Monday, 6 July 2009

Art *is* Advertising

Advertising for the artist. Or least that is how it should be seen. Following on from my last post on Digital Busking, it seems to me that if artists thought of their art as advertising for them, then they would think about the other side of art - community. Community is where the money is, it is the real fans of the artist that will pay to see them at a concert, or an exhibition of their works, and some of the better off fans may donate money directly to the artists (if the artist followed the concept of 'digital busking' and included a donate button on the home site of social networking page).

I wonder how many fans, you downloaded music illegally would turn around and 'donate' money?

I suppose we have some idea as to how it would play out like the stella NIN torrent downloads and Radiohead's half arsed attempt (least they tried), both pulled in some cash. I know some have said these are established bands and others would not be able to do this - missing the point that most new music comes up from the grassroots and P2P is the best soil.

If artists started to look as their art, not as a mere product, but as a way to engage a community: then the idea of art as advertising becomes more appealing. Instead of worrying about policing the P2P networks, they could concentrate on their fans, and one thing all fans have in common is they like to go to the source - the original creator.

The art becomes a first step in setting up an online community - forums, blogs, P2P downloads via magnet links, new web2 remix sites all run under Creative Commons licences. The artist can offer premium hard-copies for sale, and real fans (the ones who would by them in the first place) would be happy to pay. Other fans would love the community and donate to keep the community up and running. It may be an idea to offer fans the option to subscribe to the website, and make regular small payments, to keep it buoyant.

Fans are probably the greatest Ad-Men on the planet and P2P is the best way to distribute digital works (and with virtually no costs to the artist).

So artists, stop thinking of money first and remember why your got into art in the first place. The rules have changed, you do not have to go through business to reach your audience, and it's time to make these new rules work for you.

CC it. Share it. Create a community. Collect some cash.

It's a new day.

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