What’s Your Take On Music Artist Membership Sites?

In my last post I was talking about the decreasing numbers of paid downloads that the industry is worrying about.  And lately the reports of decreasing ticket sales and canceled tours hasn’t helped any.

But as I also mentioned, entertainment is a lagging indicator of the economy.  And, of course, the exorbitant ticket prices don’t do any good either.  I would love to go see BB King this summer, but don’t have the extra$80 plus service charges to dole out for it.  $20 and I’d be there in a heartbeat.

I think the lag in ticket prices is overdue.  But at the same time, some of these tours with pyro and dancers and all that are really expensive to produce.  Maybe it’s a matter of looking back and seeing what happened in the big band era.  When it got too expensive to bring 18-20 musicians on the road, small combos became the thing.  That kept things manageable.

And the comedy industry is no different.  $20/ticket plus a two drink minimum adds up for a night at a club.

So where can the artists make their money?  Ideas like sponsorships (more ads, ack) and licensing are always talked about.  A new one that’s popping up a lot lately is the idea of a membership site.

A good example is Metallica’s club. Basically, for a yearly fee you live recordings, fan club merch, contests, advance tickets, maybe some private show stuff.

I like Metallica a lot.  I mean really a lot.  But how many live versions of Seek and Destroy do I need?  Though the opportunity for hanging out with the band and such is cool, I’m not a member.  But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m probably too preoccupied with my own artistic career to be a megafan.  I don’t think I’m the norm.

I can’t think of any music artists that I might pay to be in their club.  I am a member of D23, Disney’s club though.  The difference?  It’s not my industry and it’s stuff I can’t do myself.  And for some reason I’m more excited about meeting Dave Smith (head of the Disney Archives) than James Hetfield at this point in my life.

So here’s my question for you.  Because I am considering doing a membership club of my own here at some point.
– Are there any artists you like enough to join their membership site?
– What would they have to offer you that would make it worthwhile to spend $20-$40 a year?

Leave your comments below…

Phil Johnson

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What’s Your Take On Music Artist Membership Sites? — 1 Comment

  1. I don’t know that I’d subscribe to anyone’s membership site right now, to be honest, though like you, I’m also thinking about creating one of my own. And part of my hesitation is just sheer frugality during tight economic times. :-}

    That said, I’m a huge fan of my friend, Cosy Sheridan, and if she ever offers a membership subscription I’d perk up my ears. What would I hope to get for my annual subscription? Live tracks. Recordings of rehearsals and creative hash-it-out sessions, believe it or not. The behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t get at a concert or on a CD.

    Which is great to realize, because it makes me think about what I might offer with my own membership site! Hmmm….

    Thanks for getting my wheels turning, Phil!

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