Mark Cuban is a smart guy.   He dashed off a couple of ideas here that make a lot of sense.  I completely agree with him that the big copyright holders (labels and publishers) can act as "networks" and bring their music to market.  It is interesting that none of them are thinking this way at the moment, and the old way of thinking is guiding the day.  Namely, why do they need aggregators like Apple’s iTunes to replace the failing Tower Records of the past?  Why can’t the labels go direct to the customer with their product.

I have often said that when Napster 1.0 first emerged, the labels realized that they actually had customers.  And those weren’t Wall Mart and Target, but people like you and me.  And instead of embracing these consumers, communicating with them, drawing ’em into the fold, marketing to them – they decided to sue the people.  The legal people overran the marketing folks, and the chance for creating a direct to consumer business slipped through their lawyers hands.

It has taken a while to grasp the totality of all this, but perhaps someday soon, a large music content company will decide to get into the business of marketing to consumers, and creating an infrastructure to support and make it happen in the digital age.  Can’t wait to see that happen.

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4 replies
  1. Chris Leary says:

    It certainly seems the big labels are prepared to sit back and let Apple et al handle the bulk of their download transactions, rather than invest in their own download services and add to their download revenue, but then they’ve never appeared capable of fully embracing this brave (not so) new world.

    As ever, the canny indie labels speedily put in place download services, getting it right first time (i.e. with no DRM, high-quality encodings, omni-compatible mp3 files) with services like Bleep [www.bleep.com], set up by Warp Records (yet still open to other indie labels not wishing to implement their own download stores). Other electronica labels implement similar stores, though not half as elegantly as Bleep, such as Toytronic and n5MD. No indie label worth their salt will have slept on the opportunity to provide music directly to fans.

    While I can understand *very* small labels wishing to use aggregators to help increase their market exposure, I don’t know why the big names haven’t now created a download store between them. I guess after all the legal wranglings, no one would be caught dead buying directly from iRIAA.com!

    Do the big labels perhaps still wish to appear to distance themselves from download formats by using an intermediary aggregator, hoping the whole thing will blow over and people will somehow revert to buying CDs? (After all the effort the big labels initially put into decrying the use of mp3s?)

    The big music industry will never die, but it’s taking a beating while its cannier indie cousins get with the program.

  2. Chris Leary says:

    It certainly seems the big labels are prepared to sit back and let Apple et al handle the bulk of their download transactions, rather than invest in their own download services and add to their download revenue, but then they’ve never appeared capable of fully embracing this brave (not so) new world.

    As ever, the canny indie labels speedily put in place download services, getting it right first time (i.e. with no DRM, high-quality encodings, omni-compatible mp3 files) with services like Bleep [www.bleep.com], set up by Warp Records (yet still open to other indie labels not wishing to implement their own download stores). Other electronica labels implement similar stores, though not half as elegantly as Bleep, such as Toytronic and n5MD. No indie label worth their salt will have slept on the opportunity to provide music directly to fans.

    While I can understand *very* small labels wishing to use aggregators to help increase their market exposure, I don’t know why the big names haven’t now created a download store between them. I guess after all the legal wranglings, no one would be caught dead buying directly from iRIAA.com!

    Do the big labels perhaps still wish to appear to distance themselves from download formats by using an intermediary aggregator, hoping the whole thing will blow over and people will somehow revert to buying CDs? (After all the effort the big labels initially put into decrying the use of mp3s?)

    The big music industry will never die, but it’s taking a beating while its cannier indie cousins get with the program.

  3. Kenneth Feldman says:

    We’ve just launched a new service for independent musicians where they build their own MP3 music store, sell their music themselves.

    Here’s the short story:

    Indie Musicians – Build your own MP3 music store, sell your music yourself!

    Any independent musician or band, with no web skills at all, can create their own full-service music download store just by following some easy instructions; and most importantly, receive 100% of their sales revenue, and receive it the same day. Oh, and it’s totally FREE for your entire first month.

    INDIEKAZOO’s concept is to provide artists with a simple interface for creating their own music download store, which can be integrated into their own website if they have one, or be a stand-alone page hosted by INDIEKAZOO. The artists follow simple instructions for uploading their music — whether entire albums or single tracks. You build and run your own music store with only YOUR songs in it.

    Unlike the big services, INDIEKAZOO lets musicians set their own prices and/or offer special promotions or features. And most importantly, INDIEKAZOO lets artists receive 100% of their sales revenue, and receive it the same day — or as they like to say, “you can pay for dinner tonight with the sales you made today.”

    Some of the clients who have already signed up with the service include Greg Page, former lead vocalist and founding member of the Australian band The Wiggles, who now sells his own solo music on INDIEKAZOO! (www.indiekazoo.com/gregpage). New York City percussion ensemble Mecca Bodega was one of the first groups to start using INDIEKAZOO to sell music directly to their fans online. “Things have really changed in the music business,” remarked Paul Mueller, one of the band’s leaders. “We saw early on that this is the way of the future for independent bands.” (www.indiekazoo.com/meccabodega)

    Full information about INDIEKAZOO is at http://www.indiekazoo.com.

    Check out some more IndieKazoo powered music stores at:
    http://www.indiekazoo.com/artists

  4. Kenneth Feldman says:

    We’ve just launched a new service for independent musicians where they build their own MP3 music store, sell their music themselves.

    Here’s the short story:

    Indie Musicians – Build your own MP3 music store, sell your music yourself!

    Any independent musician or band, with no web skills at all, can create their own full-service music download store just by following some easy instructions; and most importantly, receive 100% of their sales revenue, and receive it the same day. Oh, and it’s totally FREE for your entire first month.

    INDIEKAZOO’s concept is to provide artists with a simple interface for creating their own music download store, which can be integrated into their own website if they have one, or be a stand-alone page hosted by INDIEKAZOO. The artists follow simple instructions for uploading their music — whether entire albums or single tracks. You build and run your own music store with only YOUR songs in it.

    Unlike the big services, INDIEKAZOO lets musicians set their own prices and/or offer special promotions or features. And most importantly, INDIEKAZOO lets artists receive 100% of their sales revenue, and receive it the same day — or as they like to say, “you can pay for dinner tonight with the sales you made today.”

    Some of the clients who have already signed up with the service include Greg Page, former lead vocalist and founding member of the Australian band The Wiggles, who now sells his own solo music on INDIEKAZOO! (www.indiekazoo.com/gregpage). New York City percussion ensemble Mecca Bodega was one of the first groups to start using INDIEKAZOO to sell music directly to their fans online. “Things have really changed in the music business,” remarked Paul Mueller, one of the band’s leaders. “We saw early on that this is the way of the future for independent bands.” (www.indiekazoo.com/meccabodega)

    Full information about INDIEKAZOO is at http://www.indiekazoo.com.

    Check out some more IndieKazoo powered music stores at:
    http://www.indiekazoo.com/artists

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