Mayer – Musical or Marketing Genius

I like John Mayer’s music. Many will say he is too mainstream now and will remember seeing him live before No Such Thing came was even on the charts. I don’t care. Like I said, I like his music.

I also think he is clever. He understands how the music business is changing and what he needs to do as an artist. Mayer is releasing 5 albums worth of material on iTunes this month. The series is called As/Is. These are his words (from iTunes):

What you hear is what you get. The wrong notes are as wrong as the right ones are right. In the end, the way the songs make you feel is the only thing that matters/

Each ‘album’ is consists of 10 songs from each performance, and each week in August, another performance will be released. The first performance is Mountain View, CA from July 16th.

I think this is a great idea. With the distribution costs at zero, there is nothing stopping artists from releasing all their live material. Why not offer every live performance you have ever performed? I have argued that you should be able to leave a concert with a CD of the performance you just heard. I would be happy to wait until I get home and download it. This could be a huge revenue stream for the artists.

6 thoughts on “Mayer – Musical or Marketing Genius

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  2. Barenaked Ladies have made each of their concerts available for download for about a year now. You can buy a coupon at the show or purchase online. The mp3 (your choice of split tracks or the concert uninterrupted, including artwork for the jewel case and the set list) costs $11, and a CD costs $16; with the mp3 you get three download attempts, so with a good broadband connection I can easily get both versions, which seems fine with them.

    As far as iTunes goes, the Ladies have their March concert in Dallas for sale at the iTunes Music Store right now for about $29. I was at that concert, and I downloaded it six days after the show for $11. I guess they put it at iTunes for the exposure.

    I think it boils down to good management. Some artists still won’t hop on the download bandwagon, and I really don’t know why. They aren’t making money from the CDs anyway, because the record company gets most of it. Touring is what’s paying the bills for many artists now, and if they can make money off their concerts without cutting the record company in, more power to them. I like John Mayer too, and I’m glad he’s embraced the digital age.

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