@kevinkclee talked about the rise of digital music, and that owning, storing, and listening costs are heading towards zero, thus killing such as a revenue stream. Obviously, those with a vested interest are not going to want to see that happen, but I think its inevitable.
In part, being I just read the full transcript of the Colgan 3407 airplane crash, and its something Captain Renslow brought up during their taxi time. He stated, “US Domestic laws are dictated by social acceptance.” Specifically he was referring to smoking legislation, ie its become socially unacceptable, and as such laws now prohibit it a great deal. I think something similar is entirely possible in the music domain. Ie, many people see nothing wrong with piracy, and thats either going to drop margins to nill, or to zero.
One possibility is the Iphone software model, where in market driven prices are reduced so much, they reach the sub impulse domain. In such a model, prices become so low, that its easier to buy then pirate. At such a point, a revenue stream would remain, albeit a tiny one, in contrast with today, much less the past. Another possibility is a change in law, as to allow the practice of piracy as currently defined. Either way, revenue based upon media unit sales is going to continue to shrink. Thus, either a totally new method of generating revenue off media will come to be, or alternative revenue streams will dominate.
Being so much of this is already rolling, I dont see it stopping anytime soon. There is just too much social pressure for things not to return to the way they were, no matter the amount of lobbyist pressure.
I’m skeptical, booking agents are the life blood of a tour. A bad or disorganized booking agent can and often does spell disaster. However, if such skills are not one of the band members, and one doesn’t have a known name or track record, a major disconnect exists. Prime booking agents are not gong to be interested, and diy in this arena, unless somewhat focused and skilled is not likely to be too successful. Thus, I think Derek Sivers is correct, there is a place for the semi-expert, for the band ill equipped to diy, and yet not in the league to work with the big boys.
The problem is… being a booking agent, is not just the knowledge gained from reading 3 books, but the drive, and also the salesmanship to make it happen, and sales is really a big part of the game. Yet, one also has to look at expectations. At $20/hour, the expectations are pretty low. Ie Derek suggests marketing as the following.
The pitch is a humble one: “I’m only doing what you could do yourself, if you felt like taking the 100 hours to learn how. But if you don’t, I’ll be glad to tell you what to do, or do it for you.”
From that vantage point, ie the 100 hour investment, which provides for teaching the basics, or handling the most basic aspects does make sense, and for many struggling artists, is likely well worth the $20/hour.
The end result… I went ahead and have the 3 books ordered up on inter-library loan. At $20/hour, its not really worth my time, as a primary activity. As fill work between projects, and as a way to re-orient myself into todays music business, the 100 hours invested, its well worth giving it a go, even if the financial rewards are not so great. After putting in the time, I may just need to go some of my old friends in the business, and see what shakes out. I’m sure they end up turning down thousands of requests every year, if not more. It might be a unique niche. I do wonder how it can scale, but better to jump in lo-fi and see what works before putting too much effort into perfecting something without any recent live experience.
It will be interesting.