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i'm surprised that sean hasn't posted this here himself, but:
good piece, Mr A.
Both the original article, and Sean's response. I'm having a look at the data now, see if anything interesting comes up...
appears to say that live revenue will soon, for the first time, overtake recorded revenue as the main source of income for the industry.
but its a pretty flawed graph as it includes people like madonna and bon jovi and springsteen, who earn megabucks from touring but don't really shift any revenue.
sean goes on to point out that a lot of smaller bands are going to struggle if there are no companies to invest in them.
to the structuring effect of the big record companies in the area of recorded music.
but the big conglomerate venues too. As soon as an Academy opens up in a town all of the independent venues struggle
Not always with the crowd loving it. I would imagine the average festival goer wants to hear the classics, not just as an encore.
Also, it would be interesting to know if the Live revenue figures include merchandising (I suspect not).
I actually think this kind of thing (rather than the pseudo-controversial article on that thread) is exactly the kind of music journalism that I'd like to see more of.
It's a very good piece.
i got the distinct impression from previous forays that people just want DiS to be reviews of records, some interviews with bands people care about and news. i've restrained myself from writing things on the site which aren't well enough researched after the reaction to this http://drownedinsound.com/news/4136081-95-of-music-downloads-in-2008-were-illegal-dis-reacts-and-suggests-two-solutions (which admittedly is in the most read articles of past year)
i should ask this guy to do a column for us, should I? http://www.fingertipsmusic.com/comment_casual.htm
and maybe this one? http://juggernautbrew.blogspot.com/2009/11/music-is-different-business-it-should.html
some fascinating and clued up people out there blogging at the moment. everyone's searching for a solution or at least the right questions to ask.
I give my vote for more of this sort of stuff. Although I personally disagree with your blog post, the fingertips post and the juggernautbrew post, they're all at least ten times more interesting than reading what coffee Akron/Family like (not that they need be mutually exclusive!).
It seems then that aggregate demand for 'music' in all its forms has stayed relatively constant (or has actually risen slightly) in the last five years, but there has been a transfer between the proportion spent on recorded material versus live performance. Points about individual bands struggling are likely explained by the vast increase in the number of bands/artists involved these days (and the fact that it is easier via the internet to discover a wider variety of acts), meaning the total revenue pool is stretched over more bands which reduces the average revenue available to any individual act.
So maybe it is harder to be a financially viable band these days. I can't say this bothers me at all, for my only concern is the effect on the music artform as a whole. In other words, what net effect is observed by the reduced revenues available to musicians, making music a less attractive career/hobby VS the influx of many more creative people due to the ease of recording and distributing music as a result of technological advances? I'd say anecdotally that the general impression seems to be that there are more strains of genuinely innovative bands/artists that can reach an audience than ten years ago.
also, what do you all make of The Insider? I'm trying to get 'them' to do more http://drownedinsound.com/users/TheInsider/articles
is probably the best thing I've read here — and, indeed, select pieces from the rest of that series probably take out positions 2 through 5 in the list of all-time best articles on DiS.
So, yes, more please.
(or should that be "MOAR pleez"?)
further to the above i'm compiling a "true state of live music" investigative week on DiS, probably in the new year.
the figure was crazy, someone should have drawn a graph of supply and demand to show how demand goes up when the price is free.
In reply to the main thread, couldnt agree less with live music is in freefall, there is so much more going on now than in the past (developers are always going to be able to turn venues into more profitable flats thats nothing new), ridiculous residencies at the o2, new festivals every year, even 'niche' atp going from just about selling out one pontins a year to selling out atleast 3 butlins a year, lots of little venues having great music every week, I just think it is more fragmented and spread over more events so may seem like its declining
i didn't make up the figure. and i think what i was suggesting was far more sensible than what Mandy has ended up given the amber light to.
made a slightly better suggestion to BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8315873.stm :)
because 95% of downloads are illegal doesn't make logical sense. I assumed that is how you calculated the 48billion. People will consume alot more of something if it is free than when they have to pay for something
but infering that means that industry could be making £48 billion (£2.4 x 20 five percents) is the crazy bit, if illegal downloading was stamped out some of those 95% would pay but nowhere near all of them, people dont have infinite money they buy what they can and have to leave the rest
£5billion, that'd be double the revenue, non? By only getting 5% more custom, whilst leaving 90% of people still downloading? That's not exactly a leap or seismic shift but it seems to be too much or the record biz to fathom.
Personally I think making it harder to get stuff for free and easier to purchase high quality tracks/product is the key. I'm contemplating upgrading Spotify, which is the same price as Napster which I wouldn't think of buying. Then again, I think Spotify should only be a 'play once' or 1hr a day limit, rather than allowing me to listen to music all day and the Paramore album over and over, meaning I don't need to buy it (or, for me, bother spending the time to try to blag a copy).
People would rather buy an ipod or get faster internet connections, than pay for the music/music/tv itself. That's the problem the whole entertainment industry needs to find a solution for. Having said that, isn't cinema attendance, like gig attendance, at an all-time high? And aren't cameras, like guitars and recording equipment, at all time sales high too? None of which is quantifiable into a bigger 'industry' pot.
I could go on forever but it's Saturday and blah...
(2.4 + 2.4 = approx 5 billion), I think that is a seismic shift as I think the vast majority of the other 90-5% of illegal downloads aren't potential sales. Myself as an example, I buy about 3-4 albums a month, then download maybe a couple more, if I couldn't download them I would just be left with the 3-4 I would just have to leave the rest. I know other people will be different some people would buy a couple more if thats the only way they could hear them, and others who dont buy any now may buy more if they had to, but I think the vast majority buy what they can and download the rest, so if they couldnt download the rest there would be a slight increase in sales but it wouldnt match the level of illegal downloading, but yeah £5billion is probably a more realistic figure
It is is 100% more sales.
The difference is, for instance, I bought a Mogwai to check it out, following curiosity perked by a review in Melody Maker. This was a sale, something I persevered with and invested my time in it, as I had invested my money it. Now people don't do this, they just check it out for free. Curiosity purchases no longer happen and this is a major loss to the industry.
From my limited research, people who once bought 50 CDs a year are now buying about 10. Some aren't buying any.
Generates discussion and can be intersting from a different point of view (i.e. you get more emails from people who work in music than I do so have a level of insight)
you see a story that generates 147 comments as a *failure*?! as a sign that people aren't interested in those issues?
If it's the tone of the comments that you're reacting to, I'd suggest that it's got more to do with a reaction to and rejection of the *moral* basis to the piece than with a distaste for or lack of interest in such pieces.
"An even more striking thing, perhaps, emerges in this second graph, namely that revenues accrued by artists themselves have in fact risen over the past 5 years, despite the fall in record sales" I always suspected as much! I'm still convinced the problem if there is one is of perception, people not taking into account that being able to download albums for free massivly increases the number of albums being listened to leading to a massive proliferation of bands with good profiles who start wondering why bands of their profiles aren't making as much money as they would have in the past without realising it is because there is more of them and music fans dont have infinite money and that downloading may be the reason for their profiles in the first place, there is only so much money and it has to be spread over more bands rather than the money is going down. I will always think moderate success spread over lots of bands is preferable to the big success of the luck few system of the past, if illegal downloading was eliminated the number of albums listened to would naturally shrink massively, music would be worse for it.
a sense of confusion about the true realities that a collection of actual real life examples from both ends of each level of artists might do better.
So heres mine.
My band played to 45 people last night in Leeds, we piled into my car after arranging a kit and bass amp to borrow to save more than 1 of us driving. The night went well and personally i think we came across as the best act on the bill and got many people coming talking to us about us afterwards. The promoters even gave us a cut of door which was great as we only brought like 3 people. The cut bought us a macdonalds tea and our parking. During the night i spent £15 on drinks for myself and my broke band mates and £15 petrol getting there and back.
Does this bother me? No cos i had fun and strangers told me they liked our music. Would i like to do this more than once a week and it not cost me money? sure who wouldnt? if it never happends will i get jaded and stop wanting to spend £30 for such an experience or £100s recording songs, no. Why? I cos i love doing it.
semi relevant rambling over.