Mike Masnick of Techdirt has published a post that is a chapter he wrote for a book being presented at a conference for the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL).
Its worth a read, not only for Mike’s thoughts on new ways for the music industry to make money, but also to consider how that business model might work for other industries.
Here are some snippets to get a flavour:
It’s no secret that there’s a lot of concern these days about what the music industry will look like going forward — especially from those who work on the label side of the business and have been around for a bit. A variety of things have caused rapid change in the market. Competition from other forms of entertainment, such as the internet, movies and video games, have put more pressure on the industry, as consumers have been presented with significantly more options for their entertainment attention and dollars. And, of course, there’s the ever-present specter of unauthorized file sharing — or, as the industry prefers to call it (accurately or not), “piracy.”
However, there is another solution: stop worrying and learn to embrace the business models that are already helping musicians make plenty of money and use file sharing to their advantage, even in the absence of licensing or copyright enforcement.
In simplest terms, the model can be defined as:
Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model
Sound simple? It is, if you understand the basics — and it can be incredibly lucrative. The problem, of course, is that very few seem to fully understand how this model works. However, let’s go through some examples.
This is a business model that’s working now and it will work better and better in the future as more people understand the mechanisms and improve on them. Worrying about new copyright laws or new licensing schemes or new DRM or new lawsuits or new ways to shut down file sharing is counterproductive, unnecessary and dangerous. Focusing on what’s working and encouraging more of that is the way to go. It’s a model that works for musicians, works for enablers and works for fans. It is the future and we should be thrilled with what it’s producing.