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MUSIC: Casandra Govor – Noua piață a muzicii live

Casandra este o româncă plecată de curând în UK care a ajuns Marketing Associate într-o companie de muzică online foarte importantă: INgrooves.

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Iată un articol scris de ea pentru blogul despre noile realități din muzica zilelor noastre:

In 2005, live was considered the golden goose of the music sector, all hopes were invested in the small venues and festivals, while pundits and executives preached it to be the future; the alternative to the sinking and piracy-ridden recording industry. By 2010, hopes were still up, but there were many issues to be faced: rising booking fees, rising ticket prices, and a slew of cancelled or underperforming concerts and festivals. Nonetheless, income from live was the primary reason (along merchandising) artists resorted to 360 degree deals.

How do things stack up in recent years? Festivals continue to be cancelled — especially smaller, regional ones, small venues are continuously fighting the red tape, (though some progress has been made in early 2013). Madonna exited the Live Nation agreement (one of the first and most discussed 360 deals) and signed a three-album contract with a traditional record label — Universal Music — which is not to say all 360 deals are crumbling, but there is something to be understood about the artists this type of agreement works for — and its reinforcement of the idea that a “one size fits all” solution is probably impossible to find for the music industry.

All in all, the 2011 UK’s PRS report “Adding Up the Music Industry” shows the live sector in decline for the first time in “recent history” — from £1.59bn ($2.51bn) to £1.48bn ($2.34bn), a 6.8% fall. The downward trend is blamed on the decrease in stadium tours, arguably caused by the lack of ‘giant’ acts (like the Rolling Stones, Take That, or Coldplay) touring and downsizing of medium-major artists and bands gigs. Although statistically it might be correct, I believe this approach is slightly simplistic. The way PRS is formulating the issue, it almost sounds like it was “bad luck” that it happened that no major artist toured intensively in 2010. Had this been the only issue, it’s hard to believe there was no such similar year in recent history.

Overall, risk adversity has increased due to the recession and, most probably a long-term analysis of previous under-selling gigs. This development might also be related to the age of the superstars: according to a Pollstar analysis of the top grossing live acts in the US in 2011, 40% of them were over 60, 19% over 50, 35% — over 40, leaving a tiny 6% to the 30 year-olds.

Moving forward, the trend continues if we look at overall gross incomes: some of the profitable music brands are related to artists who have passed away: Elvis, John Lennon, Michael Jackson — which brings me to the analysis of a curious phenomenon catching roots in 2012: holograms. But these virtual appearances aren’t the only way technology influences the live sector — and I will look at some trends below.

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