As artists toe the potentially awesome waters of crowd-funding, the following question is staring us in the face:
Here's a story about the New York cab industry, which switched to backseat, credit card payments systems in 2007 (against some heavy resistance from cabbies themselves...)
Five years in, the New York Times has researched and documented some of the changes, and Unwieldy posted this succint statistical summary.
Peter Sunday, May 13, 2012
I'm not sure how this relates in any way to musicians trying to make a living from music, unless the lesson is to up the amounts requested for a crowd-sourced project in some slightly underhand manner based on retail psychology. The real message is that we should probably give up and become cab drivers.
R.P. Monday, May 14, 2012
Suzanne Lainson Sunday, May 13, 2012
I can kind of see a connection. People tip/pay when they are expected to do so. Music has headed the other way. Now people expect it for free and there's no social expectation to pay for it. Crowdfunding isn't the norm yet. With show tickets, people have learned to look for lower prices, so they don't equate concert tickets with showing support.
With tips at restaurants and money in collection plates at church, you learn from your parents what is expected. They tell you it's rude not to do it. But no one is telling you as you grow up that it is rude not to pay for music or not to pay musicians.
D-Freak Monday, May 14, 2012
We need to start changing the way we think, and then change the way others think. Indie musicians basically ARE the waiters of the entertainment industry. We put on shows, where our delivery of music is crucial to our audiences enjoyment of the evening. The songs are our food; the flow of our well crafted setlists are our dishes showing up on time; our stage patter our table service.
The most common justification for tipping servers at restaurants is that their hourly wage isn't enough to survive on. If you feel as a musician that the rate you make at a show is enough for you to live on, you probably don't read these posts or chime in on them. But after all the promotion you do to get people out and the rehearsal to get the band sounding good, you're lucky to be making $5 an hour for what all the work you've put in.
I think with those kind of figures and factors, we should be definitely giving those audience members who feel like tipping the option to tip. The question is how can we offer such an option without being tacky or without aggravating the people who are sick to death of all the new occupations who are requesting a tip.
Graham Tuesday, May 15, 2012
While not exactly a tipping system, we are working on a change in Portland to bump musicians compensation up to at least minimum wage. It's called Fair Trade Music. Check out our website at www.fairtrademusicpdx.org . It's all about organizing the community around musicians and we have inspired others to do the same. Talk to your local chapter of the AFM to find out about starting it in your community.
I appreciate the comparison to waiters since it bears a resemblance to the analogy I use when people argue that musicians shouldn't make money because it is a cultural art form. Food is another aspect of our, and any, culture. Restaurants would never be able to hire someone to cook the food that they offer for less than minimum wage. But we're not employees, we're service providers to their business. If restaurants took the approach they use for our "cultural contribution" to the way they approach food, their businesses "cultural contribution", they would be hiring a different caterer everyday, maybe 4-5. Do you think they could succeed in offering caterers a couple drink tickets as the only compensation in exchange for cooking food for the whole restaurant? It wouldn't work because the caterers would say no. Musicians seem to think they need to say yes because, if you say no they will find some eager, desperate band to devalue themselves and play for a couple PBR's and tater tots. The best thing you can do is say "No" to crap gigs that don't pay you at least minimum wage. It's even better to tell the venue why you're not going to promote their business and provide your services to their business for free, simply because you're an "artist".
"The artist is not a special kind
of man, but every man is a special kind of artist."
FanAxcess.com Sunday, May 13, 2012
A website where a Musician is exposed to Ad Agencies directly. How can Artists get in front of Studio Execs, Promoters and Ad Agencies and brands now? Not for free and not easily.
Sponsorship is a $16B market. Time for musicians to get more than 5-10% of that. (Sports gets 68%!).
Sign up for a free account at www.FanAxcess.com. One simple change to get a new Revenue stream.
Money for Music.
Vail, CO Sunday, May 13, 2012
It's the right type of question to be asking
What if there was a system where all the patrons of a restaurant with a band could add additional tip for the musicians on their bill?
Totally voluntary and added to the ordinary rate?
bill ding Monday, May 14, 2012
they do have such a system in place at particular restaurants overseas -- and I feel ripped off every time I see it on the bill.
@zhangandyx Sunday, May 13, 2012
Really fucking powerful.
WUC Monday, May 14, 2012
I think the moral here is that you shouldn't feel guilty about charging a couple bucks more for your product. If it's done across the board - for all artists - then the baseline shifts and everybody makes a few more bucks. So instead of selling that hard copy EP for $5 at your shows - make it $7.
However Monday, May 14, 2012
The cabbies are getting taxed on those tips, both from the use of the credit card machine as well as the fact that it's on the books...
I always tip my guys in cash and they're very appreciative of it...even if it is less than 20%
$.02 from a native New Yorker.
@nishajl Monday, May 14, 2012
@Alison_Lamb Monday, May 14, 2012
If anyone needs me I will be in New York... Driving a taxi...
kidd Monday, June 04, 2012
OK That is what I said I am from NY but dangggggg I never thought cab drivers average is looking like that . . . some cabies are balling if they handle that cash right...
Ben Patterson Tuesday, May 15, 2012
If by law there were only about 13K musicians allowed to release music, they might all make more money too.