A Twitter essay on two artists who are hacking the system and redesigning the artist/fan relationship in real time.
When you mention the future of the music, publishing, and film industries, you’re talking about the future of artist marketing.
After all, these industries finance, produce, market, and distribute the work of artists. They only exist BECAUSE of artists.
So, if you remove the cost of marketing and distribution thanks to the internets and the cost of production because of cheap tools…
…what does a label, publisher, or studio offer an artist? More importantly, does the artist need what they’re offering?
The answer to the first part is being worked out. There is definitely a role for a scaled down, networked middleman…
…if not least of which is that some artists WANT to offload the business of marketing and distribution elsewhere.
But for artists who want control of marketing/distribution or simply want to experiment during these times of flux…
Experimental and restless, both of them are refashioning the artist/fan relationship in real time.
First, they seem to understand that their value is less WHAT people consume and more HOW they consume.
That’s the magic of shifting from product to process. From monologue to dialogue.
For @amandapalmer, this means relying less on her recorded music as revenue. Now, it’s used increasingly as marketing.
But free music won’t bring people out to concerts. So Palmer also engages with her fans and builds up loyalty.
Flash mobs in cities, constant Twitter parties, invitations to her play…all of these turn “me” & “them” into “us.”
Nobbs published a few books that did well for him. But recently he’s noticed that engagement comes first.
So he released, free of charge, 75 Ways to Draw More which spawned a Flickr group.
On the success of 75 Ways, he’s now released “Start to draw your life.”
His peers thought he was mad to give his work away for free. Certainly Palmer’s peers think she’s a mad hatter.
But Nobbs explains: “people seeing my art is great. People USING it is better.” We think he’s onto something.
People “using” your stuff, people interacting with you…the relationship is the new single.
The relationship is what helps you go platinum since it means you have engagement. That gives you a chance to make money.
Without engagement, you can’t make money. Period. And while we appreciate starving artists in stories—less so in real life.
We wrote about Amanda Palmer before.
If you like these Twitter essays/rants, you might like: