Monday, March 31, 2008

This Week In News

We usually post these on Friday afternoons. So we're either late or early, depending on how you think about it. . .

Can 1,000 fans replace the music business?

Kevin Kelly thinks so. He argues that a musician can make a perfectly good living with just $1,000 “True Fans” who are truly dedicated. He assumes that each is willing to spend $100 a year, netting the artist a nifty upper-middle class salary even without being immensely popular. And “Lesser Fans” who will pay out less still add to the income.
Kevin Kelly, The Technium

Economist Will Page disagrees. He points out that it’s difficult to get fans to pay the artist directly. The revenue would most likely come through iTunes, record companies, merchandise printers, etc. So the artist would end up with only a fraction of that $100,000. He points out that everything the artist creates would have a cost, so the profit margin would be significantly lower than the full amount. Additionally, he questions whether most fans are OCD enough to spend their entire yearly music budget on a single band.

Reznor vs. Radiohead: Innovation Smackdown
We’ve covered Trent Reznor and Radiohead's experiments in alternative methods of releasing albums. Now, Wired gives you the chance to vote for the experiment you like better.
Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired

BMI Eyes Ringback Tones For Mobile Growth
BMI expects ringback tone sales to jump by 50% this year to $210 million. For those who are not hip to cell phone jargon, ringbacks are the ringing heard by the caller as they wait for a call to be answered. Ringtone sales, however, are expected to slips 7% to $510 million.
Anthony Bruno, Billboard

Report Buyer: New Report Highlights how Music is a Key Drive in the Mobile Phone Market
A new report indicates that cell phone sales far exceeded personal music players like iPods, 941 million to 300 million in 2007. Interestingly, half of the cell phones were considered “music phones”—that is, phones with enough memory that the user can use them as music players. This is driving an increase in mobile sales of whole tracks and streaming audio. In all, mobile music sales are expected to hit $6 billion in 2008.
London Business Wire; Broadcast Newsroom

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