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Will Middlemen find their way on the Internet?
By Doug Chick

The Information Highway is more than just the flow of information between two nodes; itís an access point to information and merchandise that before required a middleman to facilitate--In fact, lots of middlemen. Direct sales are a huge advancement for companies that have in the past relied on third party vendors to sell their wares. All that is needed these days is an Internet Connection, packagers and an overnight delivery service. But what middlemen will feel the effect most from the Internet? Lets begin with Music and Books, or Musicians and Authors.

    Most Musicians receive a small fraction from their recordings. The record label and producers are very nicely rewarded for the sweat and talent of others. And of course once they are able to over market these people for a faster cash turn around, the recording artist are discarded with little cash and a habit that they cannot satisfy.  As the Internet grows, it opens up a medium that will allow these people to market themselves without signing away their soul. This means that they keep more of their proceeds, more control of their music and more time to work on their art. They may sell less, but if they are keeping 95% of their sells, apposed to 5% they still make more money. Not to mention being burnt out by the constant demands of their owners. What music would there be in the world if some of these artists were able to mature naturally? We may never know.

   Authors face similar challenges with having to market through a publishing house. Like recording artist, authors are under strict guidelines on what to write.  Write what has already been proven sells. In other words, publishers that control story line and content control what we read. Which may be a direct line to how we think. Self-published authors have brought us some of the most beloved novels the world has ever read. Despite being turned down by publishers that told them their work will never sell. Hopefully the Internet will allow a higher level of self-publishing so authors can have a voice that otherwise has never been available.

    Template marketing, that is, music and books that have been molded to a specific demographic audiences gives us a world filled with boy bands and books about wizards. Not to say that there isnít a place for them to share, but with middlemen in control of what we hear and read just to appear to a target group, a more creative voice will never be heard.

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