Seth Godin: Watch The (Music) Money

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"If you're in the music business but you never buy tickets or downloads, can you really empathize with the people you're selling to?

…Money is more than a transfer of value. It's a statement of belief. An ad agency that won't buy ads, a consultant who won't buy consulting, and a waiter who doesn't tip big—it's a sign, and not a good one."

– more on Seth Godin's blog

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  1. I agree with that… that money is an exchange of energy and might behave like a tide. Linda Goodman talks about this in one of her books. She might have called it the Money Mystique.
    In the book, she advises that after your basic needs (food, clothes, shelter, etc, and savings) are met then you should give away up to half of what is left…This creates the space for new money energy to circulate in your life!
    Great post, Thank you for sharing!
    I am especially interested in this topic because at http://www.asialakay.com is holding our first online fundraiser, to secure donations to pay web hosting bill.
    We have offered Free downloads since 2005. Now in 2009, we wanted to give all fans a chance to help support the music if they want to see it continue as much as we do!
    Please visit http://www.asialakay.com/blog/?page_id=109 to make a pledge and learn more about the goal of the art!
    Thank You! 🙂

  2. I agree with him in principle, but I wonder who he has in mind specifically. Just like with any industry, there are perks, and in the music business that typically means free concert tickets and recorded music. The rest of the entertainment industry has similar perks, as well.

  3. it is a usual thing for Seth to compare apples to oranges as if the identity was obvious. Waiters are a one-to-one transaction, Ad Agencies routinely study each other and even have special publications, which they buy (and pay into to list their own portfolios) all in the name of furthering the science, and indeed many musicians routinely turn up at festivals expressly to trade licks and cross-pollinate their styles.
    You see, saying that Money is Energy does not then imply that Money is the only Energy. It may, dare I suggest, not even be an important one.
    and then there’s the whole problematic notion that maybe just maybe tracks via bittorrent or blog-shares are in actual practical fact a more efficient Energy Transfer Equation than the currency-valved big-label managed for-fee systems…

  4. I admit to plenty of free shows and music but I also still spend a large amount of my income on music today, just as I have since I was a kid. I buy MP3s from Amazon, subscribe to Emusic and Rhapsody, and at Topspin we have a no-freebies policy so I find myself buying the limited edition products from our artists often (I just tonight watched the McCartney DVD we’re selling (it was great), which I paid for with my own $25). Hell, I even dropped $200 on the AC/DC box from Sony. And I pay for shows, too. I bought tickets to see Japandroids last Friday night, to see Earthless and Baroness in SF tomorrow, and to see the “Kidrockers” kids show on Saturday. So while I work in the music biz, I still consider myself a consumer.
    And I do think it helps give a lot of perspective on what’s happening in the biz. Without naming names, there are some execs in the business I’ve sat with and wondered, “When was the last time you’ve bought music? You’re talking about how ‘kids buy music today’ but what about you? Are you buying music?” I remember when I was 22 and first moved to LA and was working with folks at a major record company for the first time and realized, “Wait a minute…I care more about your product than you do! You go home at night and watch TV, I go home at night and listen to your albums!”
    I think there’s a lot of truth to what Godin says. Especially when an industry’s changing the way ours is, if you’re not living it, you have very little chance of predicting consumer behavior.
    I love music and love buying music. At Topspin we’re just building for ourselves as music fans and wannabe musicians the same way the photographers at Flickr did.

  5. @Music123
    But Seth Godin will keep speaking and spreading his thoughts, without buying any others words. Indeed : It’s impossible to reply on his blog.
    Last time I saw him in Montréal, at the Infopresse conferences, Godin was questioned about the fact that “Replying to his articles is not possible on his blog”. That drove him angry and he said “Any clever questions?”.
    A weird answer, coming from the 2.0 apostle!
    A thinker is often too busy to buy someone else’s thoughts.

  6. This cuts to the very core of the problem of live original music at the local level. In it’s simplest state, a local original music scene could support itself and make it a win for venues, bands and fans. But, in most cases, the bands themselves will not faithfully support each other and the venues. Pay cover, pay for drinks and go see other bands. Without quoting Hobbes, Locke or Russeau and ranting on social contract and social compact, I tell bands everyday that if you are sitting at home catching up on your DVR on nights that you are not playing, don’t cry to me when attendance to your gigs are soft.

  7. In defense of Seth.
    Granted, there can be meaningful dialog in blog comments, but it’s a verrrrry low percentage. It’s usually people who have an axe to grind, and people who’s ideas barely rival their (weak) spelling skills.
    If you have the most read blog in the world, the comments would simply be unmanageable. And if they aren’t managed, they’ll be full of tangents, hyperbole, flames, and redundant statements.
    I’m actually quite relieved when Seth gets something wrong, and pleasantly surprised that someone has seen him pissed. Otherwise we’d have to question his humanity.

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