The music business could learn a few things from Ron Paul

ron paul

The following jumped out at me from today’s article in the NYT on Ron Paul:

“The Dean campaign was decentralized, but I think Paul’s movement is actually run by nonstaffers,” said Zephyr Teachout, a visiting assistant law professor at Duke University who was Mr. Dean’s director of online organizing. “The buggy is pulling the horse.”

Ms. Teachout said that most campaigns this year knew that they needed “to build really amazing tools and spend a lot of time on the Web site” to create voter loyalty. But that led many to micromanage their Web sites. By contrast, she said, “the Paul campaign took the opposite lesson — that it was about openness and power — and focused far less on the tools and far more on decentralization as a driving force.”

Without centralization, the meetups can seem like sessions devoted to reinventing the wheel. But many at the Albany meeting said their freedom was empowering and only fed their enthusiasm, though they were drawn to Mr. Paul for different reasons.

I’ve been saying over and over that the future of the music industry is empowering the fans to not only promote (via blogs, whatever) the artists whom they love, but also to have a vested financial interest in doing so; i.e. decentralization.

A fan should be able to grab the API from the content holder (artist, preferably…but, for the time being, labels), and embed it in their blog. This API would allow the blogger to rave on about the artist of their choice, and sell the download, right then and there. The transaction would be transparent (much like the transparent donor flow on the Ron Paul site), and the customer would see immediately how their payment is divided up — to the artist/content holder, publisher, and the blogger.

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