To this point, musicians need to press bits of plastic (records, CDs) each time they want to share music with their fans. This means, enough music has to be ready to make pressing bits of plastic worth the cost. These bits of plastic are then shipped at an additional cost to stores where hopefully the fans, after hearing about the new bit of plastic via the marketing campaign, will purchase it. Passing little bits of money back to all intermediaries on the return trip to the artist.
I see two weak links in that process;
- Musicians needing to have a number of tracks ready at once.
- Fans paying musicians at the end of the process.
With a podcast, musicians can release whatever they’d like, whenever they’d like; demo tracks, rough tracks, experiments, final edits, interviews, conversations about the song writing process, anything their fans would enjoy. All of it delivered automatically to their biggest fans.
To access the podcast feed, fans pay up-front, or along the way, or at the end. Doesn’t matter. Passionate fans will pay for access to an empty RSS feed, thereby financing new work, while new fans pay for access to previous feeds, just as they do with previous albums today.
Faster publication and distribution helps musicians refine their work more quickly and gives fans a sense of being involved in the creation process. Two big wins.
What do fans lose when RSS feeds replace CDs? Aside from the physical artifact and the costs of designing, creating, moving, and storing the physical artifact? Very little. Cover art and credits are in the ID3 tags and the feed itself.
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