Topspin & Day 1 of changing the music industry

Pretty exciting! Topspin goes live:

Topspin is founded on the principle that while costs of production and distribution in the music industry are dropping, unlimited choice for consumers only increases the importance of efficient marketing. Marketing means both connecting and cultivating relationships with your existing fans (much of what Seth Godin describes as “Permission Marketing” applies) as well as discovering new fans. Topspin is building software tools to help artists market efficiently.

Topspin’s an answer to a question I’ve been thinking about off and on. The music biz isn’t about records, Sam Goody and Top 40 radio anymore. (And if it is for you still, be ready—things are changing fast!) To succeed as a musician you need to embrace the web, digital distribution, blogs, twitter, social networks, satellite radio and seamlessly transition from hyperlocal to global. How do you measure success? Is your marketing paying off? What counts? Radio plays? Downloads? Do you have the tools to even begin measuring success? How do you cultivate relationships with your fans? Touring sure. But where are you fans? Kevin Kelly had a great intro to this new world with his 1,000 True Fans scenario.

Madonna’s been making her own rules from early on and so it continues–she ditched the traditional music industry in 2007 and signed up with a concert promotion company:

“The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a business woman, I have to move with that shift,” Madonna said. “For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited. I’ve never wanted to think in a limited way and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless.”

Topspin is going in a similar direction:

One point I want to make clear: we are not just another digital distribution company. Our belief is there are some very good digital distribution solutions out there already, and digital distribution is quickly becoming a commodity. What’s not anywhere near commodity status is marketing, and we are a marketing tools software company. We are about demand creation, not demand fulfillment.

Not to overstate things but the unstoppable shift from Old World music industry to New World could very well start here with Topspin. One to watch for sure.

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