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"It makes one wonder if new business people will emerge that can work with the needs of DIY pop musicians just as they have in other genres such as hip hop and indie rock."

An intriguing idea. Scott Borchetta of BMLG (at least from the articles one can read about him and his label) claims to allow his artists creative freedom, he marks them really well, and he is having significant success in pop with Taylor Swift with a model that is perhaps somewhat less controlled. Maybe. I can't see Columbia controlling Trent Reznor. Although I'm not sure he's pop, exactly. But maybe the labels are finally getting the message that controlling and exploiting pop artists doesn't work in the long run. Hmmm.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and their New York manager The Agency Group's Zach Quillen, about whom I know you have also written, have definitely taken the collaborative approach. They have a group of business people around them who market them - it seems very much a team effort. Mackemore has talked about the growing pains of a "small" business - it's clearly a challenge working outside the label structure, but he chooses not to give up control in exchange for a smoother growth path for his business. After all, it really is just like starting a business to start a music career.

I would love to see more freelance music business professionals have a way to identify and come together around emerging pop musicians - provide marketing support, merchandising, PR, management, and even raise capital as needed - just like in the tech startup community. There's an idea - Shark Tank for musicians... Oh, I guess that's been done (The Voice, American Idol...) Seriously, an angel investor startup business model that matched musical talent and music industry business savvy would be so welcome in the indie pop market, and so much more functional than what happens today. We might get better pop music, too.


I've yet to hear Alex Day's music. Fascinating article & story, thank you,

Franklin Chase

Hmmm... but In 40 years will we recognize Alex Day as the man who challenged the boundaries of pop, giving us the Bohemian Rhapsody of the 2Ks, and holding the record for those sales, will we see him as the kid who proved the Internet is a funnel for garbage that can be used to sell very literally, anything?

Didn't we already kind of know this potential about the Internet and isn't it the music industry who has dragged its feet on the piont?

I'm just sayin' ...

Clyde Smith

I'm not sure what you're saying. It seems to be a bit off-tiopic.

But given that the majority of what's on the web and the people posting things on the web will be meaningless in 40 years it probably doesn't really matter what either of us have to say on a music blog.

Clyde Smith

Certainly for musicians that want to create original music and have some control over their career it is totally about starting a business.

One of the big problems facing freelance music biz professionals is that they have to make a living too and music is actually a pretty lousy business play for the most part.

Plus, artists who turn their nose up at business while hoping someone else will take care of things for them doesn't make it easy for business people to do their jobs.

One thing I didn't really clarify is what I mean by pop music. I'm really thinking of things like boy bands and bubble gum as opposed to simply stuff that sells. That scene has been so much about business people creating a product that the DIY approach is almost incomprehensible.

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