Will Hodgkinson says Radiohead’s recent efforts make it harder for independent artists to do well. I hereby offer to make his day by proving him wrong.
In today’s Guardian Music Blog, Will Hodgkinson has opined that the recent efforts of Radiohead and Prince (to name a few) have altered consumer expectations to the point where they now expect music to be pretty much free.
And, he says, that’s an unsustainable model for a band like Thistletown, who have released what sounds to be a gorgeous record, but (Will fears) with little hope of returning satisfactory income to the band who have worked so hard to create it.
In a generous move, Hodgkinson has more or less donated the rights to the recording over to the band. Once the bills are paid, it’s all theirs. Nice man.
But he worries that the means by which they can earn from that recording have been irrevocably damaged by new, ‘free-ish’ strategies becoming a norm amongst artists with a high profile. I think he’s wrong about that. I think it’ll just take a bit of time and a spot of cleverness.
Inspired by Hodgkinson’s personal generosity and moved by his sincere concerns for the welfare of the artists, I hereby offer my services as an online music industry consultant.
The offer is this: I will work with the band, the record, Mr Hodgkinson and any management, publishing or label they currently have agreements with at no cost to them. I will help them develop a new music strategy that suits them, their music and their audience. The target is to generate a comfortable living wage for the artists concerned.
I won’t turn them into media puppets or give them things to do that are outside their comfort zone — artistically, ethically or financially. My aim is simply to prove that it is possible to make money from music at a time when the ground seems to be shifting so radically.
I don’t imagine this success will happen overnight. I am prepared to work with them on an occasional consultancy basis as long as they feel it is of benefit to them.
This is not a bet. There’s no ‘If I win’ or ‘If I lose’. I just want to help these guys get good music into the hands of a willing public, and demonstrate that it is possible to do that in the present environment and have a career as an independent musician.
If Will or a member of the band would like to get in touch with me to discuss this offer further, I’d be delighted to do what I can to help. And, of course, if we come up with any good practice, I’ll be sure to report it here.