So maybe there really is a sensible middle ground in the music business – somewhere between David Lowery’s pessimism and Bram Cohen’s blind faith in our digital future. That future may be the pop music band Pomplamoose. Its members are Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte, two young musician-entrepreneurs who are not only making a living marketing and selling their music online, but who even own a “nice house” with two recording studios. Nataly and Jack, I suspect (and hope), are the viable future of the music industry – one that will neither revolve around Platinum records nor completely free online content.
I met the talented and very charming Nataly and Jack earlier this week at SFMusicTech. Their business model is very simple, they explained to me. They create clever, scalable videos for YouTube which then feed their iTunes sales and their licensing deals. It’s a good business, they told me, with their 3 million monthly views on YouTube being directly correlated to their iTunes sales. Of course, they added, you still need to “make really good music” and have “excellent chemistry” – but the fact that Pomplamoose are making a decent living is great news for the thousands of other talented musicians trying to earn a living in today’s digital economy.
This is my third interview from SFMusicTech, following my encounters with Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery and BitTorrent’s Bram Cohen. Still to come are some conversations about what might turn out to be the most valuable player in today’s digital music business – the audience.