Working in ‘B2B’ (Business to Business) in the music industry is kind of like being Quasimodo. You’re not glamorous, you’re not sexy but underneath it all you’re working hard to the benefit of all.
An observation from the B2B side of the fence is that it is still cool in the music industry to focus on Direct to Consumer/Direct to Fan (‘D2F’). D2F is sexy, it is interesting and it is super-engaging (some of the stuff coming out these days IS incredible). It’s where the focus is, almost sometimes to the complete exclusion of B2B. We have no objection to the deserved attention that D2F receives as, after all, it is ultimately the consumer that exerts preference over music and drives the success of artists. Without D2F, B2B itself is kind of moot (who would want to synch a song that nobody liked?).
However, we believe that B2B is not an Ugly Duckling. Sure it doesn’t sparkle in the way that D2F does and isn’t as funky/sexy from an ‘I see how I use it personally perspective’ but it is important.
B2B deals with unexciting things like high value sales, contracts, processes and margins. The latter being the single most important in so far as it means money. More money for the rights holder that will flow through (eventually) to the artist and help finance the D2F initiatives.
The important point is that B2B is growing in the music industry, it makes rights holders money, which ultimately makes artists money and it can be a strong foundation on which to build and reinforce the D2F proposition.
We’re not asking for people to love Quasimodo or the Ugly Duckling. Just to pay it due attention. We’re not ‘cool’ per-se but it’s not ‘uncool’ to talk about B2B, look at it, address it and see if it can make money to drive and support D2F. To us that is cool.