Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The download-remix-upload approach

A prediction for 2008: we’ll see more and more innovative moves like Cash Music. Set up by Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses fame) and Donita Sparks (ex-L7), the Coalition for Artists and Stake Holders is a riff on the tip-jar …

Fri, Dec 7, 2007, 14:21

   

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

Set up by Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses fame) 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.

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“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.