A new type of record company


fileunderFound in Music
Sort by: Oldest  •  Newest  •  User
member
view 
avatar
A few weeks ago, Will.I.Am came to Google and talked about how he makes music. In that discussion, he talked about his new record company, Musicane.com. What makes Musicane so different than an EMI, BMG, etc? Is it the fact a musician created the company? No, it's the entire business model that just might be what the music industry needs to address the new digital era.

Rather than trying to get a record deal, why not distribute your music online? That's what Musicane provides you, a distribution channel direct to consumers. You can upload any content (be it music, videos, ringtones, etc), set the price and watch the money roll in. Like any record label, they have to take a cut and that seems variable according to their website. But you still keep up to 80% of each sale. Think about that, you get to keep up to $0.80 for every $1.00 you sell. With 1 million downloads of a song you create, that could be $800,000 in your pocket (pre-tax of course).

The website itself is very 2.0 and plugs into other sites quite nicely. Will.I.Am gave a demo where he created a ringtone at Google, then uploaded it to Musicane and then linked that upload on his BlackEyedPeas.com website profile. There was a slick Flash interface that had a demo of the clip and a checkout button to purchase the ringtone.

An artist can upload their content in a matter of minutes and have it available for sale to everyone connected to the Internet. This seems like only the first step and this model can be improved upon in the months and years to come. But it seems like the first right step to give more power to the artist and the consumer. Supply and demand will dictate whether this business model will be successful (hopefully the supply is high quality). I for one will be part of the demand if the supply is there.
admin
view 
avatar

Doesn't this already exist in the form of iTunes? Actually, what's interesting is that Tila Tequila, the most popular MySpacer is launching her music career directly through iTunes. It looks like MySpace paid music is already in the works, and having it get launched sometime this year wouldn't surprise me at all.

iTunes and Myspace are going to be the two areas where musicians can make any money off of their productions. Everything else just doesn't have as large of an audience of people who are passionate about music, and willing to put their money where their mouth is. There'll most likely be a pretty active and thriving niche offerings like Will.I.Am's, but the majority will stick with those two large brands. And that's cool, because they're both pretty decent services. Myspace's doesn't actually exist, but Myspace is great for musicians, and adding paid downloadable tracks is a very natural and easy extension.

I was actually just talking to a guy in an indy band the other day, and he mentioned to me that a large amount of money made on music doesn't even come from record sales anymore, the majority is off of the tour. I don't know how true that is, but it really would be interesting, and would actually confirm some thoughts I came to independently.

admin
view 
avatar
I think it's a good sign that a huge artist like a member of the Black Eyed Peas is willing to look at alternative avenues for music distribution. I think when bands desperately try to fight new media (ahem, Metallica) you end up with a lot of disgruntled fans. I don't know if Will.I.Am's site will work, you still have the problem of exposure. How and where will you hear about new artists? Will the site promote new and upcoming artists? How will those get chosen? Through a marketing budget? I think unless he has an answer to these questions the site might end up in the same conundrum that small artists are finding today.
admin
view 
avatar

@Omar: What do you mean you can do this for iTunes? Musicane.com allows independent people to upload, price, sell, and profit from their work. How does iTunes do that? Every freakin' song costs $0.99 because the damn record companies take $0.75 off every song.

@Amanie: I agree that the issue for independent distribution of music is exposure. I want to hear the best music and not just stuff that random stuff people upload. Their needs to be a layer above the distribution. An Internet top 40 kind of thing that doesn't suck REAL BAD!

Internet radio stations that are struggling with the RIAA should jump on this bandwagon and try to be that promotion channel for music. They filter, and promote, the music from sites like musicane.com.

However, a thought just popped into my mind; isn't this how traditional music is promoted and sold using traditional radio and record stores? Won't the new Internet media be corrupted as was the old?

This post was edited by Erik on 3/05/2007 11:46 AM
admin
view 
avatar
Ok, I wasn't totally correct when I said that any artist can sign up with iTunes, you do need to be a certain "size". However, using a service such as CDBaby (read about it here) any artist can get their music on iTunes and other digital distribution services for a very small fee.
member
view 
avatar

musicane.com is the right business model for the new music industry.  the music industry as we knew it is disintegrating.  we no longer have to rely on the 40 songs on radio stations playlist being dominated by the four majors.  the internet has continued to provide music lovers  the ability to communicate with eachoter via social networks, blogs, band sites, im and turn eachother on to new and different artists in a way and speed not possible before.  this is the trojan horse inside the music industry empire.  we now have the power of knowledge of new music unfiltered by the majors...and knowledge of new technologies that empower artists and consumers to cut the middle man...aka majors labels and media companies that control the airwaves.

will.i.am and musicane are part of the few that have already decided to redefine the terms of the deal.  as more and more artists and consumers witness the possibilities you will continue to see this trend grow...it's called "blue ocean strategy"  read the book.

 

admin
view 
avatar

I agree, viral. The problems of the music industry: the crappy Grammy's, illegal downloads, and crappy top 40 music are symptomatic of a dying record industry. Virgin, EMI, Sony, dying does not matter to me at all. Listening to great music, available at a good price does. Like a Phoenix, music will triumph in a new world order!

admin
view 
avatar

Just like Pandora's box, the cat is out of the bag and there's no putting it back in. I'm pulling this number out of my arse, but I'd say 90% of downloaded music is illegal. This is a major force for the music industry to fight, and they're not going to win if they try to fight it. So they need to come up with alternatives, everybody does, so that people can enjoy their music, and artists can survive and even get rich if they're damn good.

Paid music has to offer something more than illegal music. And right now paid music is much worse than illegal music because you're limited by DRM, the bitrate is lower, and you're left with fewer choices in digital format. The only thing paid services have going for them is that it's a little bit easier to find the music you're looking for, but it's not that bad. Just do a search on snarf-it.org or another such site.

Allofmp3.com was a paid service, but because it combined the best of both worlds (comprehensive easy to find music + totally open digital formats) they did extremly well. Honestly, the model is already there, just use the Allofmp3 format with a few tweaks here and there. Add some social aspects to the site, let artists set the prices, and boom you're ready to go. People aren't stupid, they're willing to support the artists they enjoy, so let them give support while giving them the content they want, and the money will roll in while the artists roll out their music.

admin
view 
avatar

Right. It's not the music that suffers from the new movement. The music has already been suffering for many years. I would love to buy directly from the artist!

I have used allofmp3.com, and have downloaded *cough* music in the past and will continue to do so. Never from iTunes, the new Napster, MSN music or any other source that is tied to the fear and profiteering of the music industry.

Although, I'm not sure if musicane will have music I like, their will be many sites like this to choose from. Good for you, Will.I.Am.

- Erik.I.Am

member
view 
avatar
musicane.com it not a destination where you shop like itunes, it's a backend store that works with artists websites to sell their music directly to their fans.  artists then have the ownership and responsibility of promoting their store directly to the public via myspace, shows, blogs etc.  they have to have an active participation in finding their fans and helping their fans find them.

Post Reply:

File Under: