Coran Capshaw & Musictoday
Reader Steve Woskow from Simi Valley, CA pointed out this article from FastCompany.com by Chris Buck, saying "The influence of the Dead reaches far beyond the music." The article is about Coran Capshaw and his company Musictoday, which uses the internet to market Bands' products and concert tickets directly to the fans. His goal is to cut out the Music Industry biggies and give fans more of what they want, and a bigger cut to the artist. Capshaw's a Deadhead and, though the article mentions Tapers, it seems like he got a lot of his philosophy and ideas from the microcosmic free market that was found on "Shakedown Street" in "The Lot."
Capshaw's long, strange journey from fan to mogul began years earlier with the Grateful Dead. "I went to a lot of their shows," he says, "and was exposed to the do-it-yourself model." Jerry Garcia and the boys, whose instrumental jams shot the bird at the radio-hit formula, were a touring tour de force. But behind the reefer haze was a larger, iconoclastic strategy. Deadheads were encouraged to tape shows, which fostered a tribe of bootleggers. The Dead shrugged at the lost record revenue and cashed in by selling its tickets and merchandise directly to fans.
Dave Matthews's crew reminded Capshaw of the Dead. How they thrived onstage, improvising, giving a different performance each night. How the crowds grew, attracting fans from around the state. How they taped shows, which Capshaw and the band encouraged to gin up word of mouth. It was a prototypical social network. "I remember talking to Coran once, and he held his phone outside his office for me to hear them," says Donohue. "He said they were going to be huge."
While that's pretty much the only part of the article that directly mentions the Grateful Dead, it's a fascinating article and I definitely suggest reading it in its entirety. I was also very pleased to read this part of the article:
By mapping merch or ticket sales by geography, for instance, Musictoday can identify where marketing dollars are needed or where an artist should tour. "If you know you're drawing fans from Utah to drive to shows out of state," says Hubbard, "you need to add that 43rd tour date in Salt Lake City."
I love Salt Lake City but my one, main issue is the lack of bands and House DJ's that come to town to play. I can't really afford to go on road trips to see shows...in the last 8 years or so the only special concert trips I've gone on were to see The Other Ones in Vegas, and Simon & Garfunkel @ the Hollywood Bowl. Otherwise, I just have to hope they come here or miss out. When Phil & Friends headlined the Furthur Festival I was excited that there was a Salt Lake date and got my ticket immediately. Then we found out Phil wouldn't be appearing at the Salt Lake show! And I'm still upset I wasn't able to make it to Comes A Time!!!
Thanks for the heads-up Steve!!!