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Scott has some great ideas for Music 2.0 services. I’ve been meaning to write up mine for a while as I’ve learned I’m too busy to launch any new sites.

My big idea lately is one I’ve been meaning to pitch to Magnatune:

Independent record labels should provide hook-ups to their artists for services such as graphic design, manufacturing, merchandise, booking, bio-writing, press kits, photography, advertising, PR and more. These are all things artists will pay for but it’s hard to weed through the scams and overpriced poor quality services out there.

The record label would find quality professionals to perform these services at a reasonable price. Record label makes itself valuable to the artists by simplifying their lives, record label takes a cut or referral fee from each service transaction, artist has access to quality resources to improve their career, sells more music, everybody’s happy.

Posted on - June 29, 2007 [at] 9:47 am by Brad
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4 Comments on this post

John Buckman of Magnatune on Music 2.0 ideas
June 30, 2007 at 9:55 am

Brad, the reason Magnatune hasn’t gone in this direction is that it feels wrong for me to charge the musician for anything. As the record label, I feel like it’s the musician’s job to make great music, gig, sleep with super-models, and it’s the record label’s job to do create merch, do photographs, find the gigs, etc.

Lots of companies (sellaband, garageband, sonicbids) are willing to sell services to musicians, but there’s always been the taint of evil to it, and with record companies already having such a deservedly bad reputation, I decided to stay sqweaky clean.

The being said, some of the stuff you mentioned, Magnatune does, such as:
1) promo photography
2) graphic design for the album artwork
3) bio writing
4) we’ve worked with 3 different agencies for PR, spent about $400k, promoting select musicians, and that turned out to not be worth much

Brad on Music 2.0 ideas
July 3, 2007 at 2:55 pm

I don’t see anything particularly evil with selling services — unless they’re unreliable, poor quality and overpriced. If you offer them without a cut then I’d probably offer them to the artists more because I had no idea (though I’m often slow and oblivious to things.)

The PR that I’m interested in would be more targeted for the artist. If I have a new album out, I’d be happy to pay to get my CD sent out to a bunch of places. It’s not worth it to me to bomb the earth with them, but a small targeted campaign of local and other Brad Sucks friendly media would be worthwhile.

Most businesses who pitch me in email don’t seem to have small bands in mind. I don’t want to spend five grand to make five hundred dollars, etc.

gurdonark on Music 2.0 ideas
July 4, 2007 at 6:22 am

I think that a Web 2.0 service which offers the services you describe in a dependable, easy to use, what you see is what you get transparency system would succeed.

I think, too, that a very small indie shop could win a lot of small band business with a very price-savvy, frill-light catalog of services along this line.

I see John’s point that Magatune,for example, should not be that vendor, but one Magnatune feature–the reasonably transparent and fixed licensing pricing–could easily be transferred to many services to facilitate what you suggest for small bands.

The problem is not that no services exist–they do exist. The problem is that the services are not geared to the small label/indie who does not want/expect/need miracles but needs quality consistent with the pricing and price predictability.

But if all those things existed, then I probably wouldn’t get to write my own liner notes, and where would the fun go?

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