Monday, January 22, 2007

fair trade in music

i gave a talk at the moshito music conference in johannesburg, south africa back in september of 2006. they assigned me the topic of "fair play in music environment" which i turned into a 2 part talk. the first part of that talk was about "fair play" or "fair trade" and the second part was more or less a "how-to" for artists/labels/managers on how to actually use the internet to make money from music sales. obviously this is an intensely deep conversation and there are many many ways to do this. also note that due to the nature of the 'net and it's constant change, although i only gave this talk 4 months ago, this info is now "old" for those of you on the bleeding edge. it is (i think) still quite valid info, but much more has been added to my thinking and the reality of the boots on the ground situation for musicians.

anyway, without further ado, here is my outline. if you want my full notes, let me know . . . (sorry in advance about the formatting. when you grab stuff from powerpoint, it gets ugly)

Fair Play & Download Environments
What is “Fair Play” or “Fair Trade” in the music biz?
How do artists/labels get income from downloads?
aka “Using the Download as part of an alternative marketing and promotional strategy”

Fair Play / Fair Trade Key Ideas
* Create Opportunity for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
* Transparency
* Capacity Building
* Fair Price
* Consumer Education
* Financial / Technical Support
* Respect for Cultural Identity

Fair Trade in Music? HOW?
The Answer =

Fair trade in music will come with
the existence of:
an educated production force (musicians, producers, managers, labels)
an educated mass of consumers

Article 7. The African States recognize that the driving force of Africa is based more on development of the collective personality than on individual advancement and profit, and that culture cannot be considered as the privilege of an elite.
Article 8. The African States agree to undertake the following:
(a) create conditions which will enable their peoples to participate to the full in the development and implementation of cultural policies;
(b) defend and develop the people's culture;
(c) implement a cultural policy providing for the advancement of creative artists;
(d) to wherever necessary, abolish the caste system and rehabilitate the functions of artist and craftsman (griots and craftsmen).
Organization of African Unity - Cultural Charter for Africa - Port Louis, 1976

Downloads as Alternative Strategy
Q: How do artists/labels get income
from downloads?

A: You MUST use the Download as
part of an
alternative marketing and
promotional strategy.

Use all available download platforms to launch your brand worldwide – don't sit around and wait for the world to come to you!

How to “Make It” using downloads – the 12 Step Program
1 – Do your thing domestically.
Work off your strengths.

2 – Forget about CD's outside of your local market.
Do DIGITAL ONLY releases of your product internationally

3 – Put your music everywhere.
Obscurity is a Greater Threat than Piracy
If people can't find your music legally, they WILL steal it.

4 – Work the social networks.

5 – Get everyone involved

6 – Facilitate Sales
Put links everywhere

7 – Put something out every day

8 – Call Ahead Digitally

9 – Keep it fresh.
Remixes, Live tracks, collaborations

10 – Make videos.
And make them memorable.

11 – Get booked internationally, press up CDs and go!

12 – Work with the best.

Facilitating the Alternative Strategy
National Geographic
Afropop Worldwide
Adina World Beat Beverages
Global Rhythm Magazine

Calabash Music encourages inclusion of artist and fan via:
Musical Specificity
Variable Pricing
Long Tail Depth

New markets and technology tools have put the power in the hands of the producers.
It is up to the producers to use that power.
This power can drive growth and development.

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