in itself, a distinct skill, different from making recordings. And for those who can do it, it's a way to make a living.
So with all these changes, what happens to the labels? Some will survive. Nonesuch, where I've done several albums, has thrived under Warner Music Group ownership by operating with a lean staff of 12 and staying focused on talent. "Artists like Wilco, Philip Glass, k.d. lang, and others have sold more here than when they were at so-called major labels," Bob Hurwitz, president of Nonesuch, told me, "even during a time of decline."
David Byrne in Conversation with Brian Eno
"How the f--k can we get out of this?"
"The people who know how to do this are the ones you fired ..."
"When was the last time you had dealings with a record company?"
But some labels will disappear, as the roles they used to play get chopped up and delivered by more thrifty services. In a recent conversation I had with Brian Eno (who is producing the next Coldplay album and writing with U2), he was enthusiastic about I Think Music — an online network of indie bands, fans, and stores — and pessimistic about the future of traditional labels. "Structurally, they're much too large," Eno said. "And they're entirely on the defensive now. The only idea they have is that they can give you a big advance — which is still attractive to a lot of young bands just starting out. But that's all they represent now: capital."
So where do artists fit into this changing landscape? We find new options, new models.
The six possibilities
Where there was one, now there are six: Six possible music distribution models, ranging from one in which the artist is pretty much hands-off to one where the artist does nearly everything. Not surprisingly, the more involved the artist is, the more he or she can often make per unit sold. The totally DIY model is certainly not for everyone — but that's the point. Now there's choice.
1. At one end of the scale is the 360, or equity, deal, where every aspect of the artist's career is handled by producers, promoters, marketing people, and managers. The idea is that you can achieve wide saturation and sales, boosted by a hardworking machine that stands to benefit from everything you do. The artist becomes a brand, owned and operated by the label, and in theory this gives the company a long-term perspective and interest in nurturing that artist's career.
Pussycat Dolls, Korn, and Robbie Williams have made arrangements like this, selling equity in everything they touch. The T-shirts, the records, the concerts, the videos, the BBQ sauce. The artist often gets a lot of money up front. But I doubt that creative decisions will be left in the artist's hands. As a general rule, as the cash comes in, creative control goes out. The equity partner simply has too much at stake.
This is the kind of deal Madonna just made with Live Nation. For a reported $120 million, the company — which until now has mainly produced and promoted concerts — will get a piece of both her concert revenue and her music sales. I, for one, would not want to be beholden to Live Nation — a spinoff of Clear Channel, the radio conglomerate that turned the US airwaves into pabulum. But Madge is a smart cookie; she's always been adept at controlling her own stuff, so we'll see.
2. Next is what I'll call the standard distribution deal. This is more or less what I lived with for many years as a member of the Talking Heads. The record company bankrolls the recording and handles the manufacturing, distribution, press, and promotion. The artist gets a royalty percentage after all those other costs are repaid. The label, in this scenario, owns the copyright to the recording. Forever.
There's another catch with this kind of arrangement: The typical pop star often lives in debt to their record company and a host of other entities, and if they hit a dry spell they can go broke. Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, TLC — the danger of debt and overextension is an old story.
Obviously, the cost of these services, along with the record company's overhead, accounts for a big part of CD prices. You, the buyer, are paying for all those trucks, those CD plants, those warehouses, and all that plastic. Theoretically, as many of these costs go away, they should no longer be charged to the consumer — or the artist.
Sure, many of the services traditionally provided by record labels under the standard deal are now being farmed out. Press and publicity, digital marketing, graphic design — all are often handled by smaller, independent firms. But he who pays the piper calls the tune. If the record company pays the subcontractors, then the record company ultimately decides who or what has priority. If they "don't hear a single," they can tell you your record isn't coming out.
So what happens when online sales eliminate many of these expenses? Look at iTunes: $10 for a "CD" download reflects the cost savings of digital distribution, which seems fair — at first. It's certainly better for consumers. But after Apple takes its 30 percent, the royalty percentage is applied and the artist — surprise! — is no better off.
Not coincidentally, the issues here are similar to those in the recent Hollywood writers' strike. Will recording artists band together and go on strike?
3. The license deal is similar to the standard deal, except in this case the artist retains the copyrights and ownership of the master recording. The right to exploit that property is granted to a label for a limited period of time — usually seven years. After that, the rights to license to TV shows, commercials, and the like revert to the artist. If the members of the Talking Heads held the master rights to our catalog today, we'd earn twice as much in licensing as we do now — and that's where artists like me derive much of our income. If a band has made a record itself and doesn't need creative or financial help, this model is worth looking at. It allows for a little more creative freedom, since you get less interference from the guys in the big suits. The flip side is that because the label doesn't own the master, it may invest less in making the release a success.
David Byrne in conversation with Mac McCaughan from Merge Records.
"How could an indie label handle a release the size of Arcade Fire's second record?"
"How do emerging acts survive?"
"Major labels aren't doing well because they put out terrible records for years and years and kept raising the price of those terrible records and finally people were like, 'Screw you.'"
But with the right label, the license deal can be a great way to go. This is the relationship Arcade Fire has with Merge Records, an indie label that's done great for its band by avoiding the big-spending, big-label approach. "Part of it is just being realistic and not putting yourself in the hole," Merge cofounder Mac McCaughan says. "The bands we work with, we never recommend that they make videos. I like videos, but they don't sell a lot of records. What really sells records is touring — and artists can actually make money on the tour itself if they keep their budgets down."
4. Then there's the profit-sharing deal. I did something like this with my album Lead Us Not Into Temptation in 2003. I got a minimal advance from the label, Thrill Jockey, since the recording costs were covered by a movie soundtrack budget, and we shared the profits from day one. I retained ownership of the master. Thrill Jockey does some marketing and press. I may or may not have sold as many records as I would have with a larger company, but in the end I took home a greater share of each unit sold.
5. In the manufacturing and distribution deal, the artist does everything except, well, manufacture and distribute the product. Often the companies that do these kinds of deals also offer other services, like marketing. But given the numbers, they don't stand to make as much, so their incentive here is limited. Big record labels traditionally don't make M&D deals.
David Byrne in conversation with Michael Hausman.
"We weren't competing with Madonna, Beyonce or Springsteen, because they weren't doing it."
"There's a way for music to have a life of its own and turn into something bigger ..."
"The labels aren't set up for enlightened, long-range thinking. That's what a good manager should be doing."
In this scenario, the artist gets absolute creative control, but it's a bigger gamble. Aimee Mann does this, and it works really well for her. "A lot of artists don't realize how much more money they could make by retaining ownership and licensing directly," Mann's manager, Michael Hausman, told me. "If it's done properly, you get paid quickly, and you get paid again and again. That's a great source of income."
6. Finally, at the far end of the scale, is the self-distribution model, where the music is self-produced, self-written, self-played, and self-marketed. CDs are sold at gigs and through a Web site. Promotion is a MySpace page. The band buys or leases a server to handle download sales. Within the limits of what they can afford, the artists have complete creative control. In practice, especially for emerging artists, that can mean freedom without resources — a pretty abstract sort of independence. For those who plan to take their material on the road and play it live, the financial constraints cut even deeper. Backup orchestras, massive video screens and sets, and weird high tech lights don't come cheap.
David Byrne in conversation with Radiohead's managers, Bryce Edge and Chris Hufford (Courtyard Management).
"... how it proliferated around the world with such ridiculous speed"
"You've had years of experience with the press ... missing the point."
"It actually physically blew up and we had to replace it ..."
"It's just an art band from Oxford having a bit of a laugh."
"Johnny’s doing his gay boy sort of pretty look"
Radiohead adopted this DIY model to sell In Rainbows online — and then went a step further by letting fans name their own price for the download. They weren't the first to do this — Issa (formerly known as Jane Siberry) pioneered the pay-what-you-will model a few years ago — but Radiohead's move was much higher profile. It may be less risky for them, but it's a clear sign of real changes afoot. As one of Radiohead's managers, Bryce Edge, told me, "The industry reacted like the end was nigh. They've devalued music, giving it away for nothing.' Which wasn't true: We asked people to value it, which is very different semantics to me."
At this end of the spectrum, the artist stands to receive the largest percentage of income from sales per unit — sales of anything. A larger percentage of fewer sales, most likely, but not always. Artists doing it for themselves can actually make more money than the massive pop star, even though the sales numbers may seem minuscule by comparison. Of course, not everyone is as smart as those nerdy Radiohead boys. Pete Doherty probably should not be handed the steering wheel.
Freedom versus pragmatism
These models are not absolute. They can morph and evolve. Hausman and Mann took the total DIY route at first, getting money orders and sending out CDs in Express Mail envelopes; later on they licensed the records to distributors. And things change over time. In the future, we will see more artists take up these various models or mix and match versions of them. For existing and emerging artists — who read about the music business going down the drain — this is actually a great time, full of options and possibilities. The future of music as a career is wide open.
Many who take the cash up front will never know that long-range thinking might have been wiser. Mega pop artists will still need that mighty push and marketing effort for a new release that only traditional record companies can provide. For others, what we now call a record label could be replaced by a small company that funnels income and invoices from the various entities and keeps the accounts in order. A consortium of midlevel artists could make this model work. United Musicians, the company that Hausman founded, is one such example.
I would personally advise artists to hold on to their publishing rights (well, as much of them as they can). Publishing royalties are how you get paid if someone covers, samples, or licenses your song for a movie or commercial. This, for a songwriter, is your pension plan.
Increasingly, it's possible for artists to hold on to the copyrights for their recordings as well. This guarantees them another lucrative piece of the licensing pie and also gives them the right to exploit their work in mediums to be invented in the future — musical brain implants and the like.
No single model will work for everyone. There's room for all of us. Some artists are the Coke and Pepsi of music, while others are the fine wine — or the funky home-brewed moonshine. And that's fine. I like Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man." Sometimes a corporate soft drink is what you want — just not at the expense of the other thing. In the recent past, it often seemed like all or nothing, but maybe now we won't be forced to choose.
Ultimately, all these scenarios have to satisfy the same human urges: What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music takes us to? Can I get a round-trip ticket?
Really, isn't that what we want to buy, sell, trade, or download?
David Byrne is currently collaborating with Fatboy Slim and Brian Eno. Separately.
Chart Sources: Jupiter Research, Recording Industry Association of America, Almighty Institute of Music Retail, Wired Research
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Posted by: Fuzz1062 days ago4 Points
First of all, I really enjoyed your article and I think that it does a great job of highlighting the new options that are available to artists as they ask themselves the fundamental question: NOW how do I pursue a musical career? Despite the continu...
Posted by: pkwaldrop1065 days ago3 Points
If only more journalistic writers approached each piece with such an informed view of the subject.
Posted by: billh1019 days ago2 Points
The Red Paintings have gone label-free and are trying out an interesting approach to dealing with the costs involved in recording and distributing an album. What I find most interesting is that it seems to be working quite well for them so far. "Bri...
Posted by: kisstheculprit1068 days ago2 Points
I would like to expand on the comments of thbb. Einstürzende Neubauten has released three albums according to the interview but in fact, their internet subscription process has generated many more releases then just three. 2 albums released to publ...
Posted by: brucewarila1069 days ago2 Points
Great presentation and accounting using the data that's available. The usual industry projections measure product sales and don't account for content consumption - which is at an all time high and growing rapidly. I advise new artists to give away ...
Posted by: djames1044 days ago1 Point
I'm suprised that there was no mention of independent distributors like CD Baby, which can get unsigned artists' music on itunes and other MP3 delivery systems without a label. Artist actually receive about $6.40 per 9.99 sale. There is no need, as ...
Posted by: brandbaylis343 days ago1 Point
David, Thank you! Thank you. Thank you |Thank you|
Posted by: taotekid434 days ago1 Point
Finally, at the far end of the scale, is ... bandcamp.com , "the best home on the web for your music" :D
Posted by: Squadprod480 days ago1 Point
Thank you David for an excellent, well informed, useful and enlightening article.
Posted by: tapetheory686 days ago1 Point
Great article, David. We (the group Vinyl Life) started our own label, Tape Theory http://tapetheory.com , to keep the control. With digital distribution being free it's easy to get started. From there, we will make vinyl to sell at shows. If you in...
Posted by: Rockizoid697 days ago1 Point
The cost of producing music at home is not "near zero". A decent home studio with good mic's and instruments etc will easily cost 50-100k. Also, the time involved to produce a single cant be thought to be worth zero. It can take up to one month of...
Posted by: Squadprod480 days ago1 Point
I agree wholeheartedly with the undeniable fact that a great deal of music created in home studios is not always on par with that produced and recorded in a professional environment. However, I was recently reading an interview with Les Paul re: his ...
Posted by: BrendanH16709 days ago1 Point
Downloading is already on the verge of becoming obsolete. The future of distribution is no distribution whatsoever. Much like the way we pay for cable tv, or our cell phones we will pay for music. Imagine paying a monthly fee to have unlimited access...
Posted by: jnj768 days ago1 Point
David, what do you think of a musician using Kyte?
Posted by: laszlo_szell780 days ago1 Point
the chart above "artist iTunes revenue breakdown" neglects mechanical licences that are also due to be paid to the composer/s via collecting societies. if figures displayed are correct, than the whole maths does not work and the entire modell will co...
Posted by: Irienow789 days ago1 Point
David Byrne photo galleries at Performance Impressions.
David Byrne at Bonnaroo 2004 and his 2008 Tour
Posted by: JaWar863 days ago1 Point
David thank you for the article, Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars. It's a good read. http://www.gomusicconnection.com...
Posted by: numodo915 days ago1 Point
the music industry dug this whole for themselves by not partnering with and thinking ahead of (the) technology. if an artist isn't credited on internet radio, rss feeds, a consumer/listener sor listener doesn't know who the artist is to seek out the...
Posted by: Squadprod480 days ago1 Point
I feel this is a somewhat tainted opinion. David has suggested 6 different levels of "deal" based upon how much artistic and financial control the artist wishes to retain or lose. At the end of the day, the artist still has to tread the boards (as it...
Posted by: lagowski953 days ago1 Point
"Can you hear me above this noise?". I've become more and more sad lately that the music I make cannot be heard as it has become lost in the computer & online world. Since the late 80's/early 90's, computers have increasingly taken over electron...
Posted by: Miles1975 days ago1 Point
Posted by: Miles1975 days ago1 Point
The only way to guarantee that no one else will is to supply it at a market price that people are prepared to pay or free then, make money from playing live gigs. Many people in life develop ideas and techniques for which they get no payment other th...
Posted by: georgejohnston997 days ago1 Point
Much gratitude to Mr Byrne for that. As an artist relatively new to the business, it was quite frightening for me to imagine how I was/am going to survive with the music industry the way it is now. I've seen quotes from both Mr Byrne and Mr Yorke sa...
Posted by: Skeptix1031 days ago1 Point
I really did take great interest in the charts that demonstrate where our money goes when we purchase an album. However a few things struck me as odd. Even though the artist seems to make 20 cents more from a $16 CD than he does from an iTunes albu...
Posted by: tobto1026 days ago1 Point
I was in industry almost 30 long years. Have to say Mr.Byrne having so deep invaluable experience of self-promotion could write us a big book (textbook) for all kinds of promo/marketing into music business - tobto.org...
Posted by: fauxcomposer1030 days ago1 Point
i find it amusing that the wonder of the interweb and digital distribution has brought the music business back, basically, to where it was in the thirties/forties. musicians only make decent money touring (if they are competent live players), and re...
Posted by: roccia1036 days ago1 Point
I am not in the music industry in any way. My job is like many others in the world. I do something once and get paid for my skill, once. Prior to recording becoming possible this is how it was for musicians too. And this is how it may become again. M...
Posted by: sonikpollen1036 days ago1 Point
you guys need to check out www.sonikpollen.com it is a no brainer for indie music industry & small labels blah. this company is one to look out for, labels keep 99% of worldwide nets sales from distribution to 500 music stores like itunes, it is ...
Posted by: tobto1039 days ago1 Point
modern music business goes to the state of open source software 5 years ago. now we can say modern music becomes open source music. and thats cool. absolutely agree we will see soon new original business models in open source music society. tobto.org...
Posted by: hoWe_hoMe1043 days ago1 Point
exactly. byrne's a bridge to the other side ... reminder to self: the dreadnought is the original lap top. so dread not. just let it slide and don't fret.
Posted by: ArtWhite1046 days ago1 Point
The new myth that "recording costs are virtually zero" is very dangerous and it's disingenuous of David Byrne to promote this idea as he knows that it's horses**t. Yes, if you are an act that produces completely electronic music you can make it succe...
Posted by: TRiles1048 days ago1 Point
In Mr. Byrne's article he stated that his original label contract did not include any digital rights, noting that he received a percentage on CD sales but nothing on MP3 sales. I guess that I'm either technically confused or legally unsophisticated, ...
Posted by: kansas6661048 days ago1 Point
This was an interesting article. But it failed to mention one very important point. Now that music can be so easily copied and stolen, the entire model breaks down. Work it any way you want. But if people can get it for free they will....
Posted by: Skeptix1021 days ago1 Point
I see your point, but i don't think it's entirely accurate. I was huge into piracy before iTunes came along, at which point i was quite willing to pay for it. I'm of the opinion that many others are the same way. I'd rather pay for a good, clean, ...
Posted by: schroedbot1049 days ago1 Point
Its clear that Mr. Byrne is not only a musical genius but he is very adept on the business end as well. I guess you'd have to be to have a career like he's had... Its exciting for me (a somewhat young artist) to hear such words of encouragement and t...
Posted by: StuckeyBing1051 days ago1 Point
I looked for his credit on the bushofghosts.wmg.com website, but I could not see it. This strikes me as terribly unfair, especially since like the others receiving their credit, he's a working musician in addition to being a preacher of note. http://...
Posted by: farsight1046 days ago1 Point
well in the context of theology i would have to ask you, wasnt it jesus who said: freely you have received, freely give. economically, i have to question how a rich man can take something, give no credit to the originator, and then feel no twinge of...
Posted by: Appasionato1051 days ago1 Point
A German plattform www.CultureLoad.net supplies the possibilities for emerging artists to distribute and promote their audio files. As a musician I think this site is interesting, but they might improve their web design....
Posted by: Jonathan1051 days ago1 Point
Artists are missing... but one can already discover some talents. I'll keep my eyes on it.
Posted by: MichelleRose1062 days ago1 Point
Ten years ago, I financed a CD for the band I played keyboards for and took a bath on it. $10k and we sold maybe 200 copies because no record company or distribution company would touch it. They all wanted the copyrights which we refused to part with...
Posted by: mywymedia1063 days ago1 Point
wyplanet is a new digitial distribution site that is going to pay emerging artists to promote there music. Never before has a site done this. They are accepting beta testers right now. go to www.wyplanet.com and sign up for a beta account. wyplanet ...
Posted by: pearlpearl1055 days ago1 Point
a company called Music Nation (musicnation.com) is trying to build a platform for artists to be discovered. they have a label called Original Signal Recordings. bands who have the best content on the site are eligible for "name your own adventure" de...
Posted by: AnalogGurl1065 days ago1 Point
I'm not a genuis, nor do I imagine that I have any of the answers but right off the bat I see a few glaring problems with Mr. Byrne's ideas: 1) An artist with a laptop is still going to need a good guitar, drums (electronic or otherwise), good mics, ...
Posted by: mmoodmusic1059 days ago1 Point
I think the point at the end of the article, as Byrne says, there are at least six different business models he could think of off the top of his head. As the net opens up more possibilities, the risks and opportunities of this unregulated cyber wil...
Posted by: ICEEJAKE1057 days ago1 Point
Being a DIY Artist myself, from Columbus, Ohio I recently made contact with a gentleman from the U.K. by the name of geeQ. He has an open mind and a ear for great music, and he runs the best website for indie and unsigned artist I've ever came across...
Posted by: StuckeyBing1067 days ago1 Point
I've always loved collaborative album, "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts" and the new re-mix project is just wonderful. But since we're talking dollars and sense, what kind of royalties or deal (before and after releasing the album)was made with folks l...
Posted by: punto1068 days ago1 Point
what about a mix between the M&D and the licensing deal? The artist produces its own master, and the licenses the finished product. The contract could include a minimum ammount spent in marketing/promotion (which could be higer since the Label do...
Posted by: KmarWolfHalen1058 days ago1 Point
KmarWolfHalen found at; http://www.kmarwolfhalen.com actually writes, produces and sells his own music. An example of possibility (6). Though, due to the instrument(s) used, Kmarwolfhalen is not restrained in any way in making live performances. He p...
Posted by: fityxxpayeevkl1058 days ago1 Point
"...less interference from the guys in the big suits."
The visual I get from that is from Stop Making Sense. :-)
Posted by: thbb1058 days ago1 Point
This article is well thought out, but quite unimaginative. There are many other ways to produce music and make a living with it. For instance, since 2002, Einstuerzende Neubauten ( http://www.neubauten.org/ ) has been exploring new ways to produce r...
Posted by: ludovica1059 days ago1 Point
made to order music is the future? http://www.spymac.com/details?2319674
Posted by: GalerieEclipse1060 days ago1 Point
I am about to embark on the journey of selling my songs and thanks to the conversations found here I now have an idea as to what to watch out for as I proceed.I am on" Reverbnation" if anyone is curious."GalerieEclipse"at (MySpace)...
Posted by: Snigel1072 days ago1 Point
There's another twist going on in Iceland. A local artist, Mugison, is selling his album on his website. He recorded it, mastered it, released it, made the cover and is now selling it online - sending it to his fans via mail. It's a fixed price bu...
Posted by: clanbalache1062 days ago1 Point
great note, it really help me. thanks david ...and wired http://clanbalache.com.ar
Posted by: Pooleside1063 days ago1 Point
David Byrne is a brilliant guy, but there is a fatal flaw in all of these schemes he describes- they all rely on unit sales of "product". He's still talking about selling the shopping cart, not the music. The unit price of the package, whether down...
Posted by: elborja1063 days ago1 Point
Is a wicked article, but I am afraid most of the issues here only apply for medium and big artists, the small bands selling only a few thousands or even hundreds would not find too much of their story here...
Posted by: IchHeisseWILSON1063 days ago1 Point
I think we should turn this article into an internet meme & repost it everywhere!! Here Come The Warm Jets
Posted by: StuckeyBing1075 days ago1 Point
OK OK, I'll up my price! I will pay $10.00 U.S. for a downloadable Byrne/Eno pop hit based on this article. That's 10 bucks for just one song. If it's good, I will have it swimming around in my head for years and years to come. It's a bargain at any...
Posted by: pkwaldrop1065 days ago1 Point
Out of principle, we should all go buy a plastic version of "The Name of this Band is..."
Posted by: stovebyawhale1065 days ago1 Point
Why does Radiohead get credit with starting a "revolution?" Bomb the Music Industry! has been posting their music online for free download since 2005. In fact, Jeff Rosenstock started an entire record label based on a donations-only principle. Non...
Posted by: DJFMU1075 days ago1 Point
Dear David Byrne, My name is Jason and I have a very profitable and near omni-beneficial solution to a lot of the macro issues in the music industry. You can get ahold of me through Stephen, your old Talking Heads drummer Jerry's friend in the SF B...
Posted by: BIRCH1066 days ago1 Point
I would self distribute and keep all my rights, royalties, etc. IF I WERE DICTATOR that would be the only way. With movies, it is the only way to go. IF I WERE DICTATOR WWW.MYSPACE.COM/DICTATORMOVIE WWW.BCFS.US...
Posted by: 9re91067 days ago1 Point
David, what are you and Brian eating? It sounds delicious.
Posted by: nora_yotsov1077 days ago1 Point
Thank you again for writing about what really matters, in this article for the artists. I enjoy music and art as a consumer, but am bothered by the marketing involved. It is critical to support an artist directly, but how does that happen? I enjoyed ...
Posted by: pianopop91077 days ago1 Point
David - I see your point here but what you aren't touching on is the lack of marketing to expose artists to an audience they way labels used to. A small piece of a big pie is better than the entire tiny little pie. The internet has also made it eas...
Posted by: moo991078 days ago1 Point
What a load of rubbish. Make a record on the same laptop you check your e-mail on? I bought into this garbage years ago and it is not that easy. Perhaps with a few thousand dollars worth of software and hardware, and your own treated home recording s...
Posted by: endo231076 days ago1 Point
Talk about missing the point-- why did Byrne interview so many people and ask so many questions? Because he's trying to understand how labels and artists will relate in the future. There's nothing dogmatic in the article, merely a curious mind comm...
Posted by: Evolver1068 days ago1 Point
Cheers to David Byrne: consistently one of the most interesting people in music, which is saying a lot. re: the second comment: you really can do an incredible recording on a laptop now. Depending on your style, you probably need: computer, software,...
Posted by: deathstarsthlm1068 days ago1 Point
Very interesting article, but isn't the whole "record your album for nothing on your laptop" for a very select few artists? Most musicians I know either need help with recording, or have higher aspirations than recording on their "laptop where they c...
Posted by: tomreeves1078 days ago1 Point
Isn't the point that it's easier now to record because of changing technology? Help and money are necessary, but increasingly less so. Isn't the point that it's easier to promote via the internet? Again, help and money are necessary, but increasingly...
Posted by: thymceelie1069 days ago1 Point
These aren't exactly new ideas, but I think this is the most simply and eloquently summarized I've seen. Well done. "Music was an experience, intimately married to your life. You could pay to hear music, but after you did, it was over, gone — a memo...
Posted by: tomreeves1079 days ago1 Point
Great series of articles. I just poste a couple of quick comments about it on my blog (pwnership.com). I will have more thoughtful reaction over time. @cordedpoodle - yes its is boring. Some of us are not creative, so we handle the business side. Ev...
Posted by: thymceelie1069 days ago1 Point
"I wish it were easier to explain that it should work best, too." Should, maybe, but would, I dunno.
Posted by: tomreeves1069 days ago1 Point
In so many micro environments, honor works. Street musicians wouldn't be on the street without it. In one obvious macro environment, honor worked: Radiohead wouldn't have generate more income from the sale of InRainbows that all their other label-spo...
Posted by: Bwanasonic1079 days ago1 Point
I'd like to inject Frank Zappa's legacy into this context. He was discussing many of these same issues twenty + years ago. Another interesting approach to project financing is the upcoming Bill Frisell/ Jim Hall project. I guess you could call it the...
Posted by: cordedpoodle1069 days ago1 Point
Oh yes thats at good idea. Put the rich guy's name on the CD.
Posted by: stylofone1070 days ago1 Point
There's some refreshing thinking here, compared to the usual guff we hear from the mainstream press and music industry. However, as an avid user of free file-sharing networks (yes, piracy) I don't see how itunes and the like can survive. With better ...
Posted by: impactvector1079 days ago1 Point
That's where it's heading. Basic economics: Price = Marginal Cost http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_cost We may never quite get there for anyone who makes it big, as there are some monopoly issues, but I for one don't need BIG BAND's latest re...
Posted by: tomreeves1069 days ago1 Point
This isn't basic economics. This is economics of positional goods. So Price=Marginal Cost is only true for 'valueless' art. pwnership.com
Posted by: impactvector1069 days ago1 Point
It all depends upon how elastic you think the demand for an individual band's music is. If the benefit of music is the ability to listen to a specific band, then I'd be more inclined to agree with you. But if the benefit of music is simply musical ...
Posted by: peternaegele1069 days ago1 Point
stylofone...you make a good point and so does Byrne. If cost and distribution are zero, then what you pay for music should reflect how much you appreciate the music, not the packaging! If the appreciation is strong enough, the artist will be able to...
Posted by: endo231076 days ago0 Points
Masmod-- You're simplifying the issue just as much as anyone in the article above. Fortunately you acknowledge that these are just your "opinions," so much respect and let me beg to differ on a few issues. As far as "hit" records go, of course you...
Posted by: masmod1076 days ago1 Point
First off, let me say thank you for being respectful of my opinion, and with it being just that, let me say I agree with you regarding the point you've made in the second paragraph of your reply to my post. I agree that time in a "real" studio dwarf...
Posted by: masmod1067 days ago0 Points
I have to say, I agree with moo99. You can't get away with making a "hit" record with just an $800.00 laptop that you check your email with. At a minimum you're realistically looking to spend around the means of $5,000.00 for a decent home setup with...
Posted by: stiggynet1069 days ago0 Points
We’ve started a cause at http://www.musicNeutral.com encouraging "free" music and DONATING TO MUSICIANS. We've cited this article on our home page as a perfect example of why musicians should take action and seek alternatives to album sales....
Posted by: cordedpoodle1069 days ago-1 Points
GOD THIS IS ALL SO BORING. ITS ALL BUSINESS AND NO ART. Remember when the bean counters controlled everything in the early 60s? The hippie artists flipped them the bird and music was interesting. Now its all business. Go to a concert and watch the CP...
Posted by: Inkjazz1069 days ago0 Points
If you want ART, there are plenty of other mediums to which artists address their art. However, for us musicians without alot of experience in the industry, this topic is completely interesting and valid in today's music climate, and it's greatly ap...
Posted by: StuckeyBing1078 days ago0 Points
I admire David Byrne for irritating the fatcats, shedding light on the business and helping guide up & coming musicians. I wish he would reformat this article into a 3-minute pop song. Though I've never paid for downloaded music, I would gladly ...
Posted by: masmod1067 days ago1 Point
How sad, StuckeyBing... "Though I've never paid for downloaded music," How pathetic, and prior to that you say that you admire David Byrne. You know, that's half the problem to date with the music industry (whether you're signed to a label, or you'...
Read More http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_byrne?currentPage=all#ixzz17AMjtSoD
30 Nov 2010, 23:09On Forums here, I was talking about on-line digital downloads stores like Amazon, iTunes, etc. LFM could have their own instead of just being a 'click on the link' thing.
As for royalties, if we are talking about Big labels, it's always been like $0-2 max for a CD worth $20.
Don't forget, stores generally do not deal with musicians directly, there are labels or 'aggregators' first, everyone wants their share, + legal things, + they cheat on a regular basis (any news here?), + promo (who's gonna click on you otherwise?), so in reality one can easily run into negative figures which they surely do!
For those in doubt, read 'New Label Strategies' closely
'But the label also offers the artist a 30 percent cut of the label’s album profits — if any — which represents an improvement from the typical industry royalty of 15 percent.'
OK, here is what I've found after a brief research, scroll down for % graphs
a bit more math
read me first
23 Nov 2010, 18:44Ah, I've just realized that as a Subscriber:
1) I cannot listen to my own playlists anymore!
2) I'm 'not allowed to reply to' the 'Hot: October 21st site update - forthcoming changes for subscribers' thread!
Also, as a Russian resident I'm not allowed to legally buy music on-line, this service is available for a very limited number of countries only!
Now, who is a Pirate here?!
.. I have to say I was about to explode a while back, however, I'll keep it reasonable
You, guys at CBS and other corrupt and inefficient agencies and corporations, are simply incompetent losers and parasites.
There is no way you can in practice pose your idiotic restrictions on anyone in the time of p2p and thousands of free web stations. Those who struggle most from your cretinism are artists, especially the retired ones. People wouldn't mind paying them directly but no-one wants to support you in any way.
You don't invest in any kind of production, recording, research, in whatever is creative and high quality. You simply buy and sell ready-made products bringing immense losses to the companies you run and enjoying ridiculous bonuses for such a brilliant performance.
Nobody needs your care and ingenious plans or changes. You don't dig the whole thing. You are not one of us.
You bring only destruction and mistrust. And fail any project you touch, or do you really believe people are going to pay for staying in your Prison?
In case you haven't understood yet, it's not a question of $3 a month, I could easily pay more actually if it were worth it.
The major problem is that since the acquisition, you've been trying hard to screw things and people up here, no-one likes that, an offence is always taken very seriously.
It's not a rant, it's reality, this model does not work, prove me wrong, what are you being paid for then?
I admit it's sort of a turning point for me personally .. as I'm pretty tired of keeping multiple accounts on various networks, last fm used to be my fav for a while, but it seems the only way to avoid seeing the demise of what used to be fresh and promising is to permanently look elsewhere ..