Perhaps Madonna can teach Ambisonia to be of service to DWMM ?

(DWMM = Dead White Men’s Music = western classical music)

Here’s a list of artists who have recently discarded their record companies, and are going it alone, hoping to rely on their own independent online dirstribution channels:

  • Radiohead “pay what you want”
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Oasis “pay what you want”
  • Jamiroquai “pay what you want”
  • Madonna

Radiohead are going for the “pay what you want model”. So that will be “free” for, probably, most people.

Actually, its not entirely free. You have to give them your email address (to get an activation code). So they get to keep you as a contact, and they have a direct line to their customers.

Record companies dont have their customers’ email address!

What’s the worth of an email address? Its a lot. Its a communication channel. Imagine getting an email when Radiohead were about to tour in your nearest major city? Radiohead can do that now, record companies cant. Record companies will need to spend a lot of money on advertising. Radiohead wont, it just has to send out an email.

But Madonna has already made the next step… she has contracted Live Nation to take care of 4 things:

  • distribute three studio albums,
  • promote concert tours,
  • sell merchandise,
  • license Madonna’s name.

The interesting thing about this is that Live Nation is a “concert search engine”… they are essentially a booking agent for live concerts. So Madonna has already made the next step! … the business model for the artist is now centred on booking live concerts, not on distributing recorded music. However!… Live Nation will also be responsible for distributing Madonna’s studio albums. This is a major shift.

I am assuming that Live Nation will be centred on maximising profits by selling concert tickets (their core business model), and will be able to control the distribution of Madonna’s music to maximise the selling of concert tickets. If this is what they are doing, then they are right inline with many predictions about the business model of music shifting from selling recorded music, to selling live performances.

… and the point is, that this is perhaps exactly what Ambisonia should be doing. Acting as an agent for booking acts like orchestral music. Imagine if on the download page there was a sign saying:

Click here to see when this orchestra is playing in your nearest city.

and

Click here to book a ticket to see this orchestra perform in your city in January.

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