Should it be a Pirate’s life for artists? #musicdistribution

Fascinating thought coming out of Neither Moguls nor Pirates: Grey Area Music Distribution (#musicdistribution for Twitter stream) – “post copyright”. Made me think about the role of a brand – or the artist being a brand – having potentially more value than their music…

Per Sam Howard-Spink, in “emerging” markets (India, Eastern Europe, Brazil) artist are selling directly into the “pirate” networks. As it happens, much of the innovation in music – i.e. stuff you wouldn’t typically hear from artists on big labels that is influencing those artists on big labels. So instead of fighting it, artists are seeing it as a legit way to reach their audience.

So how are they getting paid? Good question. In some cases music is a loss leader that allows them to increase their standing as a brand (if you will) in the culture that will allowed them to be paid for other things.

Can you think of an artist or two here in these United States whose persona, not their music, is their brand? Should it simply be a Pirate’s Life for artists – or should the new distribution model simply change to realize music as loss leader?

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