Content Publishing on the Net: Survival Strategies for Content Creators

ff_bryne_f.jpgDavid ByrneThe Internet has obviously turned all media on its ear by disrupting or destroying the power of traditional physical distribution.  Go down the list: first the newspapers, the music distributors, now film & television…  The Internet is enabling anyone to be an artist, but the challenge is not distribution – it has become marketing. 

In last week’s Wired Magazine, David Byrne of the Talking Heads goes through the various models for music publishing and how artists should evaluate alternatives.  The six models are:

  1. The 360 or Equity Deal: Every aspect of the artist’s career is handled by producers, promoters, marketing people, and managers.  The artist becomes a brand, owned and operated by the label.
  2. Standard Distribution Deal: The record company bankrolls the recording and handles the manufacturing, distribution, press, and promotion. The artist gets a royalty percentage after all those other costs are repaid. The label, in this scenario, owns the copyright to the recording.
  3. The Licensing Deal: The license deal is similar to the standard deal, except in this case the artist retains the copyrights and ownership of the master recording. 
  4. Profit Sharing: Minimal advance from the recording label; artist and publisher share in profits from day one.
  5. Manufacturing and Distribution Deal:  Artist does everything except manufacture and distribute the product.  Artists have full control.  Most labels don’t do these deals.
  6. Self-Distribution Model:  The artist does everything.  Music is self-produced, self-written, self-played, and self-marketed. 


I believe all content (words, music, images, video) will ultimately fall into one these buckets/models and new publishers will emerge to capitalize on the opportunities left open by the traditional distribution model.  Ultimately more power is shifting to high quality content creators.

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars


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