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Empowering economics of 'net native' music


Lucas Gonze:

Now consider that internet music businesses have to compete for investment capital with internet businesses that don’t pay royalties. Craigslist, Google search, and Twitter do nothing but move bits around!

Lastly, returning to the conversation about netlabels the other day, I want to point out that netlabel and other net-native music doesn’t have a lot of listeners, but as long as it stays clear of copyright infringement it can have economics just like Craiglist, Twitter etc. Maybe not at that scale, but definitely at that level of profitability.

And I know that people on the business side of internet music see net-native music as a joke. That’s right big shots, I’m talking to you specifically. Make free and legal music popular enough for your traffic to scale and you can have the grail — an internet music product that makes sense as a business. Which is exactly what Phlow-Magazine is working on by slicking up the presentation of those sources.

Victor Stone comments on the above post:

Maybe not at that scale, but definitely at that level of profitability.

Does anybody, anywhere doubt that at some point

1) a ‘net native’ artist will actual break. iow, do we really think Brad Sucks has hit the ceiling?

2) when that artist breaks without any “industry” juice, not even sxsw, the margins will be ginormous, the flood gates will open.

These things are stupendously obvious things to me. Does anybody out there question these certainties?

Relatedly, Gonze posting on the cc-community list:

In reality, the benefit [of allowing commercial use] is to maximize upsales by empowering businesses to build support systems for your music.

I highly recommend following the blogs of Gonze and Stone if you want to know where ‘net native’ (and eventually most) music is going.

Posted 20 July 2008