Trama Virtual (TV):
This is a Brazilian net label founded in 2004 as part of Trama, one of the largest recording studios in Brazil. Trama Virtual is a web-based distributor for independent musicians. Trama Virtual allows free music downloads and pays artists directly through advertising revenue from different sponsors that change every two or three months; Ray- Ban Sunglasses, Banco Real or Sol Brazilian beer are some of them. Trama Virtual has uploaded more than 35,000 songs by 14,000 Brazilian artists. Its database is one of the biggest about Brazilian music. The web has around 150.000 downloads of songs or videos every month. The interesting thing is how they have created a business model that makes everyone win: users, artists, and sponsors. Every month the sponsor total sum is divided among the most popular artists who have been downloaded. The total amount of money earned by sponsorship and the download numbers are showed on the website permanently. The new model for music business is a good idea in order to pay the creators of the cultural product. It is not a great deal because the amount paid to them is not so much, but is a good option for independent musicians for distributing their works.
This Brazilian network brings together Brega-style DJs and musicians who perform at parties and weekly concerts to finance their operations. They distribute their music to make their network known and give street vendors the rights to sell their personalized CDs. At a mere US$1.50, the CDs are highly affordable by the local population, thus providing greater access to the music at a grassroots level. For independents, they enjoy widespread popularity. Techno Brega reflects the philosophy of Brazil’s Ex-Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, who supports new policies that have made copyright more flexible, such as the Creative Commons, a free tool for licensing intellectual property. Since Techno Brega does not have a Website, the network has not been able to expand further.
Tecno Brega and its alternative business model has emerged in the city of Belem in Brazil. This parallel music industry has been active for years and has achieved great success. Several hundred new Tecno Brega records are produced and released every year by local artists, with both the production and distribution-taking place outside of the mainstream music industry. The tecno brega model is simple: the music lies outside the realm of traditional copyright and is used as a method of marketing events. Every weekend the “sound system” parties attract thousands of people to the outskirts of Belem to listen to the Tecno Brega “sound system” weekly parties. The parties are advertised by the distribution of the music itself. The numbers are incomplete, but the Belem scene alone brings in yearly revenues of several million US dollars.
The goal is not for artists to make money on conventional CD sales. Instead, the price charged works exclusively as an incentive for the local vendors to sell the CDs and in effect market the tecno brega parties. The artists thus make money through innovative business models related to the sound system parties. One such example consists of artists recording their live concert sets at the parties in real time and then selling the recordings at the conclusion of the event. This enables the audience to go home with a souvenir of the concert they have just attended. Another technique utilized by the artists is to acknowledge the presence of various people and neighborhoods in the course of the live presentations. Hearing such acknowledgment is greatly valuable to the audience– naturally people want to hear a “shout out” to them, their friends, or their neighborhood. As a result, thousands of people buy copies of the live CDs to have a permanent memoir of this form of homage.