THE NEW PARADIGM PART I -
The digital music revolution has fractured media consumption into niches, shifted creation and distribution from the few to the many and nearly leveled the playing field between the powerful labels and the committed individual.
Welcome to the new musical middle class.
Musicians no longer need a big check from a label to record or a big promotional push to launch a career. With free software and a computer great music is being created in basements everywhere. On social networking sites and virally between friends and across the blogosphere unknown music is finding an audience.
Slowly but visibly many of these artists are inventing their careers. Not a career fueled by
Krystal Cristal and delivered in limos, but rather one earned by practicing their craft, listening to their fans and delivering the results live.
The fans may only number from 20-100,000. But without greedy hands in the middle, the profits are enough. And mercifully, the results of this labor are not as ephemeral as in the past. If the artist's effort continues; fans stay loyal.
There will always be mega-stars and one hit wonders. But how hopeful it is for musicians, fans and for music, that there is finally a place for a middle class proud of their craft and connected to their audience. And what wonderful opportunities await for the middle class of labels and other companies created to serve them.
Our New Paradigm series continues later this week with: A Global Perspective and The New Models. (Read Part II here)