Interesting article in the New York Times – The Once and Future Prince – describing how pop star Prince has adapted his methods for distributing music (and making plenty of money from the process). One simple quote summarises the article nicely (using a word normally used by wannabe-software-giants):

“He doesn’t have to go multiplatinum – he’s multiplatform”

A good read and demonstration that, as has been proven countless times before, new technology rarely kills an industry, it just changes the dynamics. To survive and thrive means observing the laws of evolution – be responsive to change.

How Prince changed:

Old ways of making money from music:

  • Record sales (retail purchases)
  • Performance fees (ticket sales)

New ways of making money from music:

  • Lump sum record sales (magazine purchases rights to distribute CDs for free within the magazine, mobile phone operator purchases rights to distribute song as a free ring tone download for its customers…)
  • Lots more performance fees (and give out the record for free as part of the ticket price)
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