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Wanted: Digital Marketing Distribution Advice For Portishead


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Portishead have announced that they’re free of their record deal, and have requested that fans suggest innovative ways they can distribute their music.  This was posted on their MySpace blog (URL: http://tinyurl.com/bpxxhn) on 16th February by Geoff from Portishead;  “With the world being the way it is there are lots of options open…. but if you lot have any bright ideas of how we should sell our music in the future let us know, why not!”. “i don’t think that were into giving out music away for free to be honest… it takes fuking (sic) ages to write and we have to heat our swimming pools….!!!”

TMV thought it would be good fun to get industry agent provocateur Wayne Rosso to post his thoughts on how Portishead may can make money from there recorded music. So, without further ado Wayne Rosso’s thoughts to Portishead’s problem are provided below:

Wayne Rosso: I commend you for trying to be innovative. But I have news for you my man….you’re already giving away your music for free. You’re just not making anything off of it. Which you can. Without even trying (one Google search) I found your entire discography available for free at Pirate Bay, Isohunt, Torrent Reactor, Torrentz, Extra Torrent, You Torrent, Btmon, and Fulldls.  And that was only the first page of Google results and doesn’t even include the p2p networks! And let’s not forget that you’re already making your music available for free on your MySpace page.

There are ways to make money by giving away free music. After all, I made a nice living at it when I was at Grokster. But it requires a couple of things, including a significant brand name and fan base, some smarts and initiative, a big set of balls, and decent music that people actually want to listen to. Once you accept the reality that music has lost its economic value to the consumer yet has not lost its emotional value, then you can start to tackle the issue intelligently. 

I’ve thought this through for years now and have developed some interesting models that actually will work. How much you make is a direct result of your popularity. Keep that in mind. And there is no magic bullet. The bottom line is that you or and band for that matter must focus on the core of your existence, which is live performance. That is and always will be the fundamental tool for any artists. Always has been and always will be. After all, how did musicians make money before the days of sound recordings and radio? And what band is going to be able to sustain any kind of recording career if they can’t deliver live? (and let’s face it…Portishead may be a good band but you ain’t the Beatles).

So, I know that you’re looking for ideas, and I’d be happy to share some with you. Just give me a call anytime. I have to heat my swimming pool as well.

So, there you have heard it first from the man whom made money from the both illegal and legal P2P sites. TMV wish Portishead well in their endeavors now they are free to run their business as they see fit.


  • Wayne Rosso

    Wayne Rosso has worked in music and technology for decades. He has worked with such artists as Aerosmith, Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Public Image LTD., Beach Boys, Phillip Glass, Fleetwood Mac, Rick James, New Kids on the Block, Slash, Evanescence and scores of others.


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