Even as a one-woman band, the San Fransisco native’s musical tools consist of a cello, A Mac Book Pro, and her relentless drive for creating music. Her music has become the definition of avant-garde by incorporating a multitude of electronics with an unparalleled depth, and has fans worldwide clamoring for her work. Keating has used her keen business ability to develop a fan base that has capitulated her to No. 1 on iTunes Classical four times throughout her career. Her last album, “One Cello x 16: Natoma,” sold 30,000 copies without the aid of any marketing money.  Zoe has accomplished all of this while wearing a number of hats, including acting as her own manager, producing all of her own marketing and promotions, and relying on touring to create a buzz. Keating, who started as a musician in 1996 and went full time in 2002 before the internet gave her the opportunity to broaden her fanbase and create new streams of revenue, credits her gift of foresight of new mediums as one of her keys to success.

Despite being a visionary and working for a software company involved in one of the most technologically progressive areas in the world, Zoe doesn’t see streaming as the wave of the future because it hasn’t added to her bottom line. “I would always hear a lot of people saying streaming is the future,” Keating said. “It’s been my experience that it may not be the case. In my particular case, my audiences are spread across different genres, and it’s not a monolithic answer. Different genres of music will still be distributed in different ways. For more mainstream music such as Lady Gaga, I think streaming will be a relevant way of generating income. I don’t think this is going to hold up in the realm of art music. With that said, I am not opposed to streaming. I just think it will become another method of consumption rather than a dominant way in which people listen to music.”

Currently, Keating’s revenue is split between iTunes sales, physical sales, and song licensing, which is about a 60/40 split considering the only merchandise the self-proclaimed, hard-core environmentalist sells at her shows is physical CDs.  Keating also expressed concerns about the potential harm streaming could cause for independent artists who are trying to establish a voice. “I’ve never seen any money off of streaming,” Keating said. “There is no way for me to make any money off of streaming, and I’ve tried.  If streaming is the future of music, I worry about how independent artists are going to fit in. I think streaming will have relevance, and become more prevalent in the future. The field of music is diversifying. This is great because before, everything was too monolithic. CD’s, MP3s streaming, and music distribution will just continue to be diverse and vary from genre to genre.”