The Cadence AMA
Concert Safety, NFT Follies and Lackluster Live Streaming
Thanks to the folks who submitted questions. It was easiest to combine a few themes into general questions.
Is it safe to go to concerts/festivals with the Delta variant?
Submitted by Dave and David and Lucy
Safe is a relative term that we’ll leave to scientific experts to define. But one thing that is clear is that the Delta variant is causing some chaos during what was supposed to be the “greatest concert season in history!”
To our knowledge, the only policy change so far is the decision by the Dutch government this week to cancel all summer festivals. But it also seems that the market is making its own decisions. There are still tickets available for Lollapalooza in Chicago this weekend, which is unheard of. Then again, it’s also the first mega-event that didn’t have people holding on to unused passes from 2020. It will be interesting to see what other shows can sell the full allotment of tickets without a pre-COVID headstart.
And then there is the announcement by Live Nation to “celebrate the return to live concerts” by offering $20 seats for dozens of tours, from Brad Paisley and Lil Baby to Maroon 5 and Megadeath. A sure sign that tickets are not moving the way many had hoped.
Let’s just say it’s probably a good thing that the SBA is finally approving Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (10,000 venues approved for $7.5B in relief, so far).
Are you still falling for the NFT hype?
Submitted by Stacey and Pete
Josh: All of my ETH is staked for ETH2, so I’ve not had the chance to buy any hype of my own.
But as Cherie Hu pointed out in her Music NFT Market Update, Q2 2021 report, total music NFT sales (and all NFTs) dropped more than 90% since the peak in March, but the average price of music NFTs actually inched up. So maybe this is what an actual collector’s market looks like.
The trend seems to be selling NFTs with lots of off-chain incentives, like royalty rights or a personalized “soundtrack of your life.” But at some point, you gotta ask why mint an NFT at all if the value is all IRL. I’m also confident that blockchain will lead us to some pretty cool new solutions in the near future. Collectible NFTs are not the end-all.
Chris: The majors have never seen a cash grab they didn’t like (well...who doesn’t) and are still going to try to get into the space. I just hope they can see past the obvious hype and explore the technology and future-facing propositions. You would think there was something learned from that silly Napster situation….right?
Remember when live-streaming concerts were going to save the industry? What happened?
Submitted by Simon
We all got some weird ideas during the pandemic. The reality is that events without the hedonism just ain’t that much fun.
Last weekend I saw a plane flying up and down the Malibu coastline advertising the Bob Dylan live stream on Veeps.com, the premium ticketing company owned by Joel and Benji Madden that pivoted to live streaming during COVID. The reviews were largely positive, but no word on how many folks actually paid $25 to see it (which usually means not many).
We do know that Kanye’s listening party for DONDA broke Apple Music’s streaming record last week. And Lollapalooza is streaming on Hulu this weekend, which is exciting as it would be pretty great if big concert events became regular fodder for premium services (the way Pay-Per-View brought Woodstick 94 and 99 into the living rooms of America).
And speaking of Woodstock 99…
What did you think of the HBO Woodstock 99 documentary?
Submitted by Zach
We’re thrilled any time any sort of music-centered story can break into the larger cultural conversation. It’s also pretty fascinating to watch what was probably the most valuable music brand of all time continue to immolate itself. OK boomer.
Some people can’t follow directions.
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The most salient statements from this week’s news.
1. Tyler, the Creator Shares Hilarious New Converse Ad Featuring Vince Staples, Henry Rollins, and More
We always thought Rollin’s was a ride-or-die Vans guy. Did someone forget to renew his contract?
Takeaway: An extended version of the short, the running time for which is significantly boosted, was also released on Twitter and Instagram by Tyler himself.
The traveling event will pop-up in 15 cities with mountains of merch and hi-res listening station.
Takeaway: Each location will see the labels set up one-day event featuring two tents full of LPs, 45s, cassettes, CDs and limited editions including colored vinyl, out-of-print items, vintage goods and merchandise from across the labels' catalogs.