Fan recordings of concerts, especially the good ones (from YouTubers like "The Real Concert King"), might be one of the most popular things on YouTube. I know I love them. Within hours, you can see what happened the night before at practically any show of consequence. It's a beautiful thing.
And while some bands are OK with bootlegs, it's really not right. I'm not sure about The Real Concert King, but lots of "tapers" use YouTube to tease recordings of full concerts they sell outside of YouTube.
YouTube and the music industrial complex could nip this practice by moving to a format where any act with an interest can facilitate a livestream. Charge whatever the going rate might be ($1.99, $2.99, $5.99, market price) for each show in each city on each tour. You can couple pay-per-view concerts with merchandise sales, offers to subscribe to services such as Pandora and directives to download songs from Google or wherever else.
How do you combat the possibility that some people might opt to stay home, avoid the crowds, save a couple bucks and watch their favorite band from the comfort of their own living room? Or, instead of seeing multiple shows on a multi-night stand, attend just one?
Use the National Football League's convoluted blackout system. If the concert's not sold out, it's not available on YouTube. As such, YouTube could bill itself as
Your ticket to sold-out events
But if you're a fan like me, when your favorite tours, you'll be at all the local shows regardless. And you're likely to travel to a handful or more.
There's money in this for everybody. And,
too busy trying to pump its mobile ad business and the iTunes Store
(AAPL - Get Report)
probably hasn't even considered getting into such a mess.
Something makes me think Google
thought about this. Heck, maybe they're already doing it and I have just missed it. The way I had no idea I could watch Bruce live from Rio until seconds before he took the stage.
Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.