(2010-12-22) Kulash Okgo Make Money Music

Damian Kulash of Ok Go on how to Make Money in the new Music Industry. So if vanishing record revenue isn't being replaced by touring income, how are musicians feeding themselves? For moderately well established artists, the answer is increasingly corporate sponsorship and licensing—a return, in a sense, to the centuries-old logic of Patronage... We had complete creative control in the (Video) productions. At the end of each clip we thanked the company involved, and genuinely, because we truly are thankful. We got the money we needed to make what we want, our fans enjoyed our videos for free, and our corporate Medicis got what their marketing departments were after: millions of eyes and goodwill from our fans. While most bands struggle to wrestle modest video budgets from labels that see videos as loss leaders, ours wind up making us a profit.

What Killola is learning is that making a living in music isn't just about selling studio recordings anymore. It's about selling the whole package: themselves. And there are plenty of pioneers leading the way. Top-shelf studio drummer Josh Freese sold his album online with a suite of add-ons. For $250, fans (True Fan) could have lunch with him at P.F. Chang's; he says the 25 slots he offered sold out in a day. One fan sprung for the $20,000 option, which included a miniature golf outing with Mr. Freese and his friends. Singer Amanda Palmer made over $6,000 in three hours—without leaving her apartment—by personally auctioning off souvenirs from tours and video shoots. The New Orleans trombone rock band Bonerama advertises online that they'll play a show in your home for $10,000.


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