I'm listening to Evil Genius Chronicles podcast number 99, interviewing Paul Melancon (whom I've never heard of until now) and there is a lot of talk about the music industry, breaking in, getting signed, and recouping.

As Paul laments, he doubts he will ever “make it” in the music business in the sense that he feels he'll never get signed because no major labels will ever sign a thirty-year old who doesn't look like a teenager. And he's probably right. He goes on to say that he would be thrilled if he could just generate enough income from his music career that he wouldn't need a day job.

We here at Parkdale Hookers International Inc. know we'll never get signed, we're nearing 40 and at varying stages of balding, and we like our dayjobs (it's a lot easier to like your dayjob if you own the company 😉

But I think Melancon hits on a few points which will define the ever widening rift between the mainstream music industry and the shift ocurring in the medium we use to transmit music (you know, analog to digital, the end of discrete units called “records”, “songs” or “albums”, the beginning of “downloads”, “clickthroughs” and “conversions”).

Listening to the podcast, I like Paul Melancon's music, I think it isn't an unrealistic dream of his to derive a living from turning out more like it. And I think he'll have a better shot at it if he just forget's about the major labels. Everyone will.

My “big dream” for the where the music industry is going and how the internet will effect it is that we'll see something emerge that hasn't really existed before: a musician middle class. Until now you either made it big or you're bussing tables and there is no middle ground. Very few artists exclusively writing or performing their own music and bringing home somewhere between 30K and 100K a year, steady.

I think that will happen, and it won't be because the indie bands crack the DRM conundrum and manage to make their music uncopyable. It's going to happen because the indies are going to do an endrun around DRM, forgo the major labels and develop their own inroads to their public via podcasts, blogging and P2P.

As I've said many times: our band isn't trying to sell 500,000 records. We're out to get 50,000 uniques a day to our website. Who cares if you miss out on a theoretical mechanical rights royalty of 2.5 cents a track when you can earn

$2 CPM?

The model will work. If the Parkdale Hookers never get to 50K-a-day on our website it won't be because the model failed, it'll be because our music did.

Category : Staff Memos