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Looks like it's going to be a really interesting summit.  I noticed on the site that one of the topics is "The "punt" from monetizing the song copy to productizing the live experience."  One of the problems that I have with everyone rushing to "productize the live experience" in lieu of making money off of record sales is that this assumes that musicians want to be on the road touring for the rest of their lives.

I'm seeing this more and more in the media and it really bugs me.  From a recent Times Online article...

"What looks like commercial suicide is, in today’s reality, sound business sense. Records, CDs or downloads now have all become downgraded to the status of promotional tools – useful to sell concert tickets and fan paraphernalia. While there is still good money to be made in music, and particularly on the concert circuit, the record business – blame it on piracy, too many CD giveaways or the advent of the recordable CD – is a busted flush."

The value of selling music is that it's an asset.  Record once, reap the benefits for as long as there's an interest in the music.  The reason Prince and Radiohead can afford to give so much of their music away for free is because they're reaping millions of dollars from the music that they've already created.  They're able to tour because they want to, and not because they have to.

This remark from the very end of the article is very telling:

"Interestingly the band now tolling the death knell of the record industry, Radiohead, seem currently to have mixed feelings about live work.

“They probably will be playing some dates next year,” a spokesman said last week. “But Thom Yorke doesn’t like touring much.” "

Thom Yorke doesn't like touring much because it takes him away from friends and family for long periods of time and that really sucks.

Bottom line is that I really hope that music doesn't become something that's strictly a promotional toll for live performances.  That would completely suck.  Musicians deserve to be able to reap benefits from their art long after they decide that that no longer want to, or are no longer able to tour.

BTW, I think DRM sucks ass and that the record companies are corrupt and absolutely responsible for the mess that the industry has become.

I just wanted to put all out there so you'd be able to carry the voice of a musician with you to that summit.  Really wish I could go!

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