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Music Today Is About Cost Cutting

Pibroch

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Multiple reports of the Brown concert indicated that the majority of the audience appeared satisfied, having a good time. And high on alcohol or drugs: from the video clips it certainly appears that way, (especially as the singing was so out of tune and generally abysmal). Haven't seen a single report indicating otherwise.

If I were in the audience I would have preferred it without the karaoke - just with Brown miming good studio recordings of his singing with the same excellent backing tracks.
 
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gmiller598

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While I do enjoy the music, the concert is almost more for the experience. I think they are better live now then they have ever been, even though their setlist is more present-heavy.
I think the addition of female vocalists alone helped quite a bit and Hayden Scott is no slouch on drums.
I just saw them in Youngstown last week. The first 2 times I saw them were before Covid in 2019 I believe. Very entertaining. They definitely go through the effort to put on a show.
 

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I'm curious about what you mean about you get what you pay for?

Tickets were 40-45gbp each and the show was sold out- and that venue holds 2300 people. You would think for over 100K just in ticket sales- even if he only got 40%- which I highly doubt he got that little- he could have afforded to hire some sidemen.

This was no $15 all ages show at the Mercury Lounge.
Because one main aspect of our income went away. So to cut to the chase, in order to make up for lost income, artists are attempting to maximise income from live performance.
Records are a huge part of the music industry, but most artists are earning nothing from streaming, not enough to even cover their costs. Of course the top artists are still doing well, but at least 75% of the industry relies solely on income from playing live.
 

Whitten

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True, there was a decent amount of money made that night, but I think the current climate is such that "I gotta get mine while I still can". You start looking at the final years of your working life, and that nest egg starts looking pretty important. Not like you can retire on your royalties anymore.
No, they are trying to make up from the huge chunk of lost income now no one buys records and streams instead. Streaming has gutted most musician's bank accounts.
 

vintagedrummersweden

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When I was doing lights for a band my brother was in, we played a large Swedish festival way back in time.
One of the other acts on the festival was one of the few I wanted to see. Then they cancelled and was replaced by... Nick Lowe! Just him and an acoustic guitar, and on some numbers just him and his bass. Saved the day and I can't even remember what the original band was.
But then he played, sang and spoke with both warmth and humor.
 

el_37

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Because one main aspect of our income went away. So to cut to the chase, in order to make up for lost income, artists are attempting to maximise income from live performance.
Records are a huge part of the music industry, but most artists are earning nothing from streaming, not enough to even cover their costs. Of course the top artists are still doing well, but at least 75% of the industry relies solely on income from playing live.

I think that is over simplifying it a bit- record sales never equaled much for anyone but the top tier of artists. Selling 15,000 records never made anyone a living- except for the pressing plant. I would think that 75% of the industry always primarily depended on the income from playing live- sidemen and hired guns don't tend to get royalties anyway.

The majority of the music business has and will always be anonymous people playing small gigs- usually playing standards and covers. Or toiling away in what is left in the jingle world.

I don't know how everything is setup for Ian Brown and the rest of the Stone Roses (i.e who owns publishing)- but the man is famous enough that he is making real money from touring. He probably made more that night than the average person in the UK makes in a year. The Stone Roses also sold well over 2 million albums in their career- so it is really on him if he couldn't make that work for him.

If you can't survive selling out 2300 seat venues at $45 a ticket- I really don't have much sympathy for you. The piddly amounts these guys tend to pay sidemen- I think it was just pure greed or laziness on his part.

Or he just doesn't really care anymore since the majority of the ticket holders didn't seem to care either- so why bother?

Time marches on- the income streams have changed in the music business since tastes certainly have changed. Even DJ's don't get hired anymore. Live music and albums aren't as interesting to the masses as they once were since there are so many other options to choose from these days.

Can you really blame them? Nobody really goes to the movies anymore or bothers much with books anymore, hires illustrators or goes to plays. But all of those vocations still have people earning money- in some cases major money.

The dynamics have changed with traditional forms of entertainment- but modern entertainment has also opened up opportunities for both traditional visual and musical artists- video games and streaming shows still need design, scripts, artwork, and music. The plus side of the modern world for musical artists is advertising and visual entertainment (films/video games/tv shows) now prefer to use existing songs rather than commissioning them- and this opens up opportunities for musicians.

The Steven Wilson thread on here had me reading some interviews with him and the discussions about his initial reluctance to allow his albums to be streamed and how he then embraced it.

One of his main points was that most people who stream his albums probably wouldn't have bought them in the first place- unless they were exposed to them somehow. Streaming is how that takes place these days, and those people who actually become fans usually end up spending money- be it on a vinyl record, a t-shirt or buying tickets to see him live.

The ones that don't- wouldn't have spent money anyway be it 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, or 2022.
 

Whitten

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I think that is over simplifying it a bit- record sales never equaled much for anyone but the top tier of artists. Selling 15,000 records never made anyone a living- except for the pressing plant.
That is completely incorrect. Where do you get that data, guess work.
Income from recordings made up a decent proportion of a musicians income. I made MOST of my income as a session musician on recordings. If the artist isn't making any money from their records there is no budget to pay studio musicians.
In the 70's and 80's, lower level artists survived on record company advances...this was a downpayment made against predicted record sales. I was paid by artists out of their advance ALL the time. We paid for tour rehearsals out of the record company advance. Touring usually lost money. Ticket prices were lower and everything else was more expensive than now, no budget airlines, fewer budget hotels.
Touring was a loss making promo to sell records. Record sales was where we recouped our recording and touring costs.
The whole punk, indie, house music and hip-hop genres were initially funded by record sales, through independent labels. You paid a couple of dollars to see these underground artists perform live, but large numbers of people started buying the records.
In the end, it is 100% a tech company myth that musicians never made anything from records, they created the myth to persuade people who were pirating records that they weren't hurting musicians and in effect not doing anything wrong.
 

Tornado

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No, they are trying to make up from the huge chunk of lost income now no one buys records and streams instead. Streaming has gutted most musician's bank accounts.
That's what I was attempting to get at.
 

Skinsmannn

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No, they are trying to make up from the huge chunk of lost income now no one buys records and streams instead. Streaming has gutted most musician's bank accounts.
I couldn't agree more.
I noticed when "Frampton Comes Alive
No, they are trying to make up from the huge chunk of lost income now no one buys records and streams instead. Streaming has gutted most musician's bank accounts.
I couldn't agree more.
I noticed right after the huge success of "Frampton Comes Alive" that the corporate gate keepers decided to get into the act. Lets face it, most musicians are not great businessmen. So the complete fleecing of an industry by corporate vultures commenced all while ignoring great music creation in the interest of more and more shock value at a live show.
Add auto tune, obscenely dressed females, no talent hacks on stage, recorded tracks and screeching your political ideals at your show. Big sigh.....
Musicians that create the music should be the big winners not multi national corporations. 2 cents.
 

prodigy4299

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What is rap and hip hop if nothing but a cash grab. Next one up, no talent needed, jump around on stage.

Milli Vanilli was the template to provide entertainment to the masses who don't care but want to have a good time.
Ah, yes. I knew I'd find it eventually on a drumming thread. Putting down popular modern music genres for the sake of... ?
 

Vistalite Black

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The first sign of "Music Is All About Cost-Cutting" will be double-drummer bands casting aside their redundant drummers.
 

Squirrel Man

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@Whitten - is the industry moving (or has it moved) to a state where the musical "middle class" is shrinking and a smaller portion of the population enjoys success?
 

Houndog

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What is rap and hip hop if nothing but a cash grab. Next one up, no talent needed, jump around on stage.

Milli Vanilli was the template to provide entertainment to the masses who don't care but want to have a good time.
Every genre has its “produced “ artists and it’s truly talented artists ..

Rap and Hip Hop do require talent , otherwise…………well …
 

jptrickster

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A friend and his wife , bass and piano(and they can play) have gone from full band to just the 2 of them with backing tracks. I can’t, so totally karaoke I’d rather stay home. I think I even saw the dreaded tip bucket
 

type85

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That is completely incorrect. Where do you get that data, guess work.
Income from recordings made up a decent proportion of a musicians income. I made MOST of my income as a session musician on recordings. If the artist isn't making any money from their records there is no budget to pay studio musicians.
In the 70's and 80's, lower level artists survived on record company advances...this was a downpayment made against predicted record sales. I was paid by artists out of their advance ALL the time. We paid for tour rehearsals out of the record company advance. Touring usually lost money. Ticket prices were lower and everything else was more expensive than now, no budget airlines, fewer budget hotels.
Touring was a loss making promo to sell records. Record sales was where we recouped our recording and touring costs.
The whole punk, indie, house music and hip-hop genres were initially funded by record sales, through independent labels. You paid a couple of dollars to see these underground artists perform live, but large numbers of people started buying the records.
In the end, it is 100% a tech company myth that musicians never made anything from records, they created the myth to persuade people who were pirating records that they weren't hurting musicians and in effect not doing anything wrong.

My understanding is a lot of income/profit is made off of merchandising (tour programs, T shirts, etc.) sold at the concert. That is where most bands make money touring.
Zeppelin was unique in that they (Peter Grant) completely changed the rules and demanded a 90/10% split from every venue of the gross box office receipts! Not only that, Grant had his "boyz" at the mangers office demanding payment in cash either before or right after every show, Zeppelin always made money and never got ripped off, well, ok just once:

 

Pat A Flafla

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From a wide angle historical view, we're probably just exiting the peak bubble of an artificial economy that enabled musicians to get paid the most any musicians will ever get paid. We were in it so it seems normal, but I'm pretty sure when viewed through time's lens, it will appear as though it was an extraordinary phase and we're returning to normal.

(The artificial part has to do with what turned out to be only temporary difficulty reproducing recorded material, and record companies being able to get laws on their side.)
 
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Tornado

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A friend and his wife , bass and piano(and they can play) have gone from full band to just the 2 of them with backing tracks. I can’t, so totally karaoke I’d rather stay home. I think I even saw the dreaded tip bucket

Local small club live music is in such bad shape. I guess profit margins are so slim these days in the clubs that the only way to make any money is to go solo or duo. I don't know who's more to blame, the clubs or the public, but I think the base fact is that most local live music is barely bringing in enough revenue to pay for itself. And to the extent that it does, even $1000 a gig on a 4 way split is poverty in most cities, unless you're working 4 to 5 nights a week at that rate. I know of bands that do get paid very well from their base rate, but the amount of places that can pay it is very small so gig frequency is somewhat low.
 

Tornado

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From a wide angle historical view, we're probably just exiting the peak bubble of an artificial economy that enabled musicians to get paid the most any musicians will ever get paid. We were in it so it seems normal, but I'm pretty sure it was an extraordinary phase and we're returning to normal.

Historically speaking, that is true. But it doesn't make what happened right. Because there is still large amounts of money flowing around. It's just been re-directed away from the artists. Fair payouts from streaming would be a giant step forward.
 

bpaluzzi

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I think that is over simplifying it a bit- record sales never equaled much for anyone but the top tier of artists. Selling 15,000 records never made anyone a living- except for the pressing plant. I would think that 75% of the industry always primarily depended on the income from playing live- sidemen and hired guns don't tend to get royalties anyway.

The majority of the music business has and will always be anonymous people playing small gigs- usually playing standards and covers. Or toiling away in what is left in the jingle world.
That's not been my experience. I was never in a band that anyone here would ever have heard of, but we were big enough to be signed to a major label, get reviews in major magazines, spins on national playlists. We came around just at the end of the physical media, and we made _SIGNIFICANT_ chunk of our income from selling albums. One caveat -- we had an album in the can and ready to go when we got signed to Sony, so we didn't have to recoup any expenses -- it was all profit immediately for us.
 


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