Here are some key points I get from Thing 20: Forget product – sell relationship from The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online:
Dubber suggests that historically, there have already been several major phases in the music industry with different methods of monetization. In other words, money has been made in different ways each time the industry has shifted. What are those methods?
- Patronage – Rich benefactors (usually nobility or royalty) paid musicians to play for them. Think back to the days of Bach.
- Live Performance – Musicians found it beneficial to expose their craft to a larger audience. The pockets of the many outweighed the pockets of the few.
- Print Publishing – When sheet music started being published, it was supposed to be the death of the music industry. Why would anyone go to see a concert when they could play the music in their own home? It didn’t completely kill off live performance, even if it was injuring.
- Recording – Famous artists could now record their music and people could buy it and take it home and listen to it. Because the industry had been built on sheet music up to this point, the introduction of recording caused another supposed “death” to the industry.
- Radio – It was thought that if people could listen to music at home without having to pay for it, they wouldn’t want to buy music at all. Ironically, it caused more sales, and even generated performance royalties for musicians.
- Synchronisation – Now music was starting to be used in films, TV shows, commercials, and video games. “Seeing it” became just as important as “hearing it”. Interestingly, it was no longer the audience that was parting with their cash.
The industry has seen a lot of changes. Every time that happens, the industry usually threatens to ban, boycott, or sue. Dubber points out, at least subtly, that even though many shifts have taken place, it has never meant the complete collapse of the industry.
Dubber also states that the good news is that those who understand the new environment will thrive in it, and it’s as simple as connecting the audience with the artist.
Patronage is considered old fashioned, and likewise, the sale of CDs will also prove to be passé. The new model, Dubber suggests, is about starting an ongoing economic relationship with a community of enthusiasts.
Bottom line: it’s about building relationship. It’s about trust, recommendation, and reputation. The money goes where the attention is.
The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online was written by Andrew Dubber, and all credit goes to him. I do not claim any ownership over the book, nor am I quoting any information verbatim. If you would like to download your free copy, please follow this link, and don’t forget to visit New Music Strategies as well.
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.