Home sweet home, editing a content marketing piece completed by my extraordinary new employee, Dor. It rained today and I celebrated with a run along the East River trail. Even though I live alone I still yearn for these jogs of solitude. Nothing beats the experience of bounding down one side of Manhattan (skipping and singing and hollering), surrounded only by tall buildings where people are hidden away to stay dry.
I took a quick detour to slip and slide on a turf field today. If you caught me between conference calls you would have found me soaked through and dripping, diving headfirst with abandon and sailing across the turf with a huge grin smeared across my face.
The Future of Music Revenue Models
There’s something bubbling in the music industry, and I think Beyonce, Jay Z and Kanye are closest to what’s next.
All three are bucking the trend of the standard music model. They’re experimenting, releasing content in unconventional ways, and ultimately reinventing how musicians will make money in the future.
When record sales died many people thought the music industry died as well. Artists would earn paltry streaming royalties to accompany their new primary revenue source – touring. The experts surmised that musicians would make their living hawking overpriced t-shirts, and pretty much everyone believed them. Then Beyonce dropped a video album unannounced. No publicity, just bam! buy these videos! And Jay Z (along with others) purchased Tidal, a music streaming service that’s trying to differentiate itself by offering subscribers exclusive experiences (streaming concerts, exclusive access to the latest drops, etc). And now Kanye. Leave it to Kanye to release multiple versions of The Life of Pablo. Some people call it indecisive, but this might be the birth of music as software.
Welcome to the almost future of the music industry. The idea of music as a lifestyle is about to make a comeback. Artists will charge for backstage access to their whatever-they-want, and they’ll offer it over the Internet. This is huge because:
- Artists can let people in on anything from their lives to the creative process of their latest track.
- They say radio hits are the result of repetition above all else. If fans had a glimpse into (or even, gasp, influence on) the making of a track they would know every word before it was even released. Talk about ownership (which always results in increased advocacy).
- Oh, and this solves the “too much music” problem that comes from infinite choice of streaming platforms. If a consumer wants insider access into the creation of Formation, for example, they are going to listen to that track many, many times.
- Welcome back to CD-type scale. Digital products, unlike a person’s ability to actually tour, don’t face the same scalability issues as ticket sales. An artist can’t clone themselves to be in multiple cities but they can reproduce digital content and offer it to anyone with an Internet connection.
- Big artists like Beyonce won’t need platforms for releasing this new kind of content because anywhere where their brand goes, fans follow. But smaller emerging artists? The ones who used to do anything for an A&R deal? Suddenly they’ll need a service like Tidal to host, market and sell their experiences to an audience.
- A platform like this means HUGE (and exciting!) data. Recommendation APIs will continue improve, which means platforms like Tidal will know just when and how to market upcoming artists.
With all of this said, if someone wants to hire me to build something like this out just give me the word. I want to build the future of music with you (and make you big money while building you an ever-growing and increasingly avid fanbase).
Criminals – War and Otherwise
One of the differences between fighting criminals and fighting war is all in when we punish the so-called enemy.
Latest Must Listen
Amine’s “Caroline” has just about everything I love in a good rap track. Deep bass, a catchy melody, lyrics that’ll make you feel just the right amount of rough around the edges. Then there’s the humor. Turn it up because this song is seriously good.
It’s time for me to run out and grab some milk. Another hour or two of work left, which means I need some Quik to keep me going. (Thanks Dad, you really did me in from the time I could still fit curled up in your cowboy hat. Chocolate milk is my official comfort food of choice.)
P.S. P.S I joined the a few of my most newsletter writers and started a TinyLetter. If you want to receive these posts as emails you can reply to, click here to subscribe.