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« Another Ray of Hope for Record Companies & Artists | Main | Paradise City is Filled With Dr. Pepper »

March 19, 2008


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Daniel Holter

Great post, seriously. Many artists, for the sake of artistic integrity, do end up selling themselves short.

Of course, it's easy to say you'll never sell out when no one's making any offers.


David Philp

Good post. "Selling out" in the music biz doesn't really pertain, in my opinion, to new artists anymore. It's so much harder to reach mass audiences now than 20 years ago; the audiences today are so splintered. If it takes licensing your song to Grey's Anatomy or Subaru or Applebee's, just do it - as long as the brand is a fit for the band and vice versa. It can't hurt to earn a few bucks from the license while also getting the exposure.

Meanwhile, in the videogame, film and television world, it's all about selling out space to advertisers. Care to guess which industries are healthier?

Bruce Warila

Great post. Most of the artists I talk to these days want to "sell out". I even have artists telling me "free" in exchange for exposure - so they can sell singles on iTunes off the exposure. It's a new world we live in for sure...


the intersection of art and commerce was, is, and always will be the driving force that delivers artistic content to your door. narcissistic whining over this truth has cost many an otherwise brilliant artist their career, and simply wishing that art and commerce weren't interdependent won't make the relationship disappear. there have always been artists, and there will always be patrons. any artist that throws a tantrum and refuses to acknowledge the truth of the world they live in will find their nose cut off from the spited face, which will have turned a very deep blue at that point from the tantrum.

Ethan Bauley

Clearly, many artists are still geeked out even by licensing their music, which [I think] all of us commenting on this post view as an obviously smart ("channel agnostic"/syndication) move, and I think this article serves that perspective really well.

There's just even more deeper brand/band issues lurking deeper here...

1. Apple hardly qualifies as an instructive example in these relationships; ANY artist would give his/her first born to be associated with the most universally appreciated, hip, and historically artist-centric (graphic designers, CS geeks/artists, "think different") brand on the planet. They have appropriated "creativity" as a theme and deliver on that promise (GarageBand, Logic, the majority of ProTools rigs, etc).

I think it's more instructive to think about how brands like Wendy's, AutoZone, Buick, or Huggies fit into the picture.

2. I think you're bypassing a central point about "selling out" to a media company (label, LYV, radio, etc): these intermediaries create DISTANCE between the artist and the supporting brands, which gives artists peace of mind and makes it all "easier to swallow." That is, the "selling out" is only 2nd or 3rd degree, instead of explicit (e.g. "Welcome to Guns N Roses website radio! All free music is thanks to our great sponsor, Dr Pepper!)

A big difference imo

Thanks for a great post!

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