I love Norah Jones. How best to support artists like her?

I love Norah Jones. What's the best way to support artists like her? Building on my comments in my previous blog post about MP3s, here's the opportunity today: amazonlocal gave me a free voucher to purchase her new album "Little Broken Hearts" on Amazon MP3 for $3.99. It retails for $7.99. Keep in mind, audiophiles hate MP3s because the fidelity is inferior. I visited norahjones.com and am pleased to see that she has a store where the CD (superior fidelity) sells for $15. And she accepts PayPal! Here's something I didn't expect: she also sells a 180 gram double white vinyl with download card for $20!  I'm tempted, but I don't have the equipment to enjoy it fully. (My turntable is cheap. For that matter, it's been years since I went to the trouble of dropping a needle on a platter. Who has the time?)

So what's the tradeoff? The tradeoff is how efficiently I can support Norah Jones. Directly. With my money. Where it hits the music industry the hardest. And they certainly deserve to get hit. Hard! If I want the MP3 album, the voucher is a no-brainer. Unless. Unless there was a way I could pay Norah Jones directly. Or is there another MP3 store that would give her a better cut than her people negotiated with Amazon? Do you see where I'm going with this? The value chain for artists whose work can be digitized needs radical reform. I want to support musical artists, not the music industry. Let the masses continue to be influenced by industry marketing and pay for the priviledge. But the time is coming (in my lifetime, I hope) when artists can connect directly with their fans and have the option of bypassing the dinosaur music industry completely. I already wrote about how Derek Sivers did that for independent artists by inventing CD Baby. That's only the start. Let the industry do what it's always done best: Scout for talent and promote it to make it famous. But once an artist is famous, why does it continue to need the music industry? Ms. Jones has accounts at Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Shouldn't that be good enough for a star like her? (We need to replace Facebook with something the way we replaced MySpace with Facebook, but there's still time for that. Google+? Maybe.) I'm guessing her agent gets 10%, and there's other overhead a star has to live with just to keep the momentum of their business up. But how much of the $3.99 I pay Amazon will she see? This is what motivated me to write this morning. Amazon's prices are too low! If I had the option of paying $3.99 of which the artist takes $1, or paying $4.99 and the artist gets $2, I'd rather show my support for the artist by paying more! To a point. That's what I mean. Amazon sells music too cheap. Of course, I'll buy from Amazon before I buy from iTunes based on price. But now there's money sitting there that I want the artist to have! Help me spend more. Where can I buy Ms. Jones' new album so she gets the best cut of what I spend?

Further reading

Free voucher to purchase her new album "Little Broken Hearts" on Amazon MP3 for $3.99 - you, too, can take advantage of Amazon's offer (even though I get nothing for promoting it).

The evolution of writing onto the Internet, a blog post sized to be read in one sitting, in which I ramble about art, MP3s, CD Baby and much more.


72 views and 1 response

  • May 29 2012, 5:06 PM
    Tim Chambers responded:
    I bought her album from Amazon this weekend. Paid too little.