Financial Times, May 29, 2013
In a hot and sweaty basement in Brighton, on the English south coast, visitors to The Great Escape music festival are attending a keynote address about how to “do it yourself” in the music industry. “You’ve got to think like a small business because that’s what you are,” singer-songwriter Billy Bragg tells his audience.
Mr Bragg, also famous for his political activism and his support for striking coalminers in the 1980s, might seem an unlikely entrepreneurial role model, but he recently started cutting out intermediaries in order to sell his music direct to the consumer. Now in his fourth decade touring and selling records, he has had to reinvent his business model to survive.
Content-creators, from musicians to authors, have the opportunity to sell their work themselves, with fast and effective digital tools for everything from ecommerce to promotion. Mr Bragg’s latest album Tooth & Nail , released in March, was launched in record stores and via Amazon, but he also encouraged fans to buy direct from his website by including a signed print of the album artwork.
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