How The Grateful Dead made freedom pay

Fab report on Hypebot, taken from the Atlantic.

How the Grateful Dead should be managing the majors today.

“On the eve of the band’s archives going public at the University of Calitfornia at Santa Cruz, The Atlantic looks at the business practices of the Grateful Dead and the lessons they can teach any artist or label struggling to connect with and monetize their relationship with an audience.”

“…the connection between the Internet and the Dead’s business model was made 15 years ago by the band’s lyricist, John Perry Barlow, who became an Internet guru. Writing in Wired in 1994, Barlow posited that in the information economy, “the best way to raise demand for your product is to give it away.” …we couldn’t regulate [taping at] our shows, and you can’t online.

The Internet doesn’t behave that way. But here’s the thing: if I give my song away to 20 people, and they give it to 20 people, pretty soon everybody knows me, and my value as a creator is dramatically enhanced. That was the value proposition with the Dead.”

Read it here.

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