Home Stand

A decline in sales forces Suburban Home Records to scale back.

The second step involves taking a more grassroots, viral approach to new releases. Rather than hiring publicists and college-radio promoters as it has in the past, the label will take whatever marketing money has been earmarked to bring the music directly to the fans. To that end, Dickerson has started pressing CD samplers in-house with songs from various Suburban Home acts, which are then distributed to anyone interested in helping spread the word. Interpunk.com has also consented to put the samplers in with its mail orders. If this tactic is successful, Dickerson will expand the program. Because like it or not, digital music is here to stay.

"There's gotta be some serious changes to the business plan, or everything's going to fizzle out," he concludes. A book he's just finished reading, The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution, may have a viable solution. "Music becomes like a utility, like water or gas, where everyone has unlimited access to it, but you only pay a small amount per month," Dickerson says. "And that small amount, coupled with the number of people who pay for it, will support the entire industry."

Sounds like Rhapsody to these ears.

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