Music Business: Destruction Continues

29 May
2010

For the past few years, we have been repeatedly told that the future of music business relies on giving music recordings away and then do extensive touring. The fans, apparently don’t  want to pay for the music, but they are willing to pay for a live experience. “It’s very hard in the beginning, but later on, as you become more popular, economics start making sense”. That was, in essence, what I have heard in every music business gathering. One thing that everyone seemed to forget is that there is increasingly high wall between artists and fans: concert venue & ticket sales monopolies.

The latest example, related to Imogen Heap is very illustrative. This Grammy Award-winning British singer explained to her fans that her current tour might be the last one for a while. And it’s not due to lack of popularity. As this article in Guardian explains, the truth is brutal. My non-scientific study on Twitter shows dozens, if not hundreds of fans listening to her tracks and telling everyone about it. And yet, she can’t make enough to stay afloat, as the vast majority of ticket price goes to the venue and ticket sellers.

In her own words:”Sad truth is touring US especially such a monopoly. Audience end up paying double ticket price to the venue @Seattle_D. Huge mark up.”

So, if you can’t make money by selling your music, and you can’t make money by playing live, not even as a Grammy winner, what else is left?

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