Digital Model

July 12, 2009

Around here we’ll be using the term “digital model” quite a bit. So, it might be good to define it a little bit.

Cassette tapes to CDs
analog to digital

What we mean is a total paradigm shift from one way of doing things to the other. The old way of doing things, the analog model, is that record labels, represented by the RIAA controls everything. They control who gets signed, what terms they’re signed under, how they’re marketed, how they get distributed, and that control meant that the record label gets the lion’s share of the revenue generated by sales.

The digital model might be defined by what it isn’t, more than what it is. No longer is art funneled to the masses by controlling what movies, music, or books show up on the shelves of retail stores, or the big screen. Unfortunately old media companies that thrived under that model are unwilling to change the way they do business so they do everything they can do suppress the distribution of art via any other avenue.

A digital model usually includes going directly to fans, usually by using some sort of online distribution, but also through putting on live shows, encouraging recording of live events, and sometimes even just giving away art for free or simply accepting donations. A digital model generally has very low overhead costs, at least in comparison to traditional models, and generally makes very little use of traditional copyright holders such as the MPAA and RIAA.

Usually successful digital models produce a small, but dedicated fanbase and freedom for artists.