This woman, while a lightning rod for criticism at times, speaks so eloquently to the entire population of aspiring musicians about what it means to let people pay for music rather than making them pay, that I think watching this video is the most valuable 15 minutes you’ll spend on your music career this year. LISTEN to what this woman is really saying and look in the mirror long and hard when considering the level of connection and trust you experience with your fans and musical village. The game has changed and while Amanda is at the moment an outlier in terms of her results and the support she’s received from her fans, I wholeheartedly believe her music business is a blueprint more representative of the realities of 2013 than the all too often misguided dream of fame and fortune bestowed by icons and major conglomerates from ivory towers.
Don’t make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.
Alt-rock icon Amanda Palmer believes we shouldn’t fight the fact that digital content is freely shareable — and suggests that artists can and should be directly supported by fans.
Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
But the former street performer, then Dresden Dolls frontwoman, now solo artist hit a bump the week her world tour kicked off. She revealed plans to crowdsource additional local backup musicians in each tour stop, offering to pay them in hugs, merchandise and beer per her custom. Bitter and angry criticism ensued (she eventually promised to pay her local collaborators in cash). And it’s interesting to consider why. As Laurie Coots suggests: “The idea was heckled because we didn’t understand the value exchange — the whole idea of asking the crowd for what you need when you need it and not asking for more or less.”
Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”
“Palmer is set to join Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails as the artists people mention when they talk about the new music business.” – Billboard