Daily Archives: August 3, 2010

A Different Model, A New Era

Fan Love Series #3
Authored by Desertrat

“If music is about creativity and community rather than sales, it’s an entirely different business model, if one at all.” – Suzanne Lainson, @slainson

Historically, the record album was deemed a major source of revenue within the music industry as it was much more profitable than selling a single. Shifting to the present, album sales have steadily declined while individual track sales have increased. We seldom listen to albums anymore; instead, we listen to song playlists.

Even for an uber-talented, young musician such as David, I assume that finding a business model to fund artistic development and creativity is challenging. Record companies used to make significant investments in developing new artists, but with decreasing profits, the funds aren’t always there. My guess is that when David and his management team meet with label reps from Jive, among other things, they discuss strategies for expanding his fan base, keeping the fan base engaged with his career, and generating enough revenue to see a profit and to fund his artistic development and creativity.

So, in terms of a different business model, my advice to David is:

  • Next time, skip the album and focus on creating singles that convey various aspects of your musical talent. These singles could be released over a period of time so that you get continuous publicity. The community of Archies would most likely remain fanatically invested in your career progression and would probably offer reviews of your work (i.e., free publicity!).
  • For the next tour, reduce the number of tour stops and consider hosting your own music festival. This would be a terrific way to showcase your music, experiment with new songs, and to cultivate comaraderie among the diverse segments of your fan base. You would save on travel costs because your fans would come to you. The band “Disco Biscuits” has found the model to be both fun and profitable (See New York Times related article).

What’s your advice for David in this new era? For Jive?

Photo Caption: David Archuleta was presented with a gold-certified plaque for his debut album. (L-R): Peter Thea, EVP, Jive Label Group; Jeff Dodes, SVP, Marketing and Digital Media, Jive Label Group; Jeff Fenster, SVP, A&R, Jive Records; Tom Carrabba, EVP/General Manager, Jive Label Group; David Archuleta; Joe Riccitelli, EVP, Pop Promotion, Jive Label Group; Barry Weiss, Chairman and CEO, RCA/Jive Label Group