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The music industry’s new business model

Message is one of the new school of music managers. Where the old school version was a spivvy schemer brokering dubious deals in a seedy Denmark Street or Lower Broadway office, the man opposite me is a 45-year-old former accountant who cut his teeth at Arthur Andersen. His look – jeans, T-shirt, shades, suntan – suggests a busy itinerary on the summer festival circuit. But the lingo is more MBA than MDMA, with terms such as “asset class” and “revenue streams” peppering his conversation.

“Under the new way of doing things, you’re a chief executive of an artist’s business with multiple revenue streams that go across multiple countries,” he says. The accountancy background used to make him feel awkward, but in today’s volatile music industry it’s proving invaluable.

Message, a dab hand at business plans (“It’s not something I’m proud of”), is pioneering a new model for the music industry. With companies struggling to adjust to a steady decline in their primary source of revenue, sales of recorded music, he argues the industry is suffering an investment crisis. But this crisis is also an opportunity for the likes of Message to enter the game as investors.

His links with Radiohead date back to 1994, when he met the band’s original managers – Bryce Edge and Chris Hufford – while working at Radiohead’s then label, EMI. The three men bonded over grumbling discussions about the music industry. Labels, they complained, were interested only in short-term profit, not an artist’s long-term development.

via FT.com / Reportage – The music industry’s new business model. (via hypebot)

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