“Many bands think of themselves as touring outfits that make records rather than the other way round.”
– Andy Copping, Live Nation UK
It seems that one thing that the digital culture of music cannot touch, is the live music experience. You simply can’t replicate that online. I mean sure, you can upload to videos on YouTube about the gig, but it’s never the same as to actually being in the thick of it. To me, there is no better feeling in the world.
Ever since the dawn of streaming services have arrived, live music has never looked so attractive to the published artist, and when a single play of a song on sites such as Spotify, totals to nothing but a sixth of a penny and one single gig ticket can accost you up to 20, you can imagine why.
It is simply more financially beneficial for an artist to organise a tour now, instead of organising a trip to a recording studio. Especially since how saturated the markets to purchase records has become since the dawn of everything being available to touch on the Internet.
This rising synergy is reflected in the stats too. The live music industry will grow to $31 billion in four years. Even streaming services cannot match this strength, with them rising to $23 billion by 2022.
Hell, U2’s tour in 2017 amassed 1.5 million tickets across North America, making it the most attended show of the year.
I know streaming services have taken over the purchasing of physical copies, but they are certainly a long way off from taking over the live music industry – you simply cannot compete with real-life experiences that consumers are constantly striving for.
That’s a huge margin compared to their streaming counterparts. But, it is certainly not an issue as it seems that streaming services play a big part in turning listens to ticket purchases. I mean, the consumers are one step closer to a ticket link, right?
With this demand, it brings new risks and challenges for the industry to keep up with. Music fans have risen their expectations on what to expect for live shows now, how much they are actually willing to pay a ticket and how big corporate companies are planning to tackle down those music bots that take away tickets from the actual fans who are planning to go see them.
This comes with greater expenditure from the festival organisers, gig promoters and big brand giants to out-do each other, and to battle for the same music fans. Music fans are now looking for a immersive, diverse live music experience with the “one-fits-all” ethos being thrown out of the window. It is important for the independent companies to always play to their strengths, appeal to the personality and brand you bring and NOT the big names you wouldn’t be able to afford to bring in.
This will always bring the opportunity for under-the-radar music artists to be seen far easier and quicker, when independent festivals scout them out for their originality, personality and overall music brand.