Here is an article I found interesting. Be sure to read the sole comment, made by the blogger mentioned in the first paragraph.
Interesting if somewhat poorly written article. However I have to disagree with the commenter you pointed to. Because whenever you start speaking in "new" business terms like "monetizing fans" you're already heading in the wrong direction IMHO. Because fans actively resent being treated like a resource to be mined as if they were some mineral. And all the other "begging" schemes (i.e. crowdsourcing) and/or plans to sell music by the slice (i.e streaming, etc.) are not going to work long term.
In the end, I think we're seeing a seismic shift in the landscape for music. The days of producing a series of hits, and afterwards retiring to your secluded mansion for a purely studio career (a la The Beatles et al.) are over for all intents and purposes. The way bands will (and do) make money is by doing live shows. They can supplement their income by selling swag or hard copy
recordings of their music - but the show is the thing that brings in the real money.
People are so virtualized and digitized that anything recorded and reachable via the Internet is perceived as valueless. Or, if it is grudgingly acknowledged to have some
value, then the feeling remains that the price tag should be: FREE! regardless of that. And that
mentality isn't going to change anytime soon - if ever.
So my feeling is, if you want a career as a professional musician, be prepared to go out on the road full-time and work for a living.
Just like every band used to do up until the modern recording distribution cartel kicked into high gear between 1950 and 1970 and transformed music into a full blown industry. An industry with them in charge and calling all the shots when it came to broadcasting and record sales. Streaming media is just a logical extension of their monopolistic "closed shop" practices. And it works the same way as far as the average band is concerned.
Music is a performance
art. With the advent of LPs (and now digital media and distribution) there were (and still are) many musicians that hoped technology would liberate them from the constant need to perform
. But it didn't
. And now, it's even more obvious it won't
. So if you're a professional musician - or want to become one - the time has come to face the music and go back to doing what musicians have always done - perform music in front of a live audience.
I don't see it working any other way. Either in the short or long-term.
(Note: I'm sure many wishful thinkers will tell me otherwise. To which I can only say: show me the trend
- not the occasional Cinderella (e.g. Amanda Palmer) case that seems to show otherwise.)