The down­load­remix-up­load approach

Remix and re-record your favourite artists’ mu­sic

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page -

A pre­dic­tion for 2008: we’ll see more and more in­no­va­tive moves like Cash Mu­sic.

Set up by Kristin Hersh (of Throw­ing Muses) and Donita Sparks (ex-L7), the Coali­tion for Artists and Stake Hold­ers is a riff on the tip-jar idea re­cently used by Ra­dio­head to great PR ef­fect. The duo have es­tab­lished Cash Mu­sic as a place where in­de­pen­dent artists can sell their mu­sic us­ing the pay-what-you-want model.

In ad­di­tion, fans who want to be­come more in­volved in sup­port­ing the artist can pay any­thing from $10-$30 per quar­ter right up to an “ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer level” sub­scrip­tion of $5,000.

But the unique sell­ing point for Cash Mu­sic is that artists can col­lab­o­rate cre­atively with their fans. Be­cause each song avail­able for down­load will use a Creative Com­mons li­cense, users can remix, re-record, add new seg­ments and do pretty much any­thing they want to do with the track, bar sell­ing it.

There has been a clat­ter of new busi­ness mod­els of late. But Cash Mu­sic is a ground­break­ing ini­tia­tive be­cause it brings the artist and the fan to­gether as a creative force.

“The model is not new. It’s akin to pub­lic ra­dio’s lis­tener-sup­ported pro­gram­ming and Com­mu­nity Sup­ported Agri­cul­ture’s subscriptions to un­der­write crops,” ex­plains Hersh.

“This lit­tle busi­ness will be interactive and in­tel­li­gent. You will not be lied to, no shiny poi­son, no mid­dle-man. I’m not look­ing for pity, but col­lab­o­ra­tion. The idea of re­ly­ing on lis­ten­ers, treat­ing mu­sic as a co­op­er­a­tive, is hum­bling, yet in­ter­est­ing to me.”

As with so many of the new tech­nol­ogy-based plays of late, Cash Mu­sic will be of im­me­di­ate ben­e­fit to es­tab­lished artists such as Hersh who have al­ready es­tab­lished a brand name and fan base, yet who have fallen out of favour with tra­di­tional record la­bels.

Yet the creative as­pects of Cash Mu­sic should also be of huge in­ter­est to new acts seek­ing an au­di­ence.

At the mo­ment, Hersh’s new track, Slip­per­shell, is avail­able on the site and more than a dozen new ver­sions of the track have al­ready been up­loaded.

More in­for­ma­tion avail­able at­mu­

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