iTMS Featured Artists, Fischerspooner, spoke at Macworld Creative Pro last week, regarding using the Macintosh in their creation of music. During their presentation, they spoke at length about the role of the internet in their current popularity, and as a positive way to create a fan following (see TMOis full coverage for more information).
Listening to Fischerspooner speak, it became clear that they are not concerned about music sharing as a profit-killer. Warren Fischer said during that presentation that their internet community wasnit about profit, but was sharing based, with the intent of building community. Those fans around the world who didnit have access to early CD releases by the group were known (by Fischerspooner themselves) to share music and band information online. Not only did this allow music fans to hear the music by Fischerspooner, it allowed Fischerspooneris popularity to balloon.
For the group, having a Web site and a presence on the internet was "instrumental in their success." They were able to create a fan base that was global and enthusiastic, one that is active and still spreading the word about the band and their music.
This understanding and willingness to move with the technology of computers (used to create their music) and the internet seems to feed directly into their attitudes about the current fervor over online distribution methods.
We were able to take a moment with Warren Fischer to discuss the current kerfluffle between those who want album-only sales, and distributors like the Apple Music Store who want to sell music as singles as well. Though Fischer told us that their new album (currently in production) is being thought of as a "listening experience" album, meant for a sit-down complete listening, he doesnit agree with the artists who only want to sell complete albums.
After being asked which side of the sales fence Fischerspooner stands on, Fischer said simply, "Iim all for profit." He then followed up with an expletive aimed at those who refuse to sell singles ("@#$% iem," to use his words), continuing to explain that single sales are profitable and that his listening library has benefited from iTMS singles sales.
What does this mean? Artists who have grown with the internet seem to understand the concept of internet-as-tool in their careers. Not just online fan clubs, but online distribution as a viable, profitable business model.
Those artists who have gone past the "street team" distribution model are the ones that will last in the burgeoning legal online music battle. Both up and coming artists and the purchasing power of online consumers are speaking to the artists. The message from acts like Fischerspooner that get it: Embrace online distribution as it is, not as you want it to be.