Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Everything Old Is New Again Dept

Before Mr. Edison helped invent the recording industry, music artists - like their peers in other disciplines - needed to find wealthy individuals to support their work in the field. The artist helped the patron look good to the community and gave them some form of immortality in their works, and the patron gave the artist financial support while both opened societal doors for each other.

On a small scale the patronage system has been part of the modern music industry via product endorsements for instruments, going back to at least the 1970s, in my memory, but it was small beans compared to the money that was being made through album sales and merchandising. In the 1990s, the phenomena of house concerts put patronage back in individuals hands and gave a lift to struggling singer-songwriters ignored by the mainstream commercial outlets.

Now, the company that gave us the Soap Opera (for which I am admittedly thankful) is getting into the business.

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