Just watched this fascinating presentation by Mike Masnick of Floor 64 about the future of the music business model (via Jason Parker.)  It’s worth taking a half hour of your time to watch if you care about what’s at stake for how to make money with music.  Masnick’s theory is an interesting one: that the “music” itself is not the commodity that will best make money.  He describes music as a “loss leader” or “low-margin leader” that can be used to sell other things.  He gives a number of examples where this is working very well for a lot of musicians.  His formula, the title of my post, means “Connect with Fans, give them a Reason to Buy, and you make a lot of money.”

Now, is this applicable for jazz musicians, whose music garners a smaller audience than pop acts?  OF COURSE!  This formula gives a much more targeted, nuanced way to reach fans and market the experience and relationships associated with the music.  Maria Schneider, one of the biggest names in jazz today, is using the model to great effect.

Also, one thing about jazz is that it’s had a long time to diffuse itself all over the world.  There are potential jazz fans across the globe, and the technology is now able to deliver.  I’d say that despite all the doom and gloom surrounding recent declines in the American jazz audience, there is a lot of room for optimism in the emerging music ecosystem.  Just watch the clip and you’ll see what I mean.

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