Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Future Thinking

Was just asked these two frequently asked questions again...

- What do you see the role of a record label 5 years from now?
If there are still labels it'll be the same as it ever was with them acting as a bank to advance(/invest) money to cash flow musicians but taking a share of various revenue streams that they don't add anything to. It'd be interesting if any of the promoters buy any of the labels, and start to invest in acts touring but I'm not sure the oil tanker that is the music biz can turn quite that quick.

- What models do you see as a viable alternative?
I think corporate patronage is the only viable model. Something that mashes up Levi's ads in the 90s and Starbucks' label. Whether it's a leap from licensing a song for an advert to buying that song to exploit via all mediums (at a cost that most acts could make an album or in the case of Dandy Warhols and Vodaphone, buy themselves a studio). I really don't see anyone else who values music in such a way and sees an upside to being associated with the emotional relationship people have with music, whether it's because it's hip'n'cool or being on the money at revealing something new or tapping into nostalgia or any other sensation that encourages people to part with their money. Be interesting to see if people start to get commissioned and whether there are many people rich enough and inclined to start a House of Medici like patronage to help develop the interesting and innovative.

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