A Brite Revolution?

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Way back in those salad days of 2007, I was working on the Midtown Project Vol.1 with my manager, Winn Elliott, over at Paul Eckberg’s kickin’ home studio, “The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Paul.” We were taking a break, enjoying some hard-earned Jersey Mike’s and we stumbled into a conversation about the quicksilvery business of music. Specifically, about how artists and musicians would continue to make a living in this brave new world of digital downloads, labels with shallow pockets and a home studio on every corner.

Winn had moored his mind on the subject after having met with the Square Peg Alliance – a group of Nashville-based musicians like me & AP who actively support each other’s music. The biggest question was, could these uncharted times actually provide new opportunity for musicians like these to record and distribute new material and still make a living from their craft? And if so, what would that look like?

Oh, how I wish I could say that we came up with the bones of Brite Revolution that night. Alas, it was only a few months later that Winn really did figure out a way to possibly change the music business and answer the questions we postulated that cool Fall evening… and the Brite Revolution had begun.

Brite is easy to describe, which usually separates the wheat ideas from the chaff ideas. Subscribers pay $4.99/month, and they get access to full ownership of Brite’s entire catalogue. The catalogue goes through a staggered monthly rotation, with each artist releasing one new song every month. Each song is brand new, and exclusively available for two months, and then it is gone. It goes back to the artist to use as they will.

From that $4.99, portions go to Brite and to the artists, a portion goes to the artist’s choice of charity, and a portion goes to the subscriber’s choice of charity. So, in one clean electronic transfer, an artist’s music has been enabled, charities have been supported, and a customer gains access to handfuls of quality music. You can go there yourself and check out the roster. It’s killer music on there, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. If you want to browse around and kick the tires, the first month is free, and you can cancel any time. (I now officially feel like I’m writing ad copy). At any rate, you should just go check it out because the site looks so cool.

In all seriousness it is a bold new idea, and the Rabbit Room seems like the perfect place for a conversation about it. Its one click away at www.briterevolution.com.


9 Comments

  1. rob

    Earlier today I was checking out the latest on Matthew Perryman Jones and he mentioned Brite Revolution as well. Hope to sign up soon.

    Randall, we’re really enjoying your Blue Bird EP. We used to live near Columbia, MO and caught you a few times at The Cherry Street Artisan. Now we’re closer to St. Louis and hoping your travels lead you here soon.

  2. Aaron Roughton

    “Each song is brand new, and exclusively available for two months, and then it is gone. It goes back to the artist to use as they will.”

    Can you explain this (if you’re bored)? I’m just wondering how this will work for someone releasing an album. Would it take 12 months for a fan to acquire a 12 song album? Or from the artist’s perspective, will the album’s release be delayed if they choose to release any portion of it this way? Or are we talking about a paradigm shift away from the traditional “album” as we know it to a more fluid interaction between fan and artist?

    I’m excited about the site. Seems like a great way to stay in touch with the latest music from the artists you enjoy.

  3. Sean w/o an H

    I’m totally stoked about this whole deal… signed up for my free month and plan to stick around, since I’ve already grabbed 53 mp3s, 28 from artist’s i’m absolutely crazy about. This is great idea, and I’m really looking forward to the future of this project!

  4. Profile photo of Randall Goodgame

    Randall Goodgame

    @randallgoodgame

    About Aaron’s question:
    “Or are we talking about a paradigm shift away from the traditional “album” as we know it to a more fluid interaction between fan and artist?”

    If an artist wants to save up the songs and make an album from them, he/she can. But like you point out, I think the model accounts for the trend toward buying songs that you like from artists that you like. It helps artists afford to make a record over time, or allows them the opportunity to keep releasing music between albums.

  5. Andy Vandergriff

    Randall-

    I just joined Brite, and downloaded a slew of songs-and your versions of the songs you wrote for Caedmon’s are awesome, man. I’m totally loving it.

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