When I was young I heard music on the radio. I would get excited about a picture in the newspaper of my favourite bands. I could never get or afford tickets to their shows if they came through town. But I’d hang outside the venue hoping to hear a warm-up, or ANYTHING.
Obviously those days are long gone, along with much of my hair.
You can find YouTube videos from almost any show for any big name artist on tour these days. Heck, during U2’s 360 Tour I would manage to find, and post, fan videos for almost every single song from each show. You could basically watch the entire live show via delayed video.
As the music industry has changed and the money from physical, and even digital, sales has all but evaporated, touring has become one of the few money makers for most big bands. For small bands who can only charge a few dollars, they’ve had to change tactics, focus on merchandising and some innovative ideas like signed song sheets and online funding ideas.
An idea I’ve been wondering about for quite a while now is something I’d love to see happen. Major bands have been doing pay-per-view type events which can be major money makers. Smaller bands just don’t have the clout or the exposure to do that sort of thing. And with the world of streaming taking hold via things like Spotify and Apple Music, can live concert streaming be far behind.
Well, we’re already seeing elements of that. U2 has been working with the company Meerkat and streaming a fan filmed portion of their show via the Meerkat app. You can read more on that here. Which is all great and well for bottomless money pits like U2. How can this help smaller bands?
If smaller venues could team up with an online partner, or even do it themselves, to live stream concerts and charge even a dollar or two, the potential to provide much needed capital to both the venues and the bands could be a great boost. Imagine you’re a fan of a band in the UK or Africa or Australia. A venue there live streaming a show for very little dollars could, instead of a few hundred people in the hall, could bring hundreds and potentially thousands more into the fold. The band would get additional cash. The venue would have more money to keep running. Could be a win-win.
I follow bands from all over. In places like the UK, up-and-coming bands have very loyal followings, especially by teens. A band playing to 200 hundred people with a loyal following could bring in many more from afar.
Of course there would need to be additional paperwork with the venue, deciding on revenue splits and such but as long as everyone plays fair, it could be good for all. I would love to see this start happening and grow. I’m curious if anyone has any thoughts yay or nay on this.