[linux-elitists] Re: pho: Tonight on Disney

Derek Vadala derek@cynicism.com
Tue Oct 23 04:58:51 PDT 2001

On Tue, 23 Oct 2001, Aaron Sherman wrote:

> to pay the artists royalties. There's the catch, though! The artists
> don't see squat. They get their money from concerts.

Very, very few artists on major labels make money from touring. It is, in
fact, a money-losing endeavor designed to sell records and
merchandise. Merchandising is usually built into record contracts from the
get-go. So most bands get fucked on those sales the same way they get
fucked on record sales. 

Bands that tour frequently tend to make more money when they tour. This is
simply because they get better at it. The Grateful Dead were a prime
example here. They were one of the only bands that consistently turned a
profit from touring.

Remeber that when you play a live show, and your a giant rock-star, there
is yet another evil enterprise taking your money-- the promotions folks,
like Bill Graham Presents.

I suspect that as years tick by, bands will figure out better ways to tour
profitably. Likely they'll play more 'secret' smaller-venue shows and sell
merchandise that their label doesn't have a stake in. Pearl Jam did this
by releasing 30 of their shows on CD via their fan club. The label gets a
cut of the CD sales, but not of the costs to join the fan club. Their club
allegedly generates a few million dollars in annual net revenue (I have
this information from a reliable source). Other bands release limited-run
vinyl to make extra cash. Major labels don't usually cover this kind of
thing in their contracts any more, because the market is so small.
Derek Vadala, derek@cynicism.com, http://www.cynicism.com/~derek

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