MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll -- But Is That Good Or Bad For Musicians?

from the taking-on-the-recording-industry dept

Major League Baseball's online arm, MLB Advanced Media (or just MLB.com) has always been fairly aggressive in trying to stretch out beyond just running a bunch of official baseball websites. The company, which apparently recently scrapped IPO plans over questions about who would get a cut, has tried in the past to run websites for other sports as well. Last year, they also bought Tickets.com so they could sell tickets to both sporting and concert events. However, now it appears they're branching out even further, doing a deal to help run the websites for various musicians -- including big names like The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West and Coldplay. From the perspective of MLB.com, this makes a tremendous amount of sense. While the record labels continue to stumble about as their traditional model is cut out from beneath it, the real money is going to be in selling other things around the content -- and an artist's website is going to be a key part of that. Many musicians realize this already, as the money they make from selling albums is tiny compared to everything else (concerts, merchandise, promotions, sponsorships, etc.). It always seemed logical for the record labels to get into the business of providing support for all those other things as well, but general musician distrust of record labels clearly has them looking at other options -- including Signatures Network, with whom MLB.com has done this deal. Of course, where this could get troublesome is that MLB.com often seems to have an even more draconian view of copyrights than the recording industry. After all, they've been claiming for a while now that the facts of a baseball game are owned by them -- even though you cannot copyright facts.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Bahh humbug, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 4:20am

    Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    "After all, they've been claiming for a while now that the facts of a baseball game are owned by them -- even though you cannot copyright facts. "

    MLB, NFL, NHL, RIAA, MPAA these are all dinosaur oligopolies of a past era who refuse to acknowledge change and adapt to it. How evil is it when a working class couple can no longer afford to bring their kids to a ball game? How evil is it when these kids hit the net to download a concert they couldn't afford to attend?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Ayesee, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    Not sure what baseball and basketball games you've been trying to attend lately, but even poor folks can afford to see a seasonal baseball or b-ball game. Football is a bit of a different aninmal, since each team only has 16 regular season games a year... so naturally, the demand is gonna be way up, as is prices. And as far as concerts, unless you're going to see a world famous name, it's rare to see tickets costing more than $20, which isn't outrageous by any means.

    But anyways, the step by MLB is the news here, not the business practice they'll be following... anyone with half a brain figured out in the late 90's that money wasn't going to be coming from album or ticket sales anymore... the licensing is what pays the bills.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Galley, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    1970s: "Hey honey, let's take the kids to a ballgame this weekend!"

    Now: "Gee honey, do you think we can afford to take the kids to a ballgame this year?"

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Nevermore, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    This is a logical step in MLB.com's evolution.

    If you are a baseball fan, you already know that the folks who do the MLB websites have put together a decent platform where fans can buy team merchandise and pay to watch or listen to games (archived or live). Since there are a finite number of MLB teams, they could either expand into other sports or take this step.

    In three years you'll be able to go to www.coldplay.com and find data about the band (tour schedules, historical info, etc), buy merchandise and pay to watch streaming video from their last concert.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Cathy, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    "Not sure what baseball and basketball games you've been trying to attend lately, but even poor folks can afford to see a seasonal baseball or b-ball game."

    Are you out of your fricking mind? In which better half of society do you live, get real pal...The poster Galley has got it DEAD on.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Sgt Stadanco, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 6:42am

    MLB

    "Not sure what baseball and basketball games you've been trying to attend lately, but even poor folks can afford to see a seasonal baseball or b-ball game."

    Like Hell, i took my kids to a braves game recently, it wasnt very expensive, just $15 for my 2 yr old, 15 for my 4 yr old, 20 for me, 20 for my wife, 8.50 for 2 hot dogs, 8.50 for 2 nachos, 14.50 for drinks. Here I am at 101.00. But wait, the only tickets I could afford were orange, er skyscraper, spire seats. Ive seen a baseball game before, its not all that amazing, However my son has not, to this day. He could not see a think and got very bored very quick. I sadly will not ever attend a sports function again, i could have spent far less cash and had much more fun.

    I was actually giving a breakdown of the "poor" family trying to see a ball game, and how affordable it ISNT.

    Also, in addition to this bullshit, the teams wanted a seperate paycheck to allow their fans to "mingle" before the game.....

    Does anyone remember when the athletes enjoyed their fans, signed an autograph for a kid, took a picture and didnt charge a second admission. I do.

    I give todays athletes a clean warm FUCK YOU, for their disassociation with the fans that made them who they are...

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 7:56am

    Real fans go to minor league games anyway.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Jefro, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    "Real fans go to minor league games anyway."

    Amen, they also eat at home rather than bitch about the price of food at the park.

     

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  9.  
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    chrisw, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 9:07am

    "And as far as concerts, unless you're going to see a world famous name, it's rare to see tickets costing more than $20, which isn't outrageous by any means."

    What? The last concert I went to was Steve Earle and it cost me $78 for 2 tickets. Only tickets I find costing $20 or less are for bands that play clubs or government sponsor shows. Arena tours? I think it is rarer to see a decent band for under $20.

     

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  10.  
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    Scarcity, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 9:11am

    Scarcity

    There is a limited supply of seats in the stadium. So, whos fault is it that they try to make use of the fundamental aspect of economics, supply and demand. Yes, if they are charging really high prices and there are empty seats then they aren't just making people mad, but probably losing money, in which case they will start charging less.

    If you really are on a tight budget, then be financially responsible and choose the expenditures that make sense for you. If you want to take your kids to a baseball game, then save up. But don't complain when you are also wanting to have everything else that society tells you you must have as well.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Patrick Havens, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 9:38am

    Baseball Ticket Prices

    Tickets to the baseball game can get really inexpensive. Tickets to the Oakland A's can be as cheap as $2 on Wednesdays (substidized by BART) and even if not they are under $10 for the cheap seats. Of course closer down you get the more expensive it is. But seriously baseball is not expenisve to go to.

    Now don't get me started on Football.

    As for MLB.com... it knows marketing so they have that going for them. But as has been meantioned they may the RIAA and MPAA look like lightweights in comparison.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Who Dares, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    "In three years you'll be able to go to www.coldplay.com and find data about the band (tour schedules, historical info, etc), buy merchandise and pay to watch streaming video from their last concert."

    In 3 years? You can already get all of that now on many artist websites. MLB.com is going to have think outside of what is already being done.

    One big hurdle is still overcoming the rights to the artists recording and performances. Those are the two things fans want most, and those are often the things still controlled by the label or a publishing company.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    AG Wright, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: MLB.com Wants To Rock 'N Roll

    Texas Rangers tickets are $14.00 for bleacher seats. They do go up to $100 but who needs to spend that much.

    AG

    http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/tex/ballpark/seatingchart.jsp

     

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