I recently wrote about Revenue Innovation For The Music Industry with a couple of related examples of how musicians can apply these ideas to their own activities. However, I'd like to get more specific for those musicians interested in how the work of researchers at IBM might relate more directly to their revenue opportunities.
Though not every example I give is of an indie musician, they are examples of how such work is directly relevant to musicians and small labels rather than to larger corporate entities.
In drawing on the work of Saul J. Berman in Not for Free: Revenue Strategies for a New World, I try to be as rigorous as I can in matching ideas to categories. However, I should make it clear that I am a proponent of productive misreading, i.e., if a way of thinking helps you come up with new ideas that work, it doesn't necessarily matter if your concept exactly matches that of academic researchers.
Here are some specific examples that musicians can employ based on the three forms of revenue innovation discussed in my previous post.
Pricing Innovation - finding new ways to charge for a product
- Charging for concerts in people's homes rather than in clubs.
- Creating a web-powered patronage system that essentially creates a subscription service for content and interaction.
Payer Innovation - changing who pays including cost deferred approaches such as advertising
Package Innovation - finding different ways to offer the product to the customer
- Allow fans to choose their own tracks for your album release.
- Offer online music lessons to folks outside of your immediate area.
One can certainly quibble about what practice should go under what label. But the point is to use such work to spur your own thinking and give you a chance to look at what you're doing from a new perspective in order to come up with creative solutions to the challenge of prospering as a musician.