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Forget piracy. The music industry’s biggest money-loser.....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
  2. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    some good points there.

    "If the headliner’s ACTUAL stage time were posted, more people might not feel going out was a dice-roll on how long they’d have to sit there waiting. I think, if opening acts were three songs long, people might actually become interested in opening acts, but it’s a terrible that people adjust to the fact that they’re usually being conned into sitting in a bar longer."
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Excellent points. Most of my gigs are attended by the over-30 crowd.
  4. Killens84

    Killens84 Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Thanks for posting that. Very good article! The guy's on the right track
  5. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Good stuff. Our most successful gigs have been those that agree with his suggestions.
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    My god, I could have written that article. I have been talking about this to every bar owner that would listen for years. I gig primarily in a suburban town, where most adults have kids (and day jobs, and babysitters), and just aren't going to hang out in a bar until 1 or 2 am. Shows that start at 9:00 clear out by the end of the second set, since the third is just too late for most people. Since most venues here are restaurants, a 8:00 start time would capture the dinner crowd and end at a more reasonable hour. More butts in seats, buying drinks and eating food. Only one venue around here has gone to earlier show times, and they have greatly benefited from it.
  7. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006
    There's quite a bit of truth in that article, but there's also a lot of crap.

    First off as someone in their 50s I resent the implication that what I want from a gig is a sit down and listen to some insipid muso wank with their "well-crafted songs". I still want the same things from a gig that I did when I first started going to see bands - something exciting and entertaining that makes me feel good and worth going out of the house for.

    IME people don't really "mellow out" as they get older. Those who listen to what I would consider blander music have been listening to stuff like that since they were teenagers. It's simply a taste thing not an age thing.

    Earlier gig starts might be a good idea for the audience, but from the musician's PoV they are almost totally impractical. No one's going to tell me that musicians who are also holding down a 9-5 (at least) job are going to be able to get away from work, get to the venue, set up and sound checked ready to begin at 7.30.

    And certainly here in the UK there are plenty of older audiences who are still up for excitement. My band Dick Venom & The Terrortones straddle several genres - psychobilly, goth, garage punk - all of which have enthusiastic gig-goers of all ages from teenagers to people quite a bit older than myself They all want to see some musically and visually exciting rock n roll.

    And in the current musical/economic climate what can a record company offer a 40-something musician to make it worth their while? At that age the biggest obstacle I had to writing songs and playing in a band was the fact that I had to spend a sizeable portion of my day at a paying job in order to get the money to live on and more often than not after work I would find myself too physically and emotionally drained to want to play. To make a proper go at playing and writing music you need to remove a lot of the other (necessary) distractions and that will require a lot of money to replace the normal income. Young people are cheap in this respect. 40-somethings with families and other financial responsibilities not so much.
  8. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Hmmm... some good points. Early start times are just a good idea, period, no matter what your audience's age. A big chunk of the high school audience and even the college audience will start to clear out around 11 PM, too.

    I like the minimum drinks idea. Has anybody tried it in real life?

    The vast majority of bands already play music catering to the over 30 crowd, including bands made up entirely of younger people. They seem to want to play it at hours and volumes that their audience would have liked a couple of decades ago, though. And that is a problem.
  9. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I agree with the overall premise of the article. In my opinion the reason the music industry is having a problem with older consumers is that it has become more about image than quality. There are a few exceptions but for the most part in todays music its about how you look. Too many people are relying on things like Auto-Tune to sound good.
  10. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006
    IMO looking good is just as important as sounding good. If as musicians you appear in public and people are going to see you then you should make some effort to be visually interesting, otherwise the venue might as well just play CDs instead of having live music.

    Plus moaning about Autotune is the last refuge of people who don't have any decent songs or know how to perform.
  11. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    This article seems like a good idea but it is sort of chicken and egg problem. The author mentions comedy clubs but there already are comedians. The trick is getting a good number of artists and venues to meet this demographic which is tricky.

    I agree with the earlier poster who pointed out that adults don't necessarily want a seated venue with "well crafted songs" (this does sound like code for boring because shouldn't all songs be fairly well crafted unless you are playing something extreme), but the venues catering to adults do need to be different. I am 31 and still go to show all the time, I play in a band, and I write for a music blog, so I don't really mind going to dingy places where smaller bands play but I know that many people my age or older don't feel the same way. There need to be more upscale sort of places for these bands but getting people to invest that kind of money is difficult with no product. After all how many more House of Blues can there be?
  12. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Thinking about this some more, I think this is excellent advice for cover bands and for established originals acts who already have a lot of nostalgia value, but not sure if it's really good advice for new originals acts. Would large numbers of middle-aged people really get into anything new and unfamiliar, no matter how well it was marketed to them?

    Looking at the guys over 30 who've broken into the mainstream recently, the ones I can think of - PSY, Rick Ross and Michel Teló - all did it by appealing mostly to people half their age. Though, admittedly, "the ones I can think of" is obviously going to be biased.
  13. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I went to a gig Saturday night by members of a local well-known band in the '70s and the leader comes back to MKE a couple of times every year. I walked in and everyone was sitting at small tables. Granted, it was a smaller, older crowd but it seemed like mostly old friends. Still, it was a bit odd to see so many sitting. OTOH, the guitarist, who's 62, made a comment about the bass player being a few months older but in my book, that's really not old anymore (I think I have to believe this because I'm only about 7 years younger). After the first set, a bunch of people left, like it was getting close to their bed time but the only younger people there know some of the band members and I seriously doubt they would draw a younger crowd, even if they advertised for a month because the younger locals may not have heard of the old band, or this one.

    It was a bit like watching a band fade into obscurity, right in front of me.

    It's a lot cheaper and easier to sit at home and watch videos on a surround system with a big screen than to go out and have to pay for dinner/drinks, parking (maybe not), deal with a sitter, other people who may not act like they know how to act when in public, weather and if the band is unknown, the disappointment of hearing music that may be bad, too loud or not what was expected/preferred.

    Peoples' priorities change over time and going to see a band stops being close to the top of the list as they age. I think the ones who went out to see a band when they were younger will go out for this if the band was an old favorite or if it's something really special but far fewer are interested in searching out new bands in a quest for new talent.
  14. therhodeo


    Feb 28, 2011
    Owasso OK
    Entertainment section of AARP Weekly?
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Watch out for assumptions and stereotypes about older people, and about genres. A couple posts have already suggested that the "mature" crowd doesn't necessarily crave sedate music. I concur with that. In fact, assuming that older people want to hear sedate, nostalgic music, might be the problem and not the solution.

    The jazz band that I play in attracts an over-30 crowd to a club with ample seating, and we start at 7:30. But if you go there for quiet, sedate music, you're likely to be in for a shock. Likewise, classical music is alive and well in my locale, and most performances present pretty lively repertoire, including 20th century music. The days of hearing the "greatest hits" at every concert are over.

    In my view one way to deal with our shrinking market is to improve the quality and diversity of our music, in terms of both genres and the kinds of venues that we play in. The problem of getting a rock band set up and playing by 7:30 doesn't necessarily have to be solved by rock bands. There are other genres with considerably less overhead.
  16. I would go out to hear a "good" band, if it were recommended by friends/a good reviewer/had a name.

    That said, if one goes out to a club, and the band is rocking, what about dancing? :p I just turned 60, but I gotta tell you, if the bassist and drummer are doing it right, my feet gotta move. My friends feel the same way. Where does it say the "older" crowd wants to sit all night listening? That would be a Concert. A Bar, or Club, is different. We're not ALL cripples! :hyper:

  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    That's a good point. I often play gigs / events that cater to an older crowd. Those places will hire a jazz combo because of many assumptions about both the audience and the genre: We tend to play quieter, set up quickly with minimal gear, and so forth.

    And then, after warming up with a few standards, we will throw in either danceable swing music or instrumental versions of classic pop tunes. And people will always dance. Not everybody, but enough to make it worthwhile. Those kinds of gigs always get us callbacks, or referrals for other gigs.
  18. Dancing jazz pop tune covers? My combo could do with a few of those please!
  19. To most of the under-25 generation, music has been free, or almost free, for their entire lives. This is not so, with folks over 30, who also have more discretionary income. Marketers know this, but, alas, the music industry seems to ignore it. Maybe the band name from the late 80's/early 90's was indeed a genuine prophecy: Pop Will Eat Itself.
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Anything with a melody can be covered instrumentally. The first thing that comes off the top of my head is Beatles tunes. Sadly, I'm terrible with the names of tunes. Also, some earlier generation dance favorites such as One-O-Clock Jump.