In late August 2011, I taped some audio from a great live event we did at the Media Education Foundation in Northampton about artists navigating the digital economy – both the struggles and the success stories. The event was hosted by me and co-presenter Noel Ramos of the Independent Music Conference. We actually broadcasted much of the three hour live event via Google Hangouts and it was pretty neat to be fielding questions from folks across the world.
Amazingly, the technology held up pretty well over the three hours, but for this podcast I pared down the audio to one hour of the best discussions. Joining our talk locally was Lisa Hoag of Lisa Hoag Designs. We kick off the audio via some discussion of what “freemium” means to artists, and then Noel presents on crowdfunding and how musicians have used these tactics. Some of the topics we dig into include:
- whether “free” has helped or hurt artists
- why it makes sense to build a brand before crowdfunding
- why the “Free” digital economy has helped content aggregators (Google) more than artists
- the pros and cons of giving away creative content to build a brand/business
- are we entering a new age of “artistic patronage”?
- why Chris Anderson’s “Free” poses dangers for artists
- targeting narrow audiences versus building a broader platform
- the role of social media in tapping into new audiences
- how “the gift economy” is different than “free”
- the extent of the “content piracy” threat
So check out the podcast and let us know if you have any feedback:
We’re likely to do another installment on this event in the future, looking more closely at the social platform aspects. I may also be presenting a version of this “artists in the free and social era” for the Los Angeles 2011 Independent Music Conference, which is coming up about a week from now.