Artist-Entrepreneur Trend Will Help Tech Companies in 2012

After looking at 2011’s trends and changes, one that has slowly emerged and will grow is artists having more control of their economic well being. Thanks to the Internet, they can publish their works in so many content forms: books, video, music–to name just a few. As we enter a new year, the artist-entrepreneur trend should grow in a few different ways.

The distribution chain is going away 

Whether its video, music/audio or e-books, or devices such as e-readers and tablets, everything is becoming connected and the entire distribution chain is in one spot. For e-books, they have either Amazon or Apple; the radio has iTunes and video can go to Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other venues with original content. And consumers can pay for these through websites such as Paypal (NASDAQ:EBAY).

In a recent article on Grantland, comedian Louis C.K. discussed creating his own site and using Paypal for payment. He commented about the middleman by saying, ” I didn’t want to cut out the middleman, I just didn’t need one. There wasn’t any reason to have someone there. I just thought make this thing and put it up.”

A Democratization of content, distribution and monetization 

With e-books, their distribution and storefronts are morphing into one venue. It’s difficult to manage distribution across multiple channels since storefronts are so siloed — Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is apart from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iBooks, which is then separate from Barnes&Noble (NYSE:BKS). A company such as Smashwords allows the creation and distribution across many storefronts. Another alternative is Vook, which is creating SaaS tools to develop e-books and subsequently manage their distribution.

On the music front, artists are beginning to use sites like Soundcloud to create music and then share it. Other sites such as  Topspin Media allow artists to create business sites to sell music and concert tickets in turnkey fashion. One fan of Topspin is the Pixies, who recently used it to sell tickets for a concert. They used email campaigns, notifying fans and then processing the tickets by using an iOS app at the concert. Videos still have middlemen but are evolving as the creation of video and its distribution costs are declining.

Artists are becoming tech-savvy

Tech-savvy artists are now creating their own apps and sites for the world to see their art. They are behind the scenes, acting as coders and scripters.

The wealth for the artists still comes from the big boys, such as corporate media, but with new technologies, artists can go directly to consumers through their sites. This should expand this year as more artists will forge their own economic destinies and join the new artist-entrepreneur generation.

Further Reading: 7 Stocks Benefitting from New Year Resolutions>>

To contact the reporter on this story: Debbie Baratz at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at