Quite a bit of news has been made recently with regard to music, slumping sales, and the industry beginning to adapt to reality with labels facilitating their artists generating potential revenue or, more simply, the advent of the 360 degree contract.
I’ve long suggested the idea of selling ‘artist packages’, where fans of an artist can pay a fee and thereon experience/download more live content–even the idea of using fans to generate new live content.
Here’s proof that there is in fact a market for such content, live performances viewed on one’s personal computer: a record setting number of more than 9 million people streamed Live Earth (via Billboard).
In no way am I suggesting 9 million people would be in any way interested in viewing live content for a developing recording artist, not to mention paying, but I am confident 25% of those paying for content they can already have for free would.
I am also confident that, using a system such as that which The National/Beggars Banquet incorporated, artists & labels would find fans greet album releases with more enthusiasm from a consumer standpoint: the purchase of the album is just the start of the artist/fan experience, the consumer of an LP can also download a FLAC version and is emailed a link to a unique album site where they can download any live performances capturing songs from each album. Exclusive content/merchandise has been offered through artist’s fan clubs in the past, like Pearl Jam’s annual Christmas single 45s, a band that has also realized the value of live content and extent to which their fans are desirous of it.
With the advent of the iPhone and inevitability for the release similar consumer products, it seems like a no-brainer that there’s a market for something beyond merely the studio version of a single track.