The present and future of post production business and technology

Fallacy Debunking: Successful New Business Models are ‘Exceptions’

Fallacy Debunking: Successful New Business Model Examples The ‘Exception’

So often I’ve heard that new business models for music, game creation and other creative endeavors are all exceptions because the majority of money is still being made by the record labels and the successes of the new business models are not typical of the “average musician”.

Except, when you consider it carefully, so few artists ever made money from their Record Contract, that the few successes were indeed the exceptions.

Less than 10% of signed artists recoup. Take Maximo Park for example. They have by their own admission never made a penny from record sales and make their money from DJ sets in the main. An example I have first hand knowledge of, Embrace, have sold millions of albums, they were a genuinely massive band; they performed from Glastonbury main-stage to Top Of The Pops and everywhere in-between. When they split from Virgin, they owed their label three quarters of a million pounds. I guess my point is that if we promote the Trad Music Biz’s model as “The model” then the message we’d be sending is:

  • less than one percent of musical artists are part of the music business
  • only a tenth of those will recoup and make money from their record sales, and that’s good
  • an artist should be saddled with debt, the rate at which they pay that back is equivalent to a credit card with a 900% interest rate