What's the most striking or surprising DIY / ancillary revenue stream you've come across? Are there particular exemplars to whom independent artists should look?
Probably the most surprising one I've seen was a Swedish band who released a single with a pressing of one copy on vinyl which they sold complete with turntable on eBay. House concerts are a striking and fascinating move, though they haven't begun to reach their potential yet. I am also quite taken with artists creating handcrafted packaging as a means of giving people an incentive to purchase an object. The digitization of everything seems to lend new value to unique material objects.

I get a little wary of pointing to the two go-to exemplars — Trent Reznor and Amanda Palmer — who are brilliant but also somewhat inimitable. I would advise independent artists to keep an eye on the whole spectrum of ways that artists are finding new revenue streams and to think creatively about what might work for them. What works for one band at one time may not generalize to others, and what is creative and impressive the first time may be old news the second. I'd also point out that some of the tried and true methods still work — especially playing live. Not everything has to be reinvented, some of it just needs to be reinvigorated.

NANCY BAYM SPEAKS AT THE RETHINK MUSIC CONFERENCE APRIL 27 AT NOON.

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