Another example of ‘free’ as a business model from the music industry

By September 17, 2008 4 Comments

This time it is former Stranglers front man Hugh Cornwell.  As reported on Techdirt he is recognising the economics of abundance with respect to digital goods by:

  • Giving his latest album away as a completely free download
  • Offering people to pay for physical versions – e.g. CD, DVD or vinyl
  • Selling a related experience, consisting of a movie of making of the album shown at a movie theatre which he attends and hosts a Q&A session at the end – access to artists is an important scarcity here

Finding the ‘scarcities’ i.e. the things that you can still charge for will be increasingly important for all artists whose work can be reproduced digitally.  Music is at the fore front of the change due to the small size of the files, but other areas will follow, including, I suspect video.  I totally recognise the need for artists (be they musicians, directors, or actors) to get paid, but they will need to do so within the logic of how the market operates.

Please refer to this post I wrote in March for a review of Wired’s Kevin Kelly‘s list of nine ways to monetise your work in this new environment.