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Internet and Merchandising Good For Indie Media 53

Snotty Pippen writes "A new study online (and its long) compares online revenue streams with brick and mortar ones for converting content into cash, and uses web comics as a basis of comparison. Metrist Partners note the study agrees with looks at indie music, that indicate the web is the place for distribution and that merchandising is where the real money is. T Campbell, who writes a bunch of web comics and edits Graphic Smash, bemoans it didn't come out before he wrote the chapter on money for his forthcoming book on web comics."
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Internet and Merchandising Good For Indie Media

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  • Lot's of sites are nice daily's but how well would they do in print? Take, for example, daily kos [] and OHUK [].
    • Imagine being able to print your own newspaper as you walk out of the door for your daily commute.

      You are just about to spend 45 minutes sat on a train or bus whilst you go to work, your daily read contains all the latest feeds from your respected news sites, your daily comics, a roundup of the sport and also the emails and project outlines you need for the day ahead.

      You could arrive in work refreshed, updated entertained and alert.

      I would love to have this capability.
      • Do you have a printer attached to your computer?

        Well, you might have to have a nice laser printer if you wanted to print off 45 minutes' worth of reading material every day... but with a bit of scripting (similar to the kind of scripting that allows those personalized Google pages with news stories from multiple sources and such... webcomics are particularly easy because they're in the same format every day) you could easily compile such a thing.

        Your paper bill might run kind of high, though... perhaps if y
        • Remember to be polite to your friendly webcomics artists and grab the whole page or whatever. Oftentimes, they support their comics with ad revenue. See this metafilter thread [] for some comments on scraping/aggregating webcomics.
      • RSS reader with File > Print? And a staple or paper clip. ok, you could make it a little more interesting than that, (have a cron job automatically print it every morning or whatever, formatting, etc.) but you already do have the capability.
  • Does anyone know of an online site (similar to cdbaby) that really pushes "indie music" and allows you to sample new stuff?
    • Re:Indie Music (Score:5, Informative)

      by saddino ( 183491 ) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @12:25PM (#13316438)
      Check out Not Lame for a site with a similar indie vibe, though more geared towards indie/alt power pop.

      CD Baby [], by the way, is a great way for indie and unsigned bands to get online music service distribution as well as CD sales. The tracks off my band's CD [] are just about on every online music store (iTunes, Rhapsody, etc.) thanks to CD Baby. Did I mention how cool CD Baby is? :-)

      • I really like CD Baby. I've used their "you might also like..." and many preview tracks to try out a few albums that I otherwise would not have found.

        It would be cool if CD Baby preview tracks were available in iRate Radio ("radio" that gives you new songs based on your ratings of old songs), which I've just started using (again) (it seems to take a long time to get good tracks).

    • Re:Indie Music (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Pitchfork []
      Insound []
      Epitonic []

      One of the cool things that Pitchfork has been able to do is translate their on-line success into off-line events as well. We attended the Intonation Music Festival a few weeks ago and it was great. It's encouraging to see other entrepreneurs start with a reasonable investment on the web instead of going broke the traditional way.

      The internet has definitely leveled the playing field for the small guy.
    • Magnatune [] is an open music record label. They have a good selection of artists and you get to choose how much the artist deserves for his work. You can download in many different formats (WAV, MP3, OGG, FLAC and AAC) and license the music for commercial work.
    • Just go to artists web sites. There's thousands of them. Many give a selection of downloadable music. The web challenges the assumption that we have to have a big intermediary media companies that determine what music is in and what music is not.
    • Right Here [] They offer "any" indie music artist or band the ability to sell their music, give away free music, and to sample music before you buy. The artist get 10 times as much per sale as the "main stream" artist and the site even pushes open source as it's run completely on OSS servers, apps, and web servers. They are truly trail blazers in the indie online music distribution stuff. So go check it out and support your indie bands!
  • Only this time it's on topic!

    They [] just got Sufjan Stevens in which is nice. Been looking forward to that. The Alarm, The Hold Steady, Antony and the Johnsons, Arcade Fire, The Microphones, The Pixies, at 25 cents a track, high quality Lame VBR encodings - what are you waiting for?

  • Not suprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by retinaburn ( 218226 ) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @12:20PM (#13316417)
    I am not sure why this is news. It never really affected me in a big way until I started listening to the cbc radio3 podcast []. It's a weekly podcast that features indie (for the most part) canadian music, featuring songs off of newmusiccanada []. I have bought three cds from india artists in the last week, and each was about 10 bucks Canadian. It's a great way to bring together an indie audience and indie artists.
  • by spargos ( 907529 ) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @12:36PM (#13316475) Homepage
    I love it when webcomics are potrayed as cash cows.

    After several years of trying to generate revenue from my online cartooning, my running total is $5.07.

    That's US$5.07 mind you ... woohoo!
    • After several years of trying to generate revenue from my online cartooning, my running total is $5.07.

      Indeed. If it were so lucrative you wouldn't see webcomic artists asking for donations all the time. (Yes, I donate to some.)

      I'm sure that more than a few good cartoonists were crushed when they tried to make a living on the web. Not being a cartoonist though I wouldn't know how many for sure.
      • If it were so lucrative you wouldn't see webcomic artists asking for donations all the time. (Yes, I donate to some.)

        I don't see how that really makes sense, since donations would be part of the revenue stream.
        • I don't see how that really makes sense, since donations would be part of the revenue stream.

          Yes but if the revenue stream were so strong why would they have to "hawk" their wares so much. There seems to be a constant need to "drive" the sales of webcomic related material. Some really spectacular comics just need to leave the donate button up there.

          I would think that if the revenue stream for webcomics was so strong they would just have a donate button up there and forget about doign anything bur dra
      • If people would let some of the used up comics in the newpaper end there would be room for new people. I'm talking about crap like Family Circus (now drawn by father and son team, dad's almost dead), Peanuts (rerun of classics, creator is dead), Garfield (how many times is lasagna funny). I can barely even enjoy the comics in the sunday paper anymore. I just skim out the few that aren't worthless drivel.
    • It would help if your web comic didn't suck.

      • It would help if your web comic didn't suck.
        *bottom lip wobbles, runs to teacher*

        That's as may be, but I was eluding to the over-dramatised nature of these articles.
        • Well, *I* like the comic. But having a good comic is just the first step in a long process that involves many other skills and a little luck. There's more room at the top, but it's a steep mountain to climb. Like music, moviemaking and publishing, webcomics am a successful business for a select few, and for many others, just a lovely hobby.
    • Perhaps your problem is promotion.. For instance, You could've put a more obvious shameless plug at the bottom of your post. Instead all you've done is put your site in the homepage element of your profile.
    • Everything tends to be overdramatized. Be it doctors, or engineers, or writers, or atheletes. Some will make it very big, some, even with talent and drive, will not make it.

      So the issue is not that 90% of those who try is going are going to fail. The issue is if the new model will result in more opportunity and overall quality. WRT the web, the barrier to publishing is reduced, which means that more people have the opportunity to publish. This also means tha the market becomes more crowded, revenue b

    • Ah, you just missed the boat. See, the thing now is podcasts. If you start a popular podcast, the sky's the limit as far as revenue's concerned. One day there will be folks who make six figures doing nothing but podcasting. GET ON BOARD NOW WHILE YOU CAN! LIMITED INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY!
  • Someone needs to send the submitter the brochure for a good online remedial-English school...

    I'm still not sure what half of that posting was about. ...sheesh...
    • Someone needs to send the submitter the brochure for a good online remedial-English school...

      I'm still not sure what half of that posting was about. ...sheesh...

      It's obvious what's happened here - Slashdot has outsourced both it's submitters and editors overseas to non-English speaking countries.

      Bad joke thinking am I but normal become it has...
    • I had to re-read that bit a few times to make sense of it. I have not even made it past the first sentance.
  • I haven't seen any web comic creators getting movie deals!
    • So? A movie deal isn't every cartoonist's goal. Many great comics (especially comic strips) would make terrible movies. There are other ways to profit-- like merchandise and publishing, even selling original art.

      BTW there are quite a few cartoonists who work in print-- typically "alternative weeklies" like the New York Press, or with indie comics publishers like Fantagraphics-- but also make their strips and archives available on the web. I wouldn't call them "webcomics" in the Penny Arcade mold but the
  • [Shameless Plug]Track all your favorite web comic updates with [].[/Shameless Plug] :D
  • A new study online (and its long) I'm [] only gonna sing this one more time:

    Ohhhhhhh... If you want it to be possessive, it's just "ITS." But, if it's supposed to be a contraction then it's "I-T-apostrophe-S,"


  • by Jack Taylor ( 829836 ) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @05:08PM (#13317634)
    A new study online (and its long) compares online revenue streams with brick and mortar ones

    Well, I hope the long in question is happy about the situation. Did it have any input into the study? Or would the odds be far too long on an abstract concept being capable of market analysis?

    ...sorry ;)
  • by Skim123 ( 3322 ) <mitchell AT 4guysfromrolla DOT com> on Sunday August 14, 2005 @06:11PM (#13317925) Homepage
    A short number of publications (be it art, music, novels, journalism, etc.) are 'hits.' The vast, vast, vast majority are non-hits. But with the Internet's capability of having virtually unlimited shelf space, along with the ability to have 'recommendations' from like-minded folks, the revenue generated by long tail items typically exceeds the revenue generated by the concentraded number of 'hits.'

    This concept is explored in much greater detail in Chris Anderson's blog, The Long Tail [], and his accompanying article, also named The Long Tail [].

  • Cats chase string and the sun is hot.
  • ..the great boon for indie artists such as myself, who don't charge for our music, and give it away on our own websites (now, if I could only draw some fanbase with some actual cash to donate so I could cover bandwidth costs) :)

    If you are interested in hearing my stuff, you'll have to hit my website network (see my user profile website) and find the sites yourself.. Please, PLEASE share my music over P2P if you aren't willing to donate cash to help cover bandwidth :P I can only afford about 2gb worth of

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.