How Musicians, Writers and Filmmakers Make Money Today

Editor’s Note: We have had several guest columnists write about the tectonic shifts taking place in the music and publishing industries (you can find the articles listed on our Experts directory).

I am very pleased to introduce our latest guest expert, Robin Good. Recently I had the great pleasure of conducting a recorded interview with Robin using Skype. He shared his insights about the music, publishing and film industries. In addition to being very knowledgeable and interesting, Robin was kind enough to record the interview and provide it back to me.

Robin Good is a successful art and design director, film and videomaker, radio broadcaster, DJ, TV producer, information designer, computer graphics and multimedia production specialist. He is also a pioneering interdisciplinary explorer of the unfolding new media revolution. His flagship site with its popular newsletter, Master New Media, is well known for its excellent content about the latest developments in new media and the dramatic changes affecting traditional media.

The interview is a 40-minute MP3 recording.

Here are a few highlights from Robin’s interview that I have summarized to give you a sample of what you will hear:

  • A revolution is taking place, providing opportunities for independent musicians, filmmakers and writers to make money from niche products. Many are simply choosing to distribute their works on their own, and bypass major studios and publishing houses.
  • As an example of how important niches have become, 57% of’s book revenues are from books not available on traditional bookshelves.
  • Artists are saying “Who needs audiences of millions?” Without the marketing burdens and the huge overhead of trying to reach mass markets, artists find they can be successful and make a profit with fewer customers.
  • This shift is giving rise to completely new distribution methods and new kinds of websites that sell the output of independent musicians and writers. Examples include CD Baby, ArtistShare and Magnatune.
  • The film industry also is in the early stages of change. In the U.S. 1,400 independent movies were produced last year. In India 800 movies were produced last year. Today, technology allows nearly anyone to produce professional-looking final product, not just the large studios. Soon we will have central clearinghouse sites for film downloads, just as we have central distribution for books through Amazon and for music through music sites like iTunes.
  • Robin also took a few moments to talk about one of his latest projects, TheWeblogProject. He calls it an “open source movie’ meaning that anyone can contribute to it. The film is about blogs. Robin is accepting video and other contributions for this project.

These points are just a small sample of what Robin spoke about — you’ll hear much more in the interview. Be sure to download and listen to Robin Good’s interview.

1 Comment ▼

One Reaction
  1. Thanks for the article!

    Also writers should take note on some places to publish books as well as comics. is a great on demand publisher!

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