Peter Gabriel stumps for new music models

An article from Wired discussed rock artist Peter Gabriel and his move (with fellow artist Brian Eno) to encourage new artists to look away from the traditional record labels and toward a direct relationship with their fans via the Internet.

The pair were stumping support at Midem (a music conference in Cannes) for a proposal they call "Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists" (MUDDA).

The basic gist is, as we have argued here on many occasions, to disintermediate the music industry and provide fans with more direct access to music without the middle men. This can both cut prices to the end user and increase the profits to the artist (at least per-song). Even if the work were to be done through a middle-man (almost required because of the amount of technology involved), cutting the multi-level system down to size would have positive effects in this area.

But, their proposal goes even further than the basic disintermediation issue. They also call for a new way of delivering music. By latching on to the per- song success of Apple's iTunes, they are also telling artists to consider releasing music when it is ready as opposed to when they have an album. This would mean a dramatic shift for an industry which since the 1950's has been gradually moving away from the singles scene (for more details, see this article from our site).