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Owen Kelly

That is an awesome story. She is probably one of the best example for bands using twitter, and also the best example of how to engage in conversation with your fans.


The shirt story seems to be more of a story about Amanda being an opportunist than an artist. She leveraged her resources (web guy/assistant/crowd) to take the ideas of the group, produce a shirt and profit from it.

This story would be better filed under impulse buy.


Works well if you already have legions!

Christopher Gesualdi

As an aspiring artist, this post gets me very excited. What an excellent way to monetize your music (or products associated with it) on the web.


The instant you use a word like "monetize" the word "artist" has no place.

business people make music as a product with the intent of sales...

...musicians make music because thats what they do. if people buy it, sweet...

the worlds real musicians play to a crowd of themselves.

Sander van Zoest

If you'd rather see this explained by Amanda herself during a video interview see http://www.uncensoredinterview.com/vlogs/11836-amanda-palmer-friday-night-freaks

Steve Snelling

Beautiful collection of moxy and entrepreneurial spirit, Amanda. BTW, the comments from folks like "Andy" aren't worth much. Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw, "Real musicians have day jobs." Yeah right. In my world, real musicians are too busy making money making art to have a day job. Best to you and your efforts to escape the clutches of the label.


Too bad her music stinks, she'd never get 1/2 the following without the label support. Even Radiohead acknowledge they'd never of left their home town without a big label backing them. She's delusional. Once the label drops her, she'll be working at Burger King.

John Jeter

Her agents/managers/label let her DO this? Connect with fans? Show entrepreneurial spirit? Without getting their huge slice of her pie? WTF? Rebel. What's the world coming to?!
(Next time an agent tells a promoter she needs a huge guarantee, the promoter should say, well, hell, she just make $19K off Twitter, so go Tweet your big fat commission right up your ass.)

Katherine (NYC)

This is quite something and Amanda Palmer is especially talented at social networking so I applaud her. However, one thing these artists always forget to mention (Radiohead included) is that this direct-to-fan merchandising (on such a grand scale) would not be possible had they not benefitted for years being on a major label. Perhaps they made no money from record sales but the power of the major labels to provide them with hundres of magazines & newspapers features, high-profile videos on cable, radio promotion, and worldwide tour support is the only way they accumulated hundreds-of-thousands of fans and can now profit from these fans. An indie band going it alone can never acheive this level of success.


for everyone who has said that amanda wouldn't have the fans to buy this stuff if she didn't have a major label promoting her... when's the last time you saw wb/roadrunner promoting her or the dresden dolls? everything i've ever seen, promo wise, has been grassroots; the dolls/amanda are sorely misplaced in the roadrunner family... just take a quick look at rr's artist list & their own promo line from google... "Roadrunner Records is the premier music label for Heavy Metal & Rock bands."

rr is too busy with their slipknots and nickelbacks to care about indie artists who don't have platinum/gold records. the music industry is changing; maybe radiohead wouldn't have left their hometown in the late 80s/early 90s without major label support, but the fact of the matter is that viral marketing/social networking/indie labels are starting to take the place of major record labels like warner brothers, emi, etc. diy is where it's at with music right now.

tucchus johnson

just because you don't see the first-hand outcome of a major label supporting her band, doesn't mean they didn't pour a ton of cash into the project.

take for example the process of getting a CD reviewed by all the major music magazines, on time, in coordination with a release. then how about all those feature stories that look like a journalist decided to write about the band that day out of nowhere.

it's all paid for.


100% agreed with Tucchus... my band never realized until we were off-label how many wheels need to be greased for the average publicity campaign. Never mind blatantly pay-to-play organs like AP and MAGNET, but even blogs don't expect anything good that doesn't come from a $2K/month indie publicist.

It's also a little disingenuous to say she's made NOTHING from the label. I'm assuming there was some kind of advance for delivering the record. Although if she's sold 30K then there's no way in hell she's recouped even a RR "development" deal. It's would be a very good argument for lower-risk profit share deals, if not for the way RR or WB probably counts their money.

Amanda's very entertaining, but unless she's fucking SUPERHUMAN I just can't see how she can keep putting all this energy and great ideas into marketing herself and monetizing her fans 24/7 without diverting some of that creativity from her music, which is ultimately what matters (well, to me, at least. Which is why you've probably never heard of my band.)


Except that you're forgetting one thing. Musician's who wish to NOT work a day job waiting fucking tables or typing data into a computer all day or hawking someone else's goods had better figure out a way to "monetize" their music or they'll never be a "professional musician", you'll just be some unknown hobbyist who serves people hamburgers 5 or 6 days a week. If you're perfectly happy playing your music in front of a mirror after your 9-5 job every day, please do, but don't try to apply your flawed logic to someone else's wish to "monetize" their music so that they can do what they love for a living.


Yeah but then she would have to be a label douche.

Seriously Mark you are so completely wrong, I don't know where to start...it's like watching Sean Hannity and calling it "news".

I'll wrap this up...ready:


brendan b brown


And she had a say in that expenditure?...I'm sorry, assuming you are correct, are we supposed to feel bad for the label for making horrible business decisions and spending money with no return?

You're just jealous too.

brendan b brown

Sign up? HAHA!

No major label record, no radio play.

No radio play, no major tour.

No major tour, no big fan base.

No big fan base, no twitter yard sales.

So basically, no major label deal, no blogpost about making money from nothing.


Yep....you just go right on thinking that.

♫...don't go changing...♬



I agree with this comment. Who would care to follow her on twitter if labels hadn't invested tens of thousands of dollars in producing her record, supporting her touring, and promoting her image?


Maybe if she put that much effort into trying to sell her record, the label would recoup her costs and she'd finally start making money from it.


This is not an example of a successful musician, just a hard worker.


If you think the Dolls have a fanbase because of anything other than word of mouth, you don't have a realistic perception of them whatsoever.


while i think she is a genius, if she weren't AMANDA fucking PALMER already, no one would have bought any of that shit.

not that i'm saying the roadrunner records made her that popular, but having her records available in record stores certainly did. because back when i first started listening to the dolls, you couldn't buy the records in stores, they had no label, and they had about 30 fans. Until the day FYE started selling the albums (which wouldn't happen without a label), no one knew who she was.

A boy with glasses

Amanda Palmer is a genius. But I do agree with Zoryaida. If it were someone else (like me, for example), they'd probably make $5 after 24 hrs. of back-breaking twittering.



What would happen if the label had 10 employees put that much effort in each?...Would it recoup 10 times over? Are you providing a tacit admission that the artist is better at promoting herself than the label is? That flies in the face of the whole,"she'd have no fans if not for Roadrunner" argument...Doesn't it now?

You are wrong and you suck, please stop sucking.


 Julian The First

Couldn't agree more with armchairnomad... I laugh out loud everytime I hear the sheer stupidity of those who are so ready to make decisions and moral judgments on what others should or shouldn't do with their lives... Ok sure.. let's follow this genius approach and ask all the famous multi millionaire musicians to change their "business people" ways and join him waiting tables and making cafe lattes at Starbucks... so they can become part of his "world's real musicians..." I mean what a drooling loser !!



While it may be entirely be possible that AfP could've done all this herself, it certainly was made a lot easier by the fact that she had a large pre-existing fanbase. And it's hard to get a large pre-existing fanbase without some marketing muscle.

At any rate, it'd be unlikely that someone would buy a wine bottle for $320 if there wasn't a rabid fanbase in existence. It's kind of a catch-22 for most artists - you need this kind of plan to develop a fanbase, but you need a fanbase to execute this kind of plan.

Makes my head spin sometimes.


Wow, you know, that is a really compelling argument. I mean you had that great point that Sean Hannity is not news. And then you had that sentence in all caps!


Amanda Palmer is a fucking narcissist, and like any narcissist she spends all her time desperately trying to get attention rather than learning her craft. She performs cover songs to ride on the fame of the song owner in the hopes that someone will notice her cheap bid for attention. The next thing that happens is the bra comes off, then the dumb naked pictures on twitter. She's the modern version of a geek show, no talent, no brains, just an escalating wave of vulgar behavior, tantrums, telling people the record company said she was fat when really they just dropped her because she stinks.

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