Fanista: Amway Is Selling Music

Would you like to hear about an incredible, life-changing opportunity? Just say no.

As a native Grand Rapidian, I am no stranger to the Amway business model. While none of my friends have ever gotten sucked into a pyramid scheme, pretty much everybody I know has a relative who has worked for the notorious soap behemoth. Turns out now Amway is getting into the ever-blossoming music industry! The New York Times has the scoop.

Here are the interesting tidbits:

• If your friend joins and buys something, identifying you as the reason for joining, you get 5 percent of the sale in cash or credit.

• Alticor (a/k/a Amway) is Fanista’s sole financial backer.

• Alticor generates about $6 billion in annual revenue.

• Amway pleaded guilty in 1983 to defrauding the Canadian government and paid $25 million in fines.

More after the jump…

• Fanista founder Daniel H. Adler is an entertainment insider who formerly worked at the Creative Artists Agency and Walt Disney.

• Celebrities, attracted partly though Mr. Adler’s contacts in Hollywood, will be members, while the company also hopes to get exclusive access to certain new releases from studios and record labels.

• 12 percent of physical album purchases are made over the Internet.

• Fanista’s multilevel marketing, also called affiliate marketing, has a bad reputation because it can be confused with illegal pyramid, or Ponzi, schemes.

• Multilevel marketing is legal if money is earned on sales of products. The technique becomes illegal if participants are paid primarily for recruiting new members, or if they are required to buy more product than they can sell.

• In the 1980s, Amway owned a large string of radio stations. And the billionaire co-founder of Amway, Richard DeVos, has contributed to Gospel Communications, which distributes evangelical films and operates a popular Christian Web site.

• After seeing a Bruce Springsteen concert in 1978, Fanista founder Daniel H. Adler “weaseled myself backstage and asked him to autograph a dollar bill.”

Getting the Boss to deface currency is a nice metaphor for the current state of the music industry. Or something. It’s all about the money. And weaseling your way to the inside, so you can get close to celebrities. I’m sure Fanista will do just fine. If not, I’m sure Adler will have a good time blowing through several million dollars from the DeVos and Van Andel coffers. Well, I’d rather they burn their money on some pointless web startup than funding more right-wing, Fundamentalist kookiness and war profiteering.

Check it out: Fanista.

Via percolator.

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