Yesterday I wrote about live music. Impossible to copy, share or P2P, live music is both thriving and profitable.
The Sunday Times today had an article on the subject – "Computer says get a life – and we have" by Simon Jenkins. His argument is that futurologists are not completely correct when they point to the internet as the killer app in music. The internet has made recorded music easy to obtain. But, Jenkins says, futurologists are ignoring what Imperial College historian David Edgerton called "the shock of the old", which is to say human needs do not change over time.
The only thing that changes is the market's way to supply them. Downloads are virtually free, but not sufficient. One thing people have always wanted is live art, live music. Jenkins says, "Last year sales of CDs fell by more than 10% and prices plummeted, while attendance at live concerts rose by 13% and prices soared". He gives examples – Plant/Krauss, Prince. He says the "fastest growing cultural activity in Britain is literary and music festivals."
"People like people. They crave the immediacy of human contact and congregation. They want to see those who inspire or excite them live, not digitised. And what they want, they will pay for."
Will it replace the money bands used to make selling records? Of course – if you can draw people in to see you. As Bob Lefsetz says in his blog, " If I hear one more "artist" complain that he can’t make any money selling recorded music I’m going to explode."
"And you’ve got to play live. Not only for the performance fees, but the merch fees. It would be as if you could sell during sex. […] High on the show people will blow money they’d keep in their wallet the next week, if not the next day. And, having spent their money on merch, they’re going to utilize it, wear it, spreading the word."
Here's a picture of Jimmy Page, just because we haven't had one for a while.
Sorry, uncredited photographer – I didn't see a name
associated with it where I found it.
Trackback for this entry: Live and In Person "My thoughts that Peromyscus did not address were about what Jenkins said regarding cd sales falling and live music attendance increasing. Recorded music is heading in the direction of becoming the promotion..."