Want to know how the music industry is going to make money in this piracy-heavy digital distribution age? Take a look at Led Zeppelin.
Last night, its long-awaited concert in London got such hugely rave reviews, people are begging and pleading for the band to go on a worldwide tour. This was the band's, first full concert since breaking up 27 years ago, with its three surviving members, and the late John Bonham's son, Jason, on drums.
The band sold out the '02 arena in London, but it's a huge understatement to call this a hot ticket. Over 25 million people (yes that's million) registered for a lottery for the 20,000 available tickets that sold for 125 pounds (that's nearly $250 dollars) each. This wasn't making the band rich--proceeds went to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which was founded by the eponymous founder of Atlantic Records.
Did the rockers still have their mojo? I wasn't there, but it sounds like they rocked it. They played all the classics: "Stairway to Heaven," "Black Dog," "Dazed and Confused." And for the first time, the band played "For your Life," LIVE. And singer Robert Plant showed that he still can belt it out with the song "Ramble On." ANd they performed for over two hours.
Here's the thing with the music industry--the CD business is dying, and digital downloads won't grow fast enough to compensate. But people love going to concerts. And names like Led Zeppelin can pack an arena, and their audience is old enough that they'll buy tickets, no matter what the price. So it's this kind of concert, and the kind of tour that would make millions and millions.
Who makes money? The artist, and the concert prometer, the largest being Live Nation. So sorry music labels, you've got to figure out how to get into the concert tour business!
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