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Artists offering music subscriptions with TopSpin

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Jun 2008 15:56 User comments (2)

Artists offering music subscriptions with TopSpin If there's one thing that music labels still have to offer artists it's marketing. Sure it's possible to record a relatively cheap album, and with the internet it's not really necessary to put up the huge cost of CD mastering and replication. Still you have to come up with a distribution channel. Recorded music may not be a huge source of income for most acts, but it's still essential if you want to convince people to attend your concerts.
For very small acts it makes sense to give away music, and many artists are doing exactly that, often using social networking websitess like Facebook or MySpace. But what if you want to sell your music instead? Do you still need a label to make the jump from amateur to professional distribution? Not according to Ian Rogers, CEO of TopSpin.

TopSpin is building a platform for artists to use for marketing their music. Using TopSpin's technology it's possible to offer a variety of different options, from individual tracks to complete albums. A more interesting option for the bands using TopSpin right now is offering year long subscriptions. Rather than being limited to an individual work, fans who buy a subscription get access to all the tracks offered by an artist for an entire year.

TopSpin's product is currently only being offered to hand picked labels, acts, and managers in order to fine tune the system. Eventually they're planning to open it up for anyone who's interested.

The real beauty of the subscriptions being sold by artists like The Dandy Warhols and Jubilee is they help keep artists connected with fans in a way that traditional music sales don't. Labels and online music stores like iTunes benefit from more releases only to the point where they can also charge more money for them. Artists don't necessarily need to make a lot of money from each song as long as they contribute to building an audience for live shows and customer base for merchandise.

In reality recorded music is a very small piece of the puzzle for a successful band, and with the distribution possibilities on the internet it's become easier to treat it as just what it is - marketing. That seems to be exactly what TopSpin hopes to provide. In the words of Rogers, they want to be "the platform of choice for many of the great marketing services companies already in existence."

If they're successful it could be yet another blow to the reeling record labels, who are increasingly at odds with their own acts over a pricing model that all but ignores the interests of both artists and their audience.

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2 user comments

123.6.2008 19:37

The only TopSpin I know is that good tennis game. The headline made me think something cool for the game was on the way.

230.6.2008 9:44

sssharp, I think the more of these that are available the better off the public will be. Anything to cut out the media mafiaa's strangle hold on the music industry.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jun 2008 @ 9:59

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