…and the cannibalization process is already underway. That’s according to Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter, who sees free platforms and access as the natural enemy of ripping stuff off. Here’s what Carter recently told the Brisbane Times:
“I think piracy itself is going to end up going away. If you can get something for absolutely free [instead of] stealing it, and the quality of free is actually better than the quality of stealing it, the choice becomes easy.”
Carter is living this: Lady Gaga is notorious for giving inordinate amounts of content away for free, while banking on upsides related to touring, branding, higher-end merchandise, and even recordings themselves. And, just because it’s free, or nearly-free, doesn’t mean someone isn’t getting paid: during the initial sales blitz around Born This Way, Amazon ended up shifting hundreds of thousands of albums for 99-cents a pop, while the artist, label and management group collected full invoice.
These days, managers like Carter and Scooter Braun (Bieber) are often viewed as the more evolved nerve centers for artists. The question is whether artists like Gaga represent the future for a broader number of musicians, or merely the 0.1% on the hill – with big label support powering the ride. Asked about the newspaper industry, Carter offered the fairly conventional ‘adapt or die’ response, one that isn’t quite panning out properly for a severely disrupted music industry.