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How could we make the philosophy behind In Rainbows work for new bands?


NoirAbattoir

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I've been thinking about this, and here's how I think it could be done: Established bands who have a large fanbase can become supporters of new bands. It wouldn't need to be that complicated, either. A decent website--a consortium of music artists--and their endorsement of some up and coming acts they feel merit attention.

 

The established bands don't even need to put a ton of money into these bands, either. All they need to do is endorse them philosophically. Independent recording studios across the nation are very accessible to young bands. As long as the recordings are up to high enough recording quality (or not, depending on if the genre warrants noisey recordings), they would qualify for being presented on the "consortium's" website.

 

For example, you could go to Radiohead's endorsee page and find whatever bands they think merit some attention. Of course, you couldn't simply give away whatever album they have ala In Rainbows. A band that isn't established couldn't handle the devaluation of their product. However, you could offer their album for download for a nominal fee (say $3 bucks an album). A small portion of the proceeds would go to maintenance, advertising, and whatever other fees that would go along with maintaining a website such as this. The rest would go to the performers directly. If a band hits a certain number of paid downloads they would qualify for distribution. Then a piece of their revunue will go to a modest distribution process which could put in-hand CDs with basic artwork and lyrics in independent CD shops and larger stores (increasing their revenue beyond the website's downloads).

 

As bands grow and develop larger and large fan-bases, they could eventually leave their "endorsee" status and graduate to "endorser" status. Conglomerate record companies can suck it and up-and-coming bands can pay their bills and feed their kids. Whaddya think?

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The Indigo Girls
Radiohead
Natalie Merchant
Prince
Amie Mann

All of these bands/performers have left the corporate record business. All of them have large fan-bases. All of them could use their credibility and persuasion to begin a total revolution in the music industry.

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what's in it for the radiohead's ? just because they are breaking away from the record companies doesn't mean they aren't trying to profit, they just don't want to give any of it to the labels.

 

 

It may be of no interest whatsoever to Radiohead. Prince, however, wears his feelings towards the record companies on his sleeve (or his cheek, if you want to be literal). We all know that the current system is unfair and favors corporate interests heavily. Since music has always been a medium for political/social change why not start right in their own backyard?

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I've been thinking about this, and here's how I think it could be done: Established bands who have a large fanbase can become supporters of new bands. It wouldn't need to be that complicated, either. A decent website--a consortium of music artists--and their endorsement of some up and coming acts they feel merit attention.


The established bands don't even need to put a ton of money into these bands, either. All they need to do is endorse them philosophically. Independent recording studios across the nation are very accessible to young bands. As long as the recordings are up to high enough recording quality (or not, depending on if the genre warrants noisey recordings), they would qualify for being presented on the "consortium's" website.


For example, you could go to Radiohead's endorsee page and find whatever bands they think merit some attention. Of course, you couldn't simply give away whatever album they have ala In Rainbows. A band that isn't established couldn't handle the devaluation of their product. However, you could offer their album for download for a nominal fee (say $3 bucks an album). A small portion of the proceeds would go to maintenance, advertising, and whatever other fees that would go along with maintaining a website such as this. The rest would go to the performers directly. If a band hits a certain number of paid downloads they would qualify for distribution. Then a piece of their revunue will go to a modest distribution process which could put in-hand CDs with basic artwork and lyrics in independent CD shops and larger stores (increasing their revenue beyond the website's downloads).


As bands grow and develop larger and large fan-bases, they could eventually leave their "endorsee" status and graduate to "endorser" status. Conglomerate record companies can suck it and up-and-coming bands can pay their bills and feed their kids. Whaddya think?

 

 

It's not very likely. Attitudes have to change quite a bit. Established bands aren't going to risk their credibility by backing a bunch of unknowns, especially when it's not immediately apparent that it's in their interests to do so.

 

If you think labels are the only ones who don't want to be bombarded with hundreds of thousands of submissions from unknown artists looking for their "big break" you can be guaranteed that a professional touring/recording artist/group isn't going to have the time or interest in dealing with them either.

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what's in it for the radiohead's ? just because they are breaking away from the record companies doesn't mean they aren't trying to profit, they just don't want to give any of it to the labels.

 

 

But that's exactly the thing - the encouragement for other bands to do this is there too. Problem is you can't really make it without a record deal to begin with, or at least it's very unlikely. You need to be popular first.

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A few questions I've been thinking about:

1. Apparently, the music industry is not as profitable as it was 20+ years ago. What changed in the music-buying public that caused us to stop buying music the way we used to? Video games? Information overload? Free mp3s? MySpace? Been there, done that? Lack of inspiration? Cynicism? Less disposable income?

2. Is the majority of the music-buying public still adolescents (those with disposable income)?

3. If the market is still primarily teenagers, to what degree are their tastes still dependent on what is force-fed to them by corporate media and live entertainment venues?

4. To what degree are new artists really making a living off of recorded music sales? and to what degree are their incomes dependent on live performance?

5. If new artists, who are backed by BIG MONEY, are still struggling in the industry, then aren't endorsements by media giants increasingly becoming irrelevent?

6. Isn't the problem us? We just aren't buying the music anymore, so it's harder to make a lucrative profession out of being a musician/writer.

:idk: Any attempt at a statement here is all conjecture.

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A few questions I've been thinking about:


1. Apparently, the music industry is not as profitable as it was 20+ years ago. What changed in the music-buying public that caused us to stop buying music the way we used to? Video games? Information overload? Free mp3s? MySpace? Been there, done that? Lack of inspiration? Cynicism? Less disposable income?

 

 

Music being {censored} is te main thing, I think.

 

You're right, corporations are trying to prescribe music tastes to people and it just isn't working as well as MTV and the like would have you believe.

 

All this celebrity infatuation pisses me off too. Oh look! Let's talk about this person whose disposable income could feed half of uganda for a month and how AMAZING it is that they can rent out a hotel all to themselves.

 

We give so much money to these people, and all we really get back in the end is to watch them lounge about and hear how much they can afford?

 

Blergh.

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Dowloading music is gonna happen. Figuring out a way to get people to pay for it consistently and not share it is the big hurdle. Many bands have realized this and try to use the net as an advertising tool for their live performances. You can make good money performing but the days of huge record money is on the way out. Sorry Lars.

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I think Subscriptions would make the most sense, TBH, if most of that money goes to the aritst.

 

Like say, a basic package of $5 entitles you to 4 albums a month, $10 entitles you to 10, $20 entitles you to 25. $40 a month givbes you unlimited access. Something like that. It has to be done by albums first and foremost - I don't want albums to die in favour of songs. An album can be converted into "8 songs", let's say, depending on track length.

 

Paying less than a dollar for an album might not sound like much - but distribution costs would be tiny. If most of that money made it back to the artist, they'd make a decent wage even without playing live.

 

The only problem with filesharing type music is musical project type things that can't really play live, or play live often. I think for that, musical projects should step up their merchandising to make up for it, perhaps.

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quick babble here.

How about the record companies / labels actually get their greedy over sized heads out of their asses for once in lives ?

Someone needs to put a foot forward and deal fairly with bands. 50/50 split of profits, (thats how it is in the art world)

Basically, rec co,s/labels need to introduce a baseline investment into bands they are interested in, release/promote at a local/small scale and if it makes a profit then the band would get signed on an X album deal depending on what the company thinks would be best.

All the majors have the ability to do this tomorrow.

anyway, back to work - theres holes everywhere in this idea but sure its an idea.

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I love to blame the "greedy" whenever possible. Ah, the camel through the needle's eye...


But as I inferred in
, it seems to me that the ones who are really in control are the people who are buying the products. I think it's better to focus on being inventive with marketing than to focus on bringing down the giants who seem to be dying anyway of their own lack of inspiration and adaptation skills.

 

 

The buying public isn't completely in control. There's the whole {censored}tiness of rock today. The labels put out the type of music they think people will buy, whcih leads them to make a bunch of bands that sound basically the same. I think part of the problem is the price of an album. $20 is a {censored}ing rip. Mp3s offer an alternative to that. But we are in a recession, which has to do with less albums being moved as well.

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