Monthly Archives: July 2009

The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

Polyphonic will invest in bands, who in turn will operate like startups, dealing mostly with contractors to handle various aspects of a band’s work, such as merch, tours, publicity, recording etc. They will share profits from their music and tours, but – and this is the really important part – they get to keep copyrights and master recordings. It’s about royalties, of course, but it’s also about controlling what happens to your own music, something that has troubled many artists, such as Tori Amos, Trent Reznor or Radiohead, when they dealt with major labels.

Now, that sounds interesting… its about time entrepreneurial spirit met music in an artist-friendly way.

The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations

There’s been a lot of concern among in the community of fans of small and innovative music webcasters like Pandora about royalties being set by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board – fees were set at rates which would have potentially put companies like Pandora out of business. With this new agreement, however, it looks like the industry folks have have relented a bit.

Details are in the NY Times article, but this pretty much sums it up:

“This is definitely the agreement that we’ve been waiting for,” said Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora

UPDATE: Tim Westergren’s summary is here. I really like those guys!

Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations

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Musicians: Do you have 1000 “True Fans”?

In this 2008 blog entry, Kevin Kelly wrote posits that it should be possible for artists to survive on a modest (1000) number of “true fans” who would spend enough money per capita on their favorite artists to support each artist. The exciting idea was that this would make it possible for artists to focus on their art, even if it weren’t popular, and not live like a pauper.

A followup blog entry, “The Case Against 1000 True Fans” presents some sobering results: apparently such an artist doesn’t exist.

But is that still true? Are social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc allowing musicians to reach down the long tail and find the 1000 true fans among the hundreds of millions of music fans? That is, in part, what motivates me to write this blog. I see the potential micro-celebrities to become self-supporting simply through social networks and I want to highlight success stories, tools, best practices, and other advice for aspiring “1000 true fan”-style musicians.

So my question to readers is whether or not they are, or know of, musicians supporting themselves (either partially of fully) through a “true fan” model? Are you a true fan supporting a musician that you like? Do you know of resources for artists wanting to build a “true fan” network?

[Thanks to Adina Levin for the links]

Musicians: Do you have 1000 “True Fans”?

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Breaking News EXCLUSIVE: Hope Squad Becomes “The Shebangs”

With a mere tweet, @keikotakamura, the lead singer (and chief conspirator) of Hope Squad announced that the group has renamed themselves The Shebangs. Which this author finds a little funny since the band is 50/50 male/female — doesn’t that mean the group should be called “The Theybangs”?

And yes kids, The Shebangs are on Twitter and Myspace.

Back to your regularly scheduled beatslacking…