Don’t mean to plug but this model is in beta now, I am currently developing it. We will help artists negotiate with the advertisers for just prices for their ad space. Artists will use their popularity as leverage and set their own prices, giving them full control over their career. We also offer some pretty innovative methods of music discovery that will increase the level of efficiency artists get out of promotion online, by using recommendations from friends and people you trust.
Effective promotion & distribution coupled with a system for negotiating with advertisers for ad space, could spell a very independent and healthy music industry ahead online. Like you said, it’s about innovation, but it’s also about facing facts, realizing trends, and capitalizing on them to swing the momentum back in your favor.
Like I said:
Fully interactive experiences where consumers are paying to access each additional stream of content, in my opinion, is the key. I could see a lot of truly interactive efforts launching over the next few years that help to improve sales for the artists and labels as well as enhancing the relationship between the consumers and the artists.
What if the your favorite band launched an app that included an audio stream of what the band themselves actually listen to, where you could rate and suggest tracks to the artist? An app that you brought with you to concerts that streamed the live concert you are at to your phone, so that those at the concert who are out in the nose bleeds could get the live, close up experience as well – call it Concert Binoculars.
I really like the idea you have set in motion, its very creative way to re-monetize an existing access stream to bands and their music. What I was emphasizing was the need for new streams and/or access points to the bands and their media, rather then the re-monetization of current models.
What do you think?
So there actually needs to be a shift in online technologies before a solution for music can be reached. All other music websites up until now have accepted the standard web layout and have just used what was there, but this doesn’t really leave enough slack for music to succeed properly. There needs to be innovation tailored to music. It all comes down to the end user in the music world – the fans. That’s ultimately who you want to reach so you need to solve their problems in order to solve yours. If you can innovate how fans are able to discover music (that they will like!) you will have solved a large chunk of the problem.
That is what my company is working on. We approach it by using people you trust, your friends and your favorite artists, to recommend songs to you. You “follow” these people, and anything they like enough to save into their own playlists(essentially vouching for it) automatically gets sent to your radio. It’s actually very similar to your band app example. Then if you like a song enough to save, it automatically gets sent to anyone following you. It’s essentially a viral, automated word of mouth, the best kind of discovery for fans, and also happens to be a source of free promotion and distribution for artists (as long as their music is good) It levels out the playing field and gives talented artists a better chance to succeed in the ocean of artists regardless of their connections or budgets. Link this together with the advertising revenue for the artists and the free music for the fans, and you’ve built a system to actually use file sharing as a driving force for direct artist revenue instead of a limiting one, eventually making piracy irrelevant.
When you talk about access, from the consumer standpoint again, it’s all about ease, and ease means 1 one place for all things music, (think iphone as the ultimate multi tool) including new kinds of access such as live streaming concerts, 3D virtual meet n greets, live fan-artist “press conferences” and whatever else the 3rd party developers want to come up with. It means a new kind of social network. I think that a solution can be reached for music without resorting to profoundly creative new kinds of access, but interestingly enough, once you have solved that fundamental problem, you’ve then actually positioned yourself perfectly for encouraging and implementing new kinds of innovations, just by the nature of the shifts that needed to be made to get there in the first place, and everything else then is just icing on the cake. It’s not yet time to give up on a sustainable model for music, it just means, like everyone has been predicting, a shift away from the labels, to a more independent, practical and self-sustaining online approach.