Written By: Jim Markunas
Photo Credit: Thomas Northcut
The revolution has come and gone, now it's time to talk about money. In this multi-part series, I'll be focusing on positive solutions to the music industry dilemma.
My first discussion is how to maximize DIGITAL touring income.
"What's digital touring income?" you ask. Good question!
We're all familiar with traditional touring income, yes? (Band goes on tour, sells tickets to fans; said fans purchase tickets, money trickles to band, promoter, venue, label (if applicable under 360 deal), etc. Maybe said band also secures some sponsorship dollars from Vans or Winterfresh gum as well - This is how it's been done since the beginning of time, and the model still holds up today.
I'd like to discuss how the digital sphere plays into touring income.
Traditional New Media - In the internet age, the press has moved from print to online. New Media departments, in addition to securing band and record release write-ups on blogs, zines and social networks, are now able to post tour dates in real time with links to buy tickets from Ticketmaster. This has been going on since the inception of the artist website and is nothing new. It's effective (more so than sending fans to the venue to buy tickets) and makes ticket purchase easier on concert-goers.
How we can add to this...
New Spheres of income - What if tour dates could be further leveraged to generate digital income? Bible-belt band, Hinder, came up with a physical way to leverage tour income - They record their live set from the venue's sound board and offer a free burned CD of the live show with purchase of their $15.00 UMG release. Brilliant!
It's a "free" (but not really) give away that stimulates sales. However... physical records are pretty much dead. Therefore, bands should use this same concept in a digitally appropriate way.
Let's say Papa Roach decides to do the same thing: They record their live set via the venue's soundboard; they've also brought with them a few computers with iPod docking stations. The deal then changes to: Fans purchase a digital download of P Roach's live performance for $10.00. The performance is put onto the fans iPod right then and there along with a free copy of "Metamorphosis."
Global Broadcast - What if I live in Guam and I want to see Papa Roach perform in Los Angeles? Better yet! What if I'm in Chicago and I want to see Papa Roach perform in Los Angeles? I'm basically screwed unless I wanted to pay for plane tickets to L.A., hotel, and car rental fees. Bummer, right?
Picture this... Papa Roach goes on tour, as usual, but PRoach Riot members (members of Papa Roach's fan club) have the option of purchasing what's called a "digital season pass" that allows them to see every Papa Roach concert appearance via the internet in a live and/or "on-demand" fashion.
This would be uber-cool on many levels! Imagine never missing a single show from your favorite artist; you would be in heaven. This transforms a local concert in Los Angeles to a global concert across the world. As an added bonus, this solution will enable labels and artists to squeeze yet more money from sold out concert dates.
Yes, this solution can significantly increase your profits bands and labels. You're very welcome!
Jim Markunas is a music industry futurist and editor-in-chief of Chicks With Guns Magazine. Jim has a decade of new media and music industry experience, he's run highly successful new media campaigns and has worked with James Brown, Miles Davis, The Walt Disney Company, Truckee Brothers, Mick Fleetwood, and Minty Fresh Records. Currently Jim's focus is monetization strategies for record labels and digital business development. He's a free agent available for hire.