Peter Gabriel Takes 'Sledgehammer' to Old Music Models

'Personality of the Year' Shows Hope for Marketers, Artists

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Music veteran Peter Gabriel was lauded as a visionary this week when he was named "Personality of the Year" during the annual MIDEM international music conference in Cannes.
We7 recently hit one million downloads.
We7 recently hit one million downloads.

Gabriel has invested significant sums of money and energy into various forward-thinking new ventures and business models, including a joint venture with leading UK VC Ingenious Media, who will finance his future albums and receive a share of revenue from his back catalogue.

His latest venture is the recently launched the We7 internet service, which allows consumers to access free, legal music downloads by inserting ads ad into the start of each song. Whilst ad-supported download models have sailed into stormy waters in Cannes this week, Gabriel's We7 has been received favorably by the advertising community. Gabriel also acknowledged that art and commerce will be inextricably linked in the future.

From the LA Times:
"It's climbing in bed with the devil," he said shortly before the award dinner at the Carlton Hotel. But the day of keeping the two-segregated may well be over.

"I'm a big fan of Neil Young," Gabriel said, "but the artist who has complete control of his music and keeps his music completely apart from advertising is probably a thing of the last century."