I have seen the future of music, and it is crowdfunding.
This weekend, I ran across a Kickstarter project for Amanda Palmer's new album.
Three relevant facts:
1) Until this weekend, I had never heard of Amanda Palmer, and I imagine that's true for most of you.
2) The average advance that a major studio might provide a musician is $250,000.
3) Amanda's Kickstarter project has over 20,000 backers, and is just under the $1 million mark.
Now it's true that Amanda has certain advantages, like half a million Twitter followers, but there's nothing preventing other musicians from emulating her example. (Except for marrying Neil Gaiman; I'm pretty sure there's only one of him)
And the interesting thing is that despite her Twitter fame and semi-celebrity, I'm pretty sure she got a lot more out Kickstarter than she would have from a record label.
So if you don't need a record label to finance an album, produce the music, distribute the videos, or sell the tickets, what exactly do musicians need them for?
The fans have always been the ultimate source of money for the music ecosystem; musicians finally have the tools to let them tap that source directly.