The Geeks Shall Inherit the Music Revenues

Musician Jonathan Coulton made over $500,000 last year by cutting out the middleman and selling his songs directly online. (The zombie ballad “re: Your Brains” is one of his classics.) The NPR Planet Money team featured a debate on whether Coulton’s success was a fluke, or presaged a new golden age for artists. Skeptics argued that Coulton’s goofy geek-pop was the Snuggie of music, unreplicable by other creators. Optimists opined that the sky is not falling for content creators, who could learn a thing or two from the fan-cruise and internet presence of the Coulton empire. I liked their hopeful views, though I wonder if revenues like Coulton’s were already accounted for in the Bain music revenue chart:

Will singer-songwriters like Coulton, or iTunes-inspired impresarios, capture the bulk of future music revenues? Only time will tell.

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