It often comes up in conversations with managers and labels that they are contemplating doing a "live record" release in the near future, and are therefore hesitant to do something with VNUE because of that. Given the number of times this comes up, I thought I would take a moment and share the differences between VNUE experiential products, and standard retail-released CDs and other products.
Since the dawn of the record business, bands and labels have put out live records. These albums traditionally capture the live excitement of the show, and fans have always loved this kind of thing. However, with the advent of technology, and the Internet, we all know in this industry that recorded music sales overall have taken a fairly steady slide over the years. This is highlighted by the recent announcements of such major retailers as Best Buy, who are pulling CDs off the shelves. Others such as Target are exploring the option.
Yet, bands and labels still opt to spend tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, to release traditional CD/DVD sets either D2C (Direct to Consumer) online, or through other means.
What they do not realize is that the shift from this type of product to more "experiential" products - such as our instant live CDs made famous by DiscLive - is well under way.
VNUE, and through DiscLive and set.fm, our exclusive brands, produces live concert recordings in pristine quality, and releases that content to fans right after the show. Typically we follow a tour and capture every night, so that fans get to relive THEIR experience, which becomes a cherished memory of the show with their favorite band.
What most folks don't know is that this is a completely different product than the aforementioned live record, and that content we record for fans on the night can then be repurposed to be included with the more classic DVD/CD set. They are two different products, destined for two different audiences, yet by utilizing content we have already amortized in our business model, artists and labels can spend less and still achieve additional revenue from the original recordings we produced.
Case in point is our work with legendary performer Peter Frampton. DiscLive (as Abbey Road Live), recorded over 100 shows with Peter on his "Frampton Comes Alive 35" tour, all of which were sold as limited edition collector CD sets, and are still available online. After the tour was over, Peter went back and picked out his favorite songs from the shows along the way, remixed them, and released a CD/DVD set through Eagle Rock Entertainment.
So, not only did Peter realize revenue from our experiential products, he also realized significantly more upside by offering the traditional CD/DVD combo after the fact. Fans were able to get the product(s) they wanted, and the revenue opportunity was extended with a much lower cost factor by not having to send more crews out to record what was already being recorded.
I would encourage any artist who is considering a live record to reach out to VNUE first, to see how we can create a win across the spectrum by connecting the artist with the fans through our unique products, and pushing up the bottom line by leveraging our ability to repurpose content. As I often say (and my co-workers probably are tired of hearing), our "instant" products are only the touchstone of the bigger opportunity.