This article is dated (2008!), but extraordinary nonetheless. It describes a band that set up a travel agency around their touring to generate funds. It might not be as ludicrous as it sounds. I don’t consider myself a rabid music fan, but in the last three years I’ve taken two trips to London to see Massive Attack, a trip to New York to see Jennifer Charles, and a trip to LA to see Bjork. All in, I probably spent $4,000 dollars on the travel, and a 10 percent commission fee would exceed all the money I’ve ever spent on their music.
The experiment was likely a failure, but it’s a great example of a band responding to evaporating business models and experimenting with new ones, rather than clinging to the vine (credit for the ‘Tarzan’ analogy to Jim Griffin) of old and dying business models:
Techdirt: More Musicians Who Get It: Give Customers What They Want
We’ve been hearing more stories lately about musicians who absolutely understand what many of us have been discussing over the past few years about how the music business is changing (not how it should change, but how it is changing). The latest is the story of The String Cheese Incident, who has built a successful business by giving people what they want….So, their route to financial success included lots of touring, but also setting up a travel agency specifically designed to help fans make trips to see them and other bands.
They also heavily promote their music online. They sell downloads of their concerts, but don’t put any copy protection on them, realizing that: “The more people are exposed to the music, the better it is for the band.”