In the graphic below you’ll see how major labels are currently advancing and promoting acts, primarily pop acts, in order to break them to the general public. It’s an interesting refresher in how much major labels are still able to put towards music, albeit music we may not care for. Their options are minimal and their expectations are high. With this still hefty investment, it makes you wonder how successful they could be pushing smaller, touring groups instead of putting all their eggs into one basket.
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Entries in investment (2)
Who wins the race for investment money, the artist with the epic song or the software developer with the snazzy iPhone app?
The problem with the “fuck copyrights, you can make money from live performances” argument is that this thinking limits an artist’s ability to scale to: his or her capacity to perform (live) on a consistent basis. If music (for example) is consistently stolen borrowed or free, where does the capacity to scale through minimal additional investment come from? T-shirts?
One might argue that if you reach the top tier of the profession that the capacity to generate easy, incremental income scales far beyond the income generated via performances. However nobody wants to invest in a business or an industry where the only way to obtain a financial exit is to hit a home run. There are far too many investment alternatives where you can pile up rewards by hitting singles and doubles…while preserving the opportunity to hit a home run also.
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(Updated November 2, 2013)