#TBT When Exposure = Exploitation

There’s a fascinating article written by Josh Constine in the 5/21/2019 in TechCrunch (h/t Jon Silpayamanant) that examines the business practices of Sofar Sounds, a presenter of non-classical music events in small venues.

According to Constine’s article, Sofar has generated millions in funding from venture capitalists and while they net anywhere from $1,100 to $1,600 per event where fans pay $15 to $30 to attend, the actual artists only earn $100 for a 25-minute set.

In the wake of growing negative press and push-back from artists feeling exploited, it isn’t difficult to see where similar concerns may arise for companies that fill a similar role for musicians from the classical music field.

This leads right into today’s #TBT in the form of a pair of articles from 2015 that examined the business model for Groupmuse, a for-profit business that facilitates house parties which feature classical musicians.

Examining The Groupmuse Business Model Part 1

Examining The Groupmuse Business Model Part 2

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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