The Friday Morning Listen: The Kinks – Give The People What They Want (1981)

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Technology marches on, and this week it intersected in an interesting way with Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball tour. On the last tour, there was Twitter to keep us informed on the live set lists. Occasionally, somebody would attempt to stream the audio with their cell phone (which usually sounded like the E Street Band broadcasting from the Mariana Trench). This time around, people have managed to provide audio and video streams. The night before last, we got to see Bruce and the band right from the pit in Philadelphia. Pretty amazing.

Also, depending on your attitude about such things: illegal.

In fact, our friend in the pit was pulled out of there (and tossed from the arena) by security about two thirds of the way through the show. The security guys wanted to erase what he’d “recorded,” seeming to be oblivious to the idea of live streaming.

This brings me back to one of my favorite pet peeves about live music and modern technology: when, oh when, will the major labels and “upper echelon” artists realize that they’re missing out on a huge revenue stream by not productizing their live content? They seem to stick to this (ancient) notion that it will cannibalize their existing catalog. Well fellas (I’m assuming its fellas because I thought women might have more sense in these matters, but then I just remembered the RIAA and Hilary Rosen, so maybe I should take that back), in case you hadn’t noticed, people don’t appear to be buying music like they used to. Do you really think giving people more choices is going to cut into your revenue?

Just try (and I know this may be hard for you) to think like a fan. You just went to a show. You’re leaving the arena, head buzzing from the adrenaline. Wouldn’t it be just awesome to be able to listen to that exact same hunk of music again? Later on tonight, even?

I’m tellin’ you, if you made high quality downloads available at a reasonable price, you just might be surprised at the demand. Hey, we know you’re recording every single show with professional equipment. Are you storing that data in a vault for a future box set? Afraid that this new model is going to ruin that potential sale? Go ahead and release some stuff right now and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I know the fans will dig it.

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