Peter Gabriel is inviting his fellow artists to join a new initiative, the Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists (MUDDA). Gabriel wants artists to use the Internet in a creative way, as w
Peter Gabriel is inviting his fellow artists to join a new initiative, the Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists (MUDDA). Gabriel wants artists to use the Internet in a creative way, as well as building new business models that will benefit artists directly.
"There's a digital revolution going on, and this will also mark a transformation in music making," he says.
Speaking to Billboard.biz during Midem, Gabriel says MUDDA aims to change the way artists use the Internet, and how their material is presented to the consumers. The current model, he says, revolves around waiting for an album to be finished before putting it out. He advocates a new approach.
"We could put out the process of creation rather than the product," he says. "You can make more music available in the form that you want, with the price that you decide."
That way, Gabriel says, artists will have full control over what they release. "Artists become their own retailers. And [they can] be at the top of the food chain, not at the bottom, which is their traditional place."
All this could be done with label approval, says Gabriel. For unsigned artists, the Internet can be a new source of revenues, collected directly by them.
British producer and creator Brian Eno is working with Gabriel on MUDDA. "CDs have forced us to make music in a certain way," says Eno. "We cannot release four-minute pieces because it makes no economic sense; neither can we release series of 151 minutes of music. CD is a limiting format. Online, you can change that. If you want to make something available for free just for a week, that is your choice. It is time for artists to say what they want."
Charles Grimsdale, Gabriel's partner in OD2, says the online music service will host MUDDA's Web site at mudda.org. "If artists talk to each other, a lot more exclusive material will flow into the channel," he says.
Meanwhile, OD2 yesterday unveiled SonicSelector, its new on-demand music platform. Based on Windows Media Player 9, the platform is due to launch in March on the MSN Music Club, Tiscali and the MyCokeMusic store, all powered by OD2.
Grimsdale says SonicSelector is a simple and sophisticated way to download music. "It is a brand-new interface: With one click, you can purchase music and start to play it on Media Player," he says. "It delivers instant gratification."