Last week former eMusic CEO and vc David Pakman posted "The Unbundling Of Media". It's an analyst's view of the unbundling of music ($.99 single vs. $15 CD) and how the phenomenon is spreading to other media. "Music industry total revenues are down more than 50% since their peak in 1999, and continue to fall..," he wrote. "The biggest culprit is not piracy, it is the fact that consumers, when they buy music, are buying 10% of what they used to, because they only need to buy the single, not the album".
But new trends in artistic Independence, direct to fan sales and the work that Topspin and others are doing, is re-bundling music and could reverse the shift that is decimating all media industries.
"As artists get their arms around all their rights and build direct relationships with their fans," Rogers writes on his blog, "we’re seeing artists’ output re-bundled into higher value packages and average revenue per transaction greater than those delivered by the Compact Disc. Instead of selling their art across a variety of channels (CD at Best Buy, digital download at iTunes, t-shirt at Hot Topic, etc..) artists are able to bundle their collective output into a single direct-to-consumer sale where they are the retailer (and pocket half the retailer margin, too)."
Topspin, who says individual transactions across all its campaigns has averaged more than $25, is not the only one leading the rebundling charge. Live Nation and Ticketmaster, for example, are also searching for best practices to combine tickets sales with downloads and merchandise. Others like ReverbNation and Nimbit provide tools for artists to experiment with on their own.
It's all still in its earliest stages. But as Rogers concludes, if re-bundling works, the result is "more direct-to-fan sales, higher average revenue per transaction, and more fan connections on which to build future campaigns."