Lady Gaga gets it and says that downloading her music is good for her career. She even thinks that unauthorized downloads work, as well. Here is a musician who gets it. She understands that the money is in touring and sponsorship, not how much money is lost by downloads of her music. Which makes one wonder: when is the RIAA going to adjust its thinking?
A recent article also states:
Lady Gaga admits she’s fine with people downloading her music in unauthorized forms because she makes it up in touring revenue:
She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music — then tour. It’s just the way it is today.” Similarly, she knocks bands that don’t really try to work hard to please the fans, and who just expect them to automatically buy each album:
“I hate big acts that just throw an album out against the wall, like ‘BUY IT! F*** YOU!’ It’s mean to fans. You should go out and tour it to your fans in India, Japan, the UK. I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”
Like Mariah Carey, it looks like Lady Gaga has realized that this concept of connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy works at the superstar level just as much as it does down at the indie artist level. The specifics of implementing a business model around the concept are very, very different — but the core concept remains the same. Treat your fans right, learn to leverage what’s infinite to make something scarce more valuable, and then sell the scarcity.
I believe that what Lady Gaga is doing is eventually going to be the norm of the future. The Internet has changed the way we look at the world and the people who adjust to this will be the winners. Once the old fogies die off and people get their heads out of their butts trying to use any old business model from the horse and buggy days, the sooner we can all move on.