Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chosing free beer over free speech

The post could also have been entitled he who pays the piper calls the tune.

More and more I see it suggested that musicians look to corporate sponsors to fund their tours and not even try to make money from recording their work.

In such a world corporate sponsors will have even more power to determine who is a star and who is a starving artist. Where will the next Bob Dylan come from? Who will write the songs which speak truth to power if everyone is auditioning for their corporate sponsor?

The future for the individual preformer never looked worse.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Have to disagree, Alice. I know totally indie musicians who are raising money from their fans to finance their CDs and experimenting with social media tools to create communities centred around their brand.

We're going from an environment where the labels were the gatekeepers to where to main obstacle is differentiation. There are already mid-size success stories (Matthew Good, David Usher, Amanda Palmer), small-size success stories (Corin Raymond, Victoria Vox) and 'superstar' success stories (NIN, Radiohead) and there will be more.

The "industry" is floundering. But there are opportunities for musicians out there to succeed. And they're in a better position to use the tools that exist now than the "industry."

I do house concerts. Seven or eight times a year, I send musicians out of my house with anywhere from $500-$2000. There are hundreds or thousands of people like me out there. I know some performers who are doing more than 100 house concerts a year. Free accommodations, free meals, and all the money. Do the math. Combine it with CD sales, online music... you can make it as an individual performer.