On the musician side, there’s singer-songwriter John Legend, who realized when he hit it big that he’d better be wise to the people lining up for his money. Although he does release music through a major label, Legend also formed his own company and hired a contractor to market his stuff.
That contractor is Musictoday. Founded by Coran Capshaw, the manager of the Dave Matthews Band, the company creates an online identity for clients, then invites fans to feed their passions, from a Red Hot Chili Peppers messenger bag to blackjack with the Backstreet Boys.
Aspects of Capshaw’s :
- He patterned his firm on the “do-it- yourself” model invented by the Grateful Dead, who bypassed radio and marketed themselves directly.
- He realized that he could aggregate and share fan data, helping musicians decide where to tour.
- He discovered that even no-name bands will sell $10 million in merchandise over two years.
- His life’s recurring theme is challenging the status quo and finding a chink in the industry’s armor that he can exploit for artists.
—Adapted from “Way Behind the Music,” Chuck Salter, Fast Company.