Zimbalam: Letting Artists Fly Solo
“When Stian, a friend of mine, came to me a few days ago and told me I could now find his music on various online music services I just had to find out how. It's no secret that record companies are becoming more and more uselss with most of them being sadistic about both stealing the artist's money and chase pirates, but I was unaware of just how easy it had become to publish music on your own.”
I don’t necessarily entirely agree with this statement over at AnythingButIpod but I think that most of us can agree that the music industry is a dinosaur that does as much to hold back artists today as it does to promote them. For a few years now I’ve wondered why many artists would really want to go the route of a big record company. For every successful artist that shows up on the radio there are hundreds of failures.
Enter the service Zimbalam. For €30, which is approximately $40, you can self promote your own album to a variety of digital music providers. Zune isn’t, unfortunately, one of the listed providers because I would happily support artists through this to encourage the practice.
Zimbalam holds no rights to the artist’s music and pays 90% royalties to the artist. Digital music stores have no real physical space constraints so there is little reason for Amazon, iTunes, Zune or any others to want to limit the amount of music available. Zimbalam has little to no cost associated with each individual album, so they win by generating revenue from every sale. It doesn’t matter where the sale comes from for them.
The artists definitely win because they can get exposure that they might not normally get and still retain the rights to their own music. Local artists often get played on the radio so it isn’t as if bypassing a big record company is going to prevent artists from getting radio time. I’m sure that this type of scenario is exactly the reason that the RIAA has always feared the digital age. It makes them look a little obsolete.