2 thoughts on “NY Times Piece on Music and Marketing”

  1. related bbc piece from a few years back highlighting a member of the grateful dead vs. the president of the mpaa – as the times and the dead's barlow state, it's all about adapting and understanding what you're selling:


    i've been saying for 10 years that the interweb and the myspaces are bringing us all back to the DIY ethic that was so important to the US & UK punk movements of the late 70s/early 80s, as well as the whole modern rock/post-punk upswing from the early 80s on…anybody can be a rock star with some talent – you're your own booking agent, marketing department, a&r; guy, etc…

    bill, would you agree that artists (aside from the U2s and Mariah Careys) make most of their money on the road & from other merch? Steve Albini referenced Buf Tom in his diatribe many years back on the music industry- is that a fairly accurate (albeit overstated) picture??

  2. Sorry, Dan. Missed this comment until now. I have thought about these things a great deal. The conversation deserves its own post, which I will try to get to soon. But the 360 deals wherein artists make agreements with either Live Nation or labels and pay portion of live shows, merch, and not just recordings, seems like an inevitable model. Do I wish I could make money from selling recordings> Sure, but even in big recording deals, the checks that huge artists received tended to be all at once, i.e. advances that were continuously unrecouped, made larger and larger as more records sold. The only real solid residuals come from publishing and broadcasting royalties. The most money I have made as a musician came from those sorts of deals, as well as advertising and licensing. But the biggest recent stream of income for me as an artist came from a TV theme song.

    I will, as I say, try to expand on this in a subsequent post. But that Albini piece sure has legs. It has to be more than 15 years old at this point and was somewhat acurtae. However, most people seemed to misread it. He had no inside information to our deal and did not imply so. He was just picking our name from the air in a fake dialogue from a hypothetical musician in another band. It was something like, "So a musician might think, 'Hey, didn't I hear my friends in Buffalo Tom got 12%?'"

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