Kanye, the service company

October 24, 2010

What’s the difference between Metallica and Kanye West? These 34 minutes.

Metallica was one of the biggest bands of the pre-Internet world. While they have been busy trying safeguard their turf by waging a war against the pirates, Kanye and other digital native artists have been re-defining the business.

To the pre-Internet mind, a short film that is shared for free is pure madness. We create products and sell them for good money, say Lars Ulrich & co.

But the industry has moved from selling products to selling services. Products (songs) are provided, services (gigs) are sold.

It’s a dramatic change, and there is no stopping it. Broadband has made all content  hyper accessible – all barriers to reproduction and sharing have fallen down. Making money out of that content (i.e. songs and albums and the like), isn’t a sustainable business no more. Concerts offer a non-reproduceable, non-copyable, one-off experience and thus make for a stable earning model.

To put it in a very marketing way: songs are the ads for gigs.


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