When I get asked this question, it’s usually by young bands who have developed something of a following through touring, by being really active with their online promotion (typically via MySpace) and by keeping and maintaining a healthy and regular online mailing list.
Their idea is that they would like to perform concerts that fans in other geographic locations could ‘attend’ by going to their website and watching a live webcast of the event. Their second choice is usually to record the concert and post it on YouTube (or similar) and embed it on their site.
Now, it has to be said that live streaming is generally expensive, resource intensive and a bit of a pain – especially if you want more than a few people to watch at once. There are solutions to that, which I’ll discuss – but it’s worth mentioning that there are all sorts of other variations on the theme.
I’ve had this question in a number of forms. The most common one is the artist who doesn’t really sell many CDs through retail, but every time they perform live, they go through 20, 50 or even 100 CDs over the merchandise table. The question is – if I make the leap to mp3, who’s going to buy that to take home as a souvenir?
A similar question is the one about music as a gift. The simple fact is that it’s quite difficult to gift wrap an mp3. CDs have long been a great present to buy. Simple, personal, and always well received. Buying someone downloaded music doesn’t have the same give-ability.
I’ve even heard this question as ‘I’m essentially a busker. But I make decent money selling my CD wherever I play. Should I change what I do?’. These are all essentially the same questions: when the physical characteristic of the recorded medium is the main point of the purchase (ie: tangible souvenir, presentable item), how can digital files replace physical products?
Its aim is to provide useful resources, advice and strategies for innovation and success in the independent music sector in a rapidly changing technological environment.
NMS examines emerging technologies (and buzzwords) such as AI, blockchain, metaverse and 'Web 3.0', but focuses primarily on sustainability, music as a tool for social change, participation, equality and inclusion, and the ways in which music technologies can build better worlds.