Direct-To-Fan: A Future-Proof Model

The classic model of the music business was based around the power of the pipeline (distribution); i.e., whoever owned the pipes made the money.

Exploitation of pipeline control drove up prices and frustration on the part of the fans.  Fans paid, labels made money, artists came last.  Arrogance and complacency of the ruling class set the stage for the digital revolution.

After the revolution and into the file-sharing/ p2p era, power shifted to the fans.  So now, music was free, labels got screwed, and fans were vindicated; but the artist still came last.

The only sustainable model for the music business is one in which the artists eat first, since they are the source of the content stream.  Fans, once intoxicated with free music, are beginning to realize that it is their responsibility to replenish the stream.

A new model is built around direct-to-fan transactional relationships, where artists can make a fair profit for their work.  What will this infrastructure look like?

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