Art for Money, Money for Art · Wednesday June 04, 2008 by Crosbie Fitch
Lucas Gonze raises some great points concerning the paradigm shifting upheaval and changing roles in the music market, particularly with regard to record labels.
What I think we’re seeing is a market inversion1, that we’re currently bang smack in the midst of.
When this inversion is complete, instead of a label acting as an artist’s promotional agent maximising the sale of their music to their audience, we’ll have an audience’s discoveral agent maximising the discovery and commissioning of the music they like.
A label in this case will be just like 4AD, but instead of representing a common je ne sais quoi character of the signed bands, will represent a common undefinable taste of the represented audience members.
The audience will subscribe to the discoveral agent and this agent will then patronise/commission those musicians it believes can deliver what will most please and swell its audience/subscriber base. Members of an artist’s audience can of course also patronise/commission their favourite musicians directly.
It’s all very similar, it’s just inverted.
But, don’t worry, the musicians still get paid! (although it will be a bumpy ride through the transition)
1 The inversion is actually a reversion to nature – due to IP reverting from its unnatural inversion by copyright, and also helped by the fact that individuals are once again able to participate as first class citizens in the market place (instead of passive consumers to mass producers).