We are borrowing this (with permission) from the fine folks at Digital Music News. Digital Music News is a great resource for music industry professionals, a group that now includes a whole new class of artist and plenty of tech startups. Editor Paul Resnikoff created a simple (and slightly cynical) typology of artists based on how they relate to providers of direct-to-fan technology ("DTF", of which Bandzoogle is the most shining example, isn't it ?), and how they can generate revenue. We found it interesting enough to tweet it and post it to our Facebook page. Do you recognize yourself in one (or many) of these types ? We probably have Bandzooglers in every category, except maybe #7 and, hopefully, #12. Let us know what you think !
(1) The Unsigned, DIY
Do-it-yourself (DIY), and totally direct-to-fan (DTF). Not affiliated, this soloist or band is handling mostly everything themselves. Typically very early stage, with very low levels of income but ample inspiration.
(2) The DTF With a Team
Still direct-to-fan, but with a team of supporters - compensated or otherwise - working the strings in a hopefully coordinated manner. The beginning of a more serious marketing approach, and at a more advanced level, a great model for creating and controlling different distribution, marketing, DTF, and even label partnerships (like Arcade Fire).
(3) The Professional, Gigging Musician
(4) The Hobbyist
Maybe a serious musician in the past, now it's just a recreational thing. This sounds like a good market to tap - after all, proceeds are typically coming from a day job, and everything is sort of a toy - whether a new tuba, YouTube account, or Disc Makers-pressed CD.
(5) The Hobbyist-In-Denial
Essentially, an artist with little chance of generating a serious audience or sales, but carrying lofty aspirations nonetheless. Foolishly looking to quit the day job, if they haven't already.
(6) The Signed Artist
Actually, DTF relationships matter for every tier of artist, but the signed artist has potentially serious resources to draw upon. Depending on the relationship, that means money, creative connections, and access to a (hopefully) knowledgeable team. This type of deal has traditionally been signed with a label, but can involve any company (gaming company, publisher, Live Nation, even an advertiser.)
(7) The Superstar Signed Artist
These are the ultra-elites actually selling out gigs, shifting hundreds-of-thousands of albums, and getting terrestrial radio play. Still less money than before and a tricky terrain, but a lucky spot for any artist these days.
(8) The Songwriter
Sometimes a performer, oftentimes not, this breed of musician is putting songs and lyrics together and hopefully scoring some hits. And, in the process, minting some serious publishing revenues.
(9) The Post-Label, DTF Artist
"Off label" can be a great category, depending on how successful the label was at building the artist in the past. And, some have the luxury of leaving quite successful partnerships - a prime example being Radiohead. Still, far smaller artists have ex-label equity to bank upon.
(10) The Producer
Typically behind the scenes, but oftentimes grabbing the spotlight - especially in hip-hop. Either way, this is a different type of animal, based on lots of connections to a range of different artists. That changes the contractual discussions dramatically, and also introduces a far broader range of revenue possibilities.
(11) The Legacy Artist
The glory days are over, but hopefully the revenues are not. Or, if they are, reunion tours and remastered releases are always tricks to consider. And, reawakening and recreating DTF relationships also makes sense. We're getting the band back together...
(12) The Celebrity-Turned-Artist
A category we could live without. Is the musical world better because of Paris Hilton, Tila Tequila, or Shaq? Exactly.
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