Is What’s Good For Blink-182, Good For The Rest Of The Music Industry?

“We’re redefining the music business.”image from www.harmony-central.com

Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge says that with the self-release of the new album  by his side project Angels & Airwaves, he can redefine the music business. His plan is to:

  1. Release the new album free online.
  2. Use corporate sponsorships with Live Nation and Hurley to get 20 million downloads.
  3. Watch the fans flock to Modlife, where they’ll all sign up for $6.95 monthly memberships

“If only 5% of that 20 million came back and interacted with the Modlife platform that powers our Web site, the revenue would far exceed anything we’d make from a major label, in any way, shape or form,”  Delonge told Billboard.  “We’re redefining the music business. And I honestly think we’re going to be 10 times bigger because of it.”

While DeLonge may be redefining his own business, can this be a cure for the music industry as a whole? For most artists and labels, the struggle is getting the attention of enough fans so that monetizing 5% of them yields significant revenue. 

And do 20 million people still care about Blink 182 much less Angles & Airwaves?

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  1. I’m getting really tired of superstar artists thinking they’re redefining the music industry and taking a stand against the major labels when all they’re doing is utilizing the fan bases they’ve acquired over the past decade, sometimes even more, of being a part of the machine.
    While it’s all well and good for acts like Radiohead, NiN and Blink 182 to do things like this, it’s ridiculous for them to think of it as a groundbreaking platform for all artists. These type of ideas can only work if you have their vast history, which most artists don’t.
    The machine can be pretty horrible at times, but it established huge fan bases for these acts. For them to claim they’re doing anything without the help of a major label is silly.
    Rant over.

  2. It’s because of us, the fans that bands have to get creative and try new ways to generate revenue. If they fail? So be it – other bands and record labels can learn from Tom Delonge, good or bad.

  3. here’s the the point their missing…
    Since they been on a label…
    they’ve had access to millions….their back end is massive….at 1% thanks to the work already done by the label,its very easy to achieve a huge result.
    the Average band,if their lucky will hit 30 grand,and even then its a massive assholes and elbows event .
    when you’ve had in the past(and yes even nine inch nails has had major label support)
    a multi million dollar corporation behind you,I’d say that anything your going to do in the future has a grand result,as the news list alone would be killer.
    so Im going to have to call bullshit for the sake of news grabbing on their part…..if they didn’t get a huge result from their past career alone,it would be retarded….
    and from the look of the dudes hat……maybe its on to tight*lol*…….
    you wanna shape the industry…..lets see you do it with an unknown……as that would be news worthy.
    until then,go blow smoke up some other fools ass…

  4. How about this?? Band “X” does a promotional email campaign for a small weekend tour and sells 300 tickets, 25 shirts, 25 cd’s and gets a case of beer along with the door money of around 1500 dollars. Total take for the weekend is around 2000 after expenses. The band of 4 makes 500 dollars each and get to buy groceries and gas and pay a little toward their monthly household expenses. They rehearse in their respective basements and repeat the process for at least 3 out of 4 weekends a month for at least 3-5 years. Along the way revenue has steadily increased and expenses have flattened to the point of establishing a savings account for the band and each household. Financial security has been established as long as they continue to work. This is how it is done boys and girls. Hard work, dedication to task and an unwavering belief in yourself and your fans. Sure, along the way you can get creative with your “base” and try to monetize the heck out of them….but remember….week after week, month after month, year after year…..there you are….in the van…going to the club…..playing to ever increasing numbers of fans who want to see you play your music live and in person….so don’t take the short money so to loose the love and long term nature of all your hard work.
    By the way…if you love to play music…try to create the best you can and sell that to your fans…everything else “tends” to take care of itself.
    Love to all for a happy and healthy New Year…
    Mitchell Fox

  5. Artist subscriptions might work for certain prolific acts (David Bowie, Prince maybe someone like Ryan Adams), but these schnooks? I can’t see them putting out anything worth spending 7 bucks on once a year, let alone a monthly fee

  6. When some turd like this guy throws an album out to the world for free, that makes those of us who hope to SELL our music look bad. As many of you have already pointed out, we don’t have that major label-built fan base that will support us on the “back end.” The rest of the world sees only Turd Delonge giving his music away, and then criticizes us for not doing the same.
    Of course, there is always some bonehead on the local level that buys into this “redefining the music industry” bull that is nothing more than smoke & mirrors, and gives his music away, too. This adds fuel to the fire. (We lose money on every sale, but we make it up by selling in volume!) And not just local yokels buy into this crap, either. I can just see some music biz “guru” using this in his next “succeed in music” seminar, and charging $500 to the unsuspecting hopefuls while he (or she) feeds them this garbage as “proof” of how to make it in the music business.
    Give me a break. Adam B, Mitchell Fox, & all, keep telling it like it is.

  7. Midem is a not as important now…just like the winter music conference which is useless… artist should just target there fans.. if your fans are into dirty south hip hop beats, then post your music and info on those forums.. be very targeted.. get the fans and demand and the deals will come looking for you..

  8. Well said my man. Not in the music world, other than love to play piano and guitar when not working (to make my living), spending time with my wife and /or daughter or mountain biking. Have always had an appreciation of many kinds of music, and a self proclaimed “good ear” for it. Caught a wild hair today to check out “careers” in the music business and came across this blog. Clueless about the trials and tribulations of people doing what they love in music (with exception to a buddy who has a 40+ pop band in L.A), but agree that no matter what you do, you want to love it, work at it and be committed to it. What’s gonna happen after that, is simply what’s gonna happen. New ideas like this are great and hopefully many bands can benefit from them. Modlife? I agree, who? Why? More power to you …. Anyway, enjoyed your comments. Who is your band if you have one now?

  9. I don’t see what Blink 182 wants to do as redefining the music industry. While as a music lover, getting an album for free legally would be awesome, thinking deeper they’re more than likely doing more harm. From the battles way back when with Metallica and Napster fighting over the use of free music, this just doesn’t seem like the right step. I don’t think the following of Blink 182 or Angels and Airwaves is close to being big enough to be effective. I also don’t understand the monthly Modlife charge. In the end the monthly charge would cost more than the album would retail, and I can get the same information through podcasts and applications on iTunes.

  10. 5% conversion is wayyy too high. hell, spotify is doing great @ 3.5%, but the labels claim they need to reach 10-12% to appeal to them (absurd!)
    Great to hear Blink pushing the outdated release structure/model. They’ll break even, esp since they’ll get a number of major writeups throughout the process, but 5% expectations ain’t happening.

  11. I don’t see how this can work on a scale to redefine the music business because the numbers don’t work out. As a fan, how many of these monthly fees am I going to take on and for how long ? Not enough to make an industry wide impact. Also this will work for current fans but do little attract new ones so I agree with previous postings that success with an established act does little to insure the same success for a breaking artist/band.

  12. For everyone here saying that it is too hard for a relatively “unknown” artist to find a large degree of success without the support of a major label/corporation with deep pockets throwing money behind them or that Tom Delonge can only do something like this because he already has a large following of fans from his Blink 182 days, you need to look into the artist Corey Smith. http://bit.ly/bhVqGx

  13. Here are the reasons why this model will NOT work.
    A. The demographic they use to hit, is no longer interested in that style of pop culture which once ran rampant.
    B. The demographic that would sign up for this would be similiar to Lady Gaga’s fanbase, that fanbase also share artists like Spears, Beyonce, etc.
    I highly doubt they will leave those idols for a side projects from a once big band.
    C. Even if they did, that demographic also doesn’t hold credit cards in their own name!!!! Major downfall. Parent’s do not want a recurring charge on their credit cards for a band during a recession.
    And unless they have a radio single, that new listeners will get to know them by. It’s not gonna work.

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