A pound of art

Warren Ellis on his Bad Signal mailing list [my emphasis]:

“As of right now, there are 5400 people on the Bad Signal.
If all of you went to www.e-sheep.com and paid a lousy 25 cents to read a Patrick Farley comic, he would instantly become the best-paid serial creator in indie comics. If half of you went, he’s still be doing pretty well, probably constituting a pro rate for the work he’s doing. For twenty-five cents, microcasting work to an online audience of less than 3000 people would give him a shot at a living gig. Expand that out. Even 25 cents for an mp3 multiplied by half the readership of Bad Signal would mean that that musician is doing better than 90% of professional musicians — that is, earning more than US$600 a month. Seriously.

In fact, to support four artists you like, all you’d have to do is put aside an entire dollar a month to buy their art. And tell your friends.”

I guess this is the telling my friends part. Warren makes a good side-point about the use of tribe.net or other social-network services as markets for what he calls “microcasting” of creative work. There’s probably something to be learnt / crosspollinated from the creative networks around MMORPGs, but I’m not sure what. Anyway – go give Patrick Farley some money…

One thought on “A pound of art

  1. I think it’s only a matter of time before this is how the majority of artists make a living.

    The RIAA complains that downloading music will bring down their business model of obscene corporate profits which allow them to spend millions in marketing in order to ‘create’ big stars and to that I say ‘Good Riddance’!

    The current system is just a legel version of Payola. With the money that the stuidos put behind these artists you can create a mega star even whent he product is crap. I’m sure that I could deal with the fact that Lindsay Lohan might not get the airplay she does if the criteria was actually quality, instead of marketing budget.

    Give me a world where the artist get’s paid directly, and instead of only 1/100th of a percent becoming multimillionares, young, unknown talented artists could actually make a decent living.


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