I guess touring isn't going to save music . . .
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#1
27th May 2010
Old 27th May 2010
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Touring is not the Soultion : Imogen Heap Cancels

well, this sucks.

Quote:
Imogen Heap says touring's too pricey as record industry sales slump

Wasn't touring meant to be the panacea for falling album sales? Except that the British singer-songwriter and Novello award-winner isn't finding it like that

Imogen Heap says touring's too pricey as record industry sales slump | Music | guardian.co.uk

Quote:
Which leads us back to the key question. If an artist like Heap - adored by her fans, making copious use of social media such as Twitter, Flickr and MySpace - can't make it work in the modern world despite touring like a Trojan, and having devoted fans, but without selling truckloads of CDs or getting major label investment, might that really mean that the big labels - so reviled in so many corners - actually are needed?
#2
28th May 2010
Old 28th May 2010
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thanks for sharing, what an interesting article... though very depressing. both as a musician and a music lover.
#3
28th May 2010
Old 28th May 2010
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lagavulin16's Avatar
 

It sounds like she needs to play smaller venues, or is choosing to not play for the amount she is capable of earning.

How many unsigned bands do you think would jump at the chance to tour for half of the money she could make?

But there is a point in fact that some artists aren't really worth seeing live. It's really genre/fan base specific.

Miley Cyrus can make a fortune touring, some rock bands like Built to Spill are just amazing to see live, and other artists simply don't have a base or genre that people are interested in paying for.

Who are Imogen Heap's fans anyway? I know she made some good money licensing that song to various movies and commercials (ruining it for me TBH) and even among the diverse group of people I know who love different kinds of music, I don't know anyone who would really be interested in seeing her.
#4
28th May 2010
Old 28th May 2010
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lagavulin16's Avatar
 

Reading the article, it really sounds like it has less to do with fans wanting to see her and more with her tour expenses and getting gouged by the monopoly of venues and ticket providers out there.

Which is a different problem we should discuss at some point.
#5
28th May 2010
Old 28th May 2010
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Amber's Avatar
 

I think she has made a fair bit of money for her tracks appearing on the OC etc. I'm sure I read once that it paid for her house (or maybe studio in her house).

I'm a fan of her and think what she does is interesting. I thought her last album was a bit bland however and seemed full of filler tracks.
#6
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

I'm a fan.. Will see her show when she comes here this summer.
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#7
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
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The irony of course, is that it appears she doesn't need much to put on a compelling performance!

#8
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
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Amber's Avatar
 

^Yeah, I thought that as well. I wonder if she travels with a tech?

From pictures I've seen in her studio (which is the basement of a house) it must be a pretty big and expensive house considering she lives in London so I don't think she's doing too bad. Maybe she just wasn't going to get as much money from touring as she'd hoped. Or maybe she just can't be bothered for how much she'll earn?
#9
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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Neenja's Avatar
 

What a strange article. I would say that anything not directly concerning her from it should be taken with a grain of salt. Record sales are up AFAIK (even in a recession) and though touring is expensive she makes a decent living from ways that didn't exist in the supposed golden age of the music industry.
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#10
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neenja View Post
What a strange article. I would say that anything not directly concerning her from it should be taken with a grain of salt. Record sales are up AFAIK (even in a recession) and though touring is expensive she makes a decent living from ways that didn't exist in the supposed golden age of the music industry.
respectfully, AFAIK sales revenue does not appear to be up:
BBC News - Downloads up as album sales drop
Music's lost decade: Sales cut in half in 2000s - Feb. 2, 2010
Analysis: The Real Story On Track and Albums Sales
http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_...s/dmr2010.html

there may be a report I've missed to the contrary, if so please share.

thanks
#11
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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#12
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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Imogen Heap is a fantastic and talented artist. I saw her a few years ago, and am looking forward to her show when she comes through town on this tour. The article was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing it.
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#13
31st May 2010
Old 31st May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neenja View Post
You could try reading the ones in your links.
I must have missed the part where any of them state overall recorded music revenues are up. If you could highlight that for me, I'd appreciate it.

AFAIK, individual song downloads are up, year to year, and all digital sales are up year to year - but as yet, both combined are not enough to offset the revenue losses of declining CD sales.

In other words, total aggregate recorded music sales revenue is down.

But, if you can show me where those links report to the contrary, I'm happy to see it.

Thanks

as for Imogen... what is interesting to me is that if she were signed to a major label, given her sales history, fan base and social media awareness - she would get a tour support advance no problem (especially if they're dragging a couple of catalog releases as well).

Under the DIY model she either has to not tour, or at a level she believes appropriate, or find private equity investors.

Which is an interesting turn. Would private equity invest in tour support? How would that ROI look different from a label deal, better or worse? Either way the artist requires more financial support to build or maintain their career than they have themselves.

However, as devils advocate the Eagles don't appear to be having this problem. But then again, Imogen Heap is not an artist in that strata. So here again we see - old model built something that is lasting through years of investment, new model being cut short because of a lack of investment.
#14
31st May 2010
Old 31st May 2010
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petermichael's Avatar
 

i haven't read the article yet, geek. but i thought narco mentioned that she did have major label involvement already? i enjoy the heap very much, but do not see her being a arena show, but rather a smaller venue show, like dido.

something is not washing with me on the premise.

deadmau5 mentioned losing his backside on the amount he spent touring, but he considered it an investment. i think if you're losing money in any area after achieving a high level of success, that there is a missed step, or a large ego involved.
#15
4th June 2010
Old 4th June 2010
  #15
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The comments section in the Graunaid is always more revealing than the article itself. Some succinct and valid points are made in this case.
#16
7th June 2010
Old 7th June 2010
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goldphinga's Avatar
 

Ive always said that that its a myth thats been perpetuated that touring is some sort of golden ticket to offset the loss in revenue from record sales. As is the myth that self distributing music is a golden ticket too.

Plus, proper touring is a costly business and mostly runs at a loss. Festival gigs with bigger fees can offset things a little but otherwise its tough.
#17
7th June 2010
Old 7th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga View Post
Ive always said that that its a myth thats been perpetuated that touring is some sort of golden ticket to offset the loss in revenue from record sales. As is the myth that self distributing music is a golden ticket too.

Plus, proper touring is a costly business and mostly runs at a loss. Festival gigs with bigger fees can offset things a little but otherwise its tough.
Fortunately the losses due to touring are offset by the losses incurred selling recorded music.
#18
7th June 2010
Old 7th June 2010
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medearis's Avatar
 

Plus, all the vibes one is subjected to while on tour.
It's a great feeling, just networking and making friends outside of where you live. Of course, different touring circuits lead you to meet different folk and into different types of 'trouble'. The fact that you're out on your own, vibing with people, being able to play your music/instrument (which IS what you love, right?!) nightly and maaaaaaybe make a dollar/break even is enough to make me quit anything and start packin' ye olde van again.

I would love to see Heap, but I'd like to without paying a heap.
Funny how it works, we all want to get paid for our shit but we're so reluctant to pay more than $XY to see something we really appreciate.




**** money.
Grrrr.
#19
8th June 2010
Old 8th June 2010
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AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frisbieinstein View Post
Fortunately the losses due to touring are offset by the losses incurred selling recorded music.

lol, don't know whether to laugh or cry...
the truth hurts!

(thanks, you made me laugh!)
#20
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I think this situation is analogous to many other situations in modern life -- the really big bands get filthy rich from touring and the average guys struggle
#21
22nd June 2010
Old 22nd June 2010
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I just saw her this weekend at the Greek in LA. Her current show, with live players, is entertaining, incredibly musical, and one of my favorite concerts in a long while. She is an absolute phenomenon.
The place was about 2/3s full. We got discount seats for $17.50, but there was another $6 per tagged on for various middlemen. If a person of this caliber and networking skills cannot make money on the road, that is a very discouraging sign of these times.
She should get on the jam band circuit. They make boatloads of money, and I can't imagine anyone not enjoying the the show she gave Saturday. There is alot more to her than Hide and Seek. As incredible as that piece is, I hope it doesn't end up being her "More Than Words", pigeon-holing her career.
To anyone interested, a great recommendation to see her live this time around.
#22
22nd June 2010
Old 22nd June 2010
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adpz's Avatar
 

I guess touring isn't going to save music . . .

At least not this summer.

Musicians hit by brutal summer on concert circuit

Besides cancellations, I wonder how if the earbud generation is losing their interest in supporting live acts. If you are used to watching football at home with the fridge close by, it's difficult to drag yourself to a frigid stadium in November for 4 hours.

The often-grimy ticket process certainly doesn't make it easier, nor available for spontaneous action.
#23
22nd June 2010
Old 22nd June 2010
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I think between tivo, youtube, mp3 players, pandora radio, etc that the attention span of youth today is dwindling down to a matter of minutes or less. Kids today don't even listen to the albums they steal, they just take the one song they like and throw it on their ipod and forget about it. They don't have the patience to "learn" all of the other songs on those albums, let alone go to a concert and have to listen to them all when they could be texting or checking their facebook.
#24
23rd June 2010
Old 23rd June 2010
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It's a little bit easy to blame kids or fans laziness when the reality is that live shows overall price keeps raising when peoples income doesn't follow.

Live shows have to compete with all the entertainment out there, and that make a lot of rivals.
#25
23rd June 2010
Old 23rd June 2010
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TRANQUILO's Avatar
 

its all lame stuff

Nobody has any money! This economy is all F*cked up and the Jonas Bros. are lame anyway!
#26
24th June 2010
Old 24th June 2010
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adpz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ran_ks View Post
It's a little bit easy to blame kids or fans laziness when the reality is that live shows overall price keeps raising when peoples income doesn't follow.

Live shows have to compete with all the entertainment out there, and that make a lot of rivals.

I'm not blaming anyone in particular. It is a multi-factoral thing.

Higher prices do keep some people away - but as you say about competing - I rightly question whether the current generation of music fan really does value seeing someone in person. If something is valued highly, then demand for that thing is pretty inflexible. Obviously, the demand for the current crop of touring acts is rather flexible.

The point is made over and over by the youngest segment of music fans that the music should be free and the act should make it up on live shows. Leaving aside all the other complicating issues, I doubt the current generation of music fans have the stomach for helping acts "make it up on the road".

As someone else has noted, when you are used to having 100 types of "relationship information" thrown at you by a band you like, it lessens the need for, and changes the relationship to seeing them in person. In the same way as when you keep tabs on friends on Facebook it actually makes you less likely to contact them otherwise, as you already feel connected to them and aware of what is going on in their lives. It's a voyeuristic and passive "relationship" - but that's apparently what people are in to.
#27
24th June 2010
Old 24th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpz View Post

I rightly question whether the current generation of music fan really does value seeing someone in person.
I always wondered about that. Since the goal of modern pop acts is to sound exactly like the recording, why go see them? You get to see the star strut back and forth and wave her arms. Is that really worth $80?

Well, it's not my problem.
#28
24th June 2010
Old 24th June 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Higher prices do keep some people away - but as you say about competing - I rightly question whether the current generation of music fan really does value seeing someone in person. If something is valued highly, then demand for that thing is pretty inflexible. Obviously, the demand for the current crop of touring acts is rather flexible.
But at the same time, it was easier to see value in going to live shows when you had less "entertainment" options to choose from.

This is where I see competition. If you have a lot of valuable options, it will be more difficult for everyone to attract attention. You'll have to upgrade your game... and keep in mind that "rivals" will upgrade their too.

Quote:
The point is made over and over by the youngest segment of music fans that the music should be free and the act should make it up on live shows. Leaving aside all the other complicating issues, I doubt the current generation of music fans have the stomach for helping acts "make it up on the road".
When it comes to big pop / rock acts, I don't think that the majority of people going to see them are doing this to "help" them. They go to the show to enjoy a good time with friends, family, date... So again, if they have more options, they will split their time and money between these options.

But I agree with you that live shows are not the magic cure to music business. This work great for some, but absolutely not for everyone. This is no news to me. I never bought the fact that live performance was the only answer. tutt
#29
24th June 2010
Old 24th June 2010
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga View Post
Ive always said that that its a myth thats been perpetuated that touring is some sort of golden ticket to offset the loss in revenue from record sales. As is the myth that self distributing music is a golden ticket too.

Plus, proper touring is a costly business and mostly runs at a loss. Festival gigs with bigger fees can offset things a little but otherwise its tough.
I can't back this up for sure but I have seen this with my friends, artists I am around, and out of the mouths of some road managers I know...because artists are not really relying on albums sales, many more artists are touring. Less people are familiar with their music, less people are willing to pay much money for bands that arn't their favorites, and venues are able to pay less than before and still have someone perform. This is from other people, again, I can't back it up.

I do think you are valid though, an album that doesn't do well, especially one that doesn't recoup it's cost, is bad promotion and leads to problems touring. I won't say that touring isn't profitable, I see people making money all the time, but the better your album does, the more you get paid and the better venues you get. I know it's simplifying things greatly but I think that poor album sales are now spilling over to touring.

Secondly, new artists have it even worse than ever. They can greatly outsell an artist that has been around for 10 years and still struggle to get a gig. We don't have the same system where the new artist can grow like the old. That's another issue with touring. It has been a "veterans game" for a long time, it just seems like the new artists suffer more than ever and it may just get worse.
#30
24th June 2010
Old 24th June 2010
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John Moran's Avatar
 

Live Nation and touring in trouble?

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