Sunday, September 27, 2009

50 Cent: "P2P is Part of Music Marketing

50 Cent recently appeared on CNBC to promote his new book, "The 50th Law". During the interview the rapper/business mogul brought up some intriguing points on P2P and how it is affecting the music business. He pointed out that because of declining sales in physical products, the marketing money that record companies used to dish out is far gone. He also said that P2P was actually filling in that void and because things have changed so rapidly, P2P should no longer be looked at as a bad thing. He said that it is an extremely effective promotional tool and even pirates of music, still go to concerts, buy t-shirts, an occasional CD, etc. These pirates will still fall in love with the music even if they steal it and will end up at the concerts.
I think that P2P is and should be viewed as a promotional tool. We, as an industry, should be less focused on physical and digital sales and start focusing more on live performances and merchandise. This P2P is such a powerful tool to getting an artist heard, helping them expand to more then just the target audience. If something is good and free, then it is going to spread a lot faster then the old way ever did. This simply gives an artist more of an audience, but still not as much sales of CD's or digital sales. This is where it get tricky. We now have to really question what we are actually selling and become more creative with the product we are selling. If this means throwing a t-shirt with a digital sale of a CD, then so be it. If this means we have to focus more on live performances, then I'm all for it. We of course are already seeing this, but to really embrace P2P as a form of promotion is the best way to go about things. P2P will decrease certain sales, but will double promotion to the point, that if played right (if we address the right products), should increase fans, making up for what we are now lacking in profit.
The product is turning more and more to the artist and not so much the album. This means we need to be more creative in how the artist/labels can make money off the popularity of the artist as an entity. Either way, no matter where the industry goes, music fans can't steal the feeling/experience of a live performance and this will always be one solid way to make money for music artists.

By: Andre Rodriguez

1 comment:

  1. free music is a great way to simply be discovered. people are more willing to listen to something that is free than for a price. If the product is legit, they will become fans, maybe even purchase an album at a show after being hustled by merch people or simply because they want to help support. They also purchase tshirts and other merchandise. artists and bands are benefiting more from this than simply selling a lot of albums. labels are beginning to use free music as a marketing tool as well, giving samplers with compilation of their artists on it out to fans in hopes the fans will want to buy each full album from the artists on the sampler. Free is good, and can potentially rack in more money.