Monday, July 8, 2013

The music industry: On-demand touring | The Economist

The music industry: On-demand touring | The Economist: After paying for venue rental, her flight and equipment, she will walk away with somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000, perhaps a bit more, says Ian Hogarth, a co-founder of Songkick.
Let's agree this is The Economist talking, which means this information really isn't for musicians. Yet here come the ever-hopeful email forwards:

"This is GREAT!"

"It CAN be done!"

No, it isn't, and no, it can't.

Read the opening quote, and bear in mind this is the only sentence in the entire piece that really matters, because this sentence tells us, (in what order) who gets paid.

To grasp this, work the sentence backwards and re-write it in your head. Like this:
Songkick, via one of its cofounders, claims a Northern California cellist will "walk away" with $$$muneez$$$ "perhaps a bit more" AFTER she pays for 1) equipment (rentals), 2) a flight, 3) venue rental. 
In this rereading, the artist is the last to get paid. First was Songkick. Who is this article for?

To answer this, we need to examine the "focus" of the piece, a married woman who goes by "Ms." , "independently" earns six-figures, goes "digging through the analytics on her various social networks" (laptop! coffee!), and plays cello (creative! = non-wage slave! = not lower-class!).

Ms Keating is indeed a real person, but in this piece, the Economist is using a caricature of her to forward an agenda. We know which caricature, so who's agenda?

My money's (!!!) on Songkick/Detour, who are marketing to the aspirational artists in the NPR parental community, because A) these people have money, and A), these people have money.

In which publication did this mythic figure appear?