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The New Chocolate Covered Almond?

The New Chocolate Covered Almond?

By David Geertz from Sokap - Sept 17th 2012

So I was asked to write a short piece about what does for artists and as I was thinking of a clever way to write something I was coming up a bit short so I did what lots of people do in this situation - I went to my local coffee shop to be inspired.

This is what happened. Allow me to set it up for you first so you can picture the scenario.

I take my seat at the bench and it’s busy in the coffee shop so I need to share a long table with a student who is sitting beside me and has one of those large coffee drinks, a macbook and one of those boxes of chocolate covered almonds that she’s snacking on while she works with her headphones on doing research for a university paper.

I decide that maybe the best way to be inspired is to open up Songza and listen to some tunes as well as you can never hear enough Prog Rock right? As I do this she looks over and this is what transpired:

  • GIRL - I love songza what are you listening to?
  • ME - The Best of Prog Rock. How about you?
  • GIRL - I’m listening to Wintersleep on my itunes - have you heard of them?
  • ME - Yeah I actually bought 2 of their albums on Itunes.
  • GIRL - You buy music?
  • ME - All the time. How else am I going to support the artists I like? I live in the suburbs, I have kids and it’s not like I can head into a show at the drop of a hat, and besides most bands that I like never even come to this city.
  • GIRL - I think all bands should tour more. People would go and see them and then they could just give their music away to people like me.
  • ME - would you go to their shows?
  • GIRL - No...I really don’t have time.
  • ME - Have you gone to a show this year at all?
  • GIRL - I went to one show this summer.
  • ME- How many people were there?
  • GIRL - Maybe 50?
  • ME - How many bands were there?
  • GIRL - 3
  • ME - Do you remember what you paid to get in?
  • GIRL - It was totally stupid. It was like 10 bucks?
  • ME - Did you buy their music at the door too?
  • GIRL - No way man they already got my 10 bucks!
  • ME - Where was the band from?
  • GIRL - Toronto I think.
  • ME - How do you think they got out here to the West Coast?
  • GIRL - I have no idea but I really like them and share their music with all my friends.
  • ME - Do you pay for music?
  • GIRL - No way man. The media companies are way too fat and they take all the money and I’m not supporting Apple or some media giant. I already pay for their devices and pay for internet access.
  • ME - So you think the best way to combat the media giants and device makers is to NOT buy an artists work but to download it for free, not go see them play and tell your friends to listen as well?
  • GIRL - Yeah.
  • ME - Do any of your friends buy music?
  • GIRL - No way man.
  • ME - That’s an interesting perspective. Where did you get those chocolate covered almonds by the way?
  • GIRL - They’re so delicious. You can buy them here at the counter.
  • ME - How much are they?
  • GIRL - 5 awesome!
  • ME - I forgot my wallet today so I’m gonna take your word for it and go and swipe me some of those chocolate covered almonds.
  • GIRL - you mean steal them?
  • ME - Who cares? The company that makes them is some huge company, and this retailer probably sells them on consignment so its no skin off their ass.
  • GIRL - Yeah but 2 bucks from every box goes to the local elementary school hot lunch program.
  • ME - So if I took the almonds would you be mad because I’m taking the almonds in general, or cuz I’m taking money from the kids?
  • GIRL - I could care less about the almond company. I would never buy them if there wasn’t a social benefit attached.
  • ME - Interesting. Would you buy the Wintersleep album if you knew that buying the record would pay a portion of the proceeds to a local community group?
  • GIRL - Now that would be cool. But it would need to be transparent and I would need to know what group was getting the money.
  • ME - So what you’re saying is that as long as musicians and community groups receive the majority of the purchase price and that you knew there was no major media company or device maker in the middle gobbling up your hard earned money you would support artists this way?
  • GIRL - I think it’s a great idea. Someone should do that for sure.
  • ME - I’m not really gonna steal those almonds by the way.
  • GIRL - I know...cuz you can have some of mine. What do you do anyway?
  • ME - I build tools to fund artists and community groups.
  • GIRL - That’s so cool.

We connect artists and their projects with fans and communities, allowing everyone to benefit financially and creatively.

Community groups need easy-to-market products to help them fundraise. Artists have products to sell that need an audience.

Consumers need quality entertainment at a reasonable price. Win. Win. Win.


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