Pearl Jam Shuns Copy Protection For Concert Downloads

from the elderly-woman-behind-the-counter-in-a-small-town dept

Pearl Jam’s been at the forefront of digital distribution, choosing to use the net and go its own way after it fulfilled its record contract, a move that’s worked out well for them. The band’s got a history of making concert recordings readily available to fans, but now will sell unrestricted MP3s of its concerts just hours after they finish online. The recordings, which will be mixed on the fly by the band’s producer, will cost just $10 and include photos from the show. Pearl Jam joins a number of bands offering copy protection-free downloads of live shows, something that’s proven to be a very lucrative business for some of them. Instead of trying to turn their fans into criminals, these bands realize that making material easily available without stupid restrictions is something that people will pay for.

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Comments on “Pearl Jam Shuns Copy Protection For Concert Downloads”

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jeremiah (user link) says:


I think your analysis is a bit myopic, TD. Pearl Jam is no more on the forefront of digital distribution than the hundreds of thousands of artists inhabiting the’s,’s,’s of the net. Pearl Jam may be one of the most prominent *former* major-label acts to have gone “independent” (whatever the hell that means anymore), however, the fact that this endeavor is available to them in the first place is *only* because a major, corporate record label pushed their CD’s out to bazillions of listeners worldwide.

I think your current analysis gives the impression that Pearl Jam is somehow paving a new way for artists to be commercially successful in a digital world, when the reality may be the road was paved for them a decade ago and they’ve just been smart enough to stay on the beaten path, as it were.


Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

“Instead of trying to turn their fans into criminals, these bands realize that making material easily available without stupid restrictions is something that people will for.
Will pay for? Er, but they aren’t?
Will go for? Sure, who doesn’t like freebies?
Will forget?
Whatever really goes between the words will and for will determine if this continues.

Carlo (user link) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Will pay for — fixed, thanks.

Pearl Jam’s efforts are noteworthy because they are a major act that could choose to play ball with a major label again, but has eschewed that to go their own way. While they certainly aren’t the first band to go down this path, they have been a leader among their peers in evolving the typical record label-based business model.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Ah I see now, $10 a recording with pictures. Fine competition to this enterprising thief/music liberator’s $30 live cd and its nonexistent cover art. That’s why the label went along with it– to undercut the concert opportunists who were offering alternatives to the studio cds that have 3 songs you like and a bunch of crud written while sitting on the crapper. This wouldn’t be a big problem with b-list jam bands like The String Cheese Incident, but with big names like Pearl Jam it might affect sales of existing albums.

phish squirrel says:

Phish does this as well

They allow taping of their concerts, and even have bought old recordings to have a complete set of old concerts online.

I believe that there was a recent posting either here or on slashdot about the underground swapping of bootleg tapes that goes on.

Besides the fact that you can listen to the music that made your concert memorable, when you like it in the future, you also get a bit of extra from the live performances that you don’t get with the studio recordings, or even with “live” recordings put out. The live product usually is scripted more than most realize anymore.

Also improvisational bands like catching what they did for their own reference and learning, more than studio type performers. I imagine that this is the factor that will determine more what a band is comfortable with than anything else.

vruz (user link) says:

another band

Pink Floyd has been publishing their songs online entirely for quite a while.

Of course, they don’t play too often now.
It was also very easy to download their LIVE8 performance from torrents last july, in HDTV quality.

When you are one of the most important musicians in history, you have fame and glory guaranteed for centuries to come, you have 100 million in your pocket… what’s the point in making yet more money ?

Feeding the bureaucrats maybe ?

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