Third legs, tentacles and trust: Anatomy of a 21st century music business

Brown, Hugh (2007) Third legs, tentacles and trust: Anatomy of a 21st century music business. In Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Musicological Societies, 22-25 November 2007, Qld Conservatorium, Brisbane, Qld. (Unpublished)


Digital technologies have created unprecedented opportunities for musicians to make and distribute music, while at the same time enabling file sharing that threatens the business models of traditional music companies and their artists. No truly independent act has yet topped the charts, despite the hype and promise, but the Long Tail offers hope to the 90+% of musicians who are unable to derive a living from their performances.

This study seeks to identify the opportunities for and barriers to independent musicians building a sustainable business in the New Media environment and to challenge them using an action research approach. Focusing mainly on New Media technologies and theory, it will use case studies to guide the creation and distribution of music and related materials in an experimental 21st Century business. Business strategies will be tested using a collective of participants as well as a project created to tap the latent skills of musicians, songwriters and artists in south-east Queensland. The proceeds will be distributed back to them using a distributed-creativity model that challenges the high-risk monopolistic approach that pervaded the late-20th century recording industry.

Lessons learned from the case studies and first-hand experience of making an album at home and distributing and promoting it without a large marketing budget will be fed back to the participants to facilitate change to their business practice and further refinement of the possible strategies. Further, the project's findings will be made available for others to adopt and adapt as a creative-commons distribution, hopefully enabling a significant change to the long-term fortunes of unsigned musical talent.

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ID Code: 97964
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Music business, Musicians, Musicians careers
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 The Author
Deposited On: 08 Aug 2016 02:10
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2016 02:10

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