I just read this post by Cory Doctorow, which I think has some great ideas for musicians. He is taking some of his ideas from extensions of ideas artists have had (he mentions NIN), but I think in the greater clamor now for micropayments, it is also worth examining the idea of macropayments, as part of a general philosophy/idea about how to go about getting paid for your work. The whole post is worth reading, so click thru, but some choice pieces:
“I don’t care about making sure that everyone who gets a copy of my books pays me for them — what I care about is ensuring that the everyone who would pay me decent money for a book has the opportunity to do so.
“In an ideal world, people without a lot of discretionary income are given the electronic edition (which costs [nearly] nothing to distribute) for free. They act like the breezes that loft the dandelion seeds — they go around, telling people about the book and its merits. In this regard, they’re better than random breezes, for they undertake a directed distribution of the book, seeking to bring it to the attention of people who are likely to have a positive response to it.
“Once the book lands in the hands of someone who does have discretionary income, that person is given a multitude of opportunities to engage in a commercial transaction with the writer and her publisher.
“Taking someone’s money is expensive. It incurs transaction and bookkeeping costs and it incurs emotional and social costs. Micropayments have historically focused on eliminating the cash overheads while ignoring the intangible costs. For a writer whose career might span decades and involve hundreds of thousands of readers, these costs cannot be ignored.”