Make the music free and sell the show

Post ImageChris Anderson’s post today at The Long Tail is about the music industry and provides a really good analysis of what should be happening with music. Essentially, bands should give the music away for free and make their money on live shows. He explains:

Music as a digital product enjoys near-zero costs of production and distribution–classic abundance economics. When costs are near zero, you might as well make the price zero, too, something thousands of bands have figured out.

He points out that the average price for a ticket increased 8% last year, reflecting demand. Indeed the fastest growing part of the music industry is live performances, up 16% in 2006 in North America.

And don’t think that live shows are not profitable. They are extremely profitable for the artists, just not for the record labels. Chris includes a list of the top ten grossing touring bands of 2006 – and their numbers total a truly astounding $970.3 million.

I say – goodbye record labels, hello free music and awesome not-free shows!

Read: The Long Tail

8 thoughts on “Make the music free and sell the show

  1. An unrealistic viewpoint.

    That "near-zero" for the equipment, production, recording and living expenses in the mean time is a 2nd mortgage for some peopel.

    Free stuff on the internet (except for a handful of major ad-sponsored sites who have the clout) as a way of starting a business (and a band is a business) is about as likely statistically as your child becominga major sponsored celebrity player in a MLB/NHL/NFL/etc. team. Not impossible, just unrealistic.

  2. … then add in the cost of promotion for live events. This is were someone says "internet, internet", but for every one person that makes it big there are 100,000s that don’t. People in the world just simply don’t have the head space for more than a few celebrities in mind at once.

  3. Haha I just figured something out. This is completely off topic and random but when I am at http://www..blogosphere.ca the peoples flash buttom works. However, when I am at blogs.blogosphere.ca the peoples button does work. It has been bothering me for the longest damn time why sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t. Quite a relief to finally figure it out I must say.

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