Still A-live! During this unprecedented period of confinement, the Show-me team has gone to meet musicians and cultural players to question them and take the pulse of what they’re thinking. What is or should be the status of the artist? What are possible remunerations? What evolution is possible after the crisis?
Laurence Desarzens, Beam Network – Culture Manager
“The digitization of music has led to the devaluation of its market value. Streaming has its advantages, but it provides almost no income for the vast majority of artists. What are we willing to pay for something intangible? What are we willing to pay to feel an emotion, pleasure, share an experience? If I pay for a ticket to see an indoor concert, it’s not the same experience as watching it online. This is what we are noticing in this period of confinement when most artists are performing concerts for free or for derisory amounts. Without even mentioning the quality of the sound, etc …
Let’s dare to look elsewhere. Even if can seem strange, why not take inspiration from
business models that work online with another types of intangible products. For example, the sex industry where you pay to get pleasure, an experience for a given amount of time. Why not consider an online service that is remunerated according to the time that the artist puts at our disposal?
Online “added value”
It’s important to ask yourself: What can be shared online but not live? What are the
expectations of the artist and the listener / spectator? Thinking about whether a close and personal exchange with an artist is possible online is a good place to start. Since the screen adds an element of distance between the artist and the musician, this loss of contact could be compensated by a discussion before and after the concert, an explanation on the creation process or an exchange which would be remunerated at a fair price. The musician could offer a short performance of 3 to 5 live songs preceded and followed by some discussion time for an amount of € 25 per person (for a minimum of 4 spectators) or € 100 or for a single spectator / interlocutor. It’s an idea worth thinking about.
The hip hop example
Digital tools and platforms for these exchanges already exist. Many well-known and independent hip hop artists have long understood the importance of diversifying their income. They’ve had to think outside the box and along the road less travelled, not being recognized by industry or mainstream media, and often excluded from funding subsidies. For further information on this subject: baduworldmarket and trapital (on hip hop business strategy). Hip hop artists have reinvented the exchange of experience with their fans and their possible contributions. We could take advantage of this period of social distancing to rethink and come up with new online experiences.
I doubt that we will quickly replace the proximity of a hall or a festival, but this is a great time to rethink the unique shared experience between musicians and music-lovers, and start preparing for the next new chapter.”