Does This Mean We Can Expect a Live Nation “iTunes Convenience Fee”?
This year, Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, will put on some 22,000 live shows–each one attended by carping about the asinine “convenience” and “courtesy” charges the company likes to tack on to ticket purchases. Funny, isn’t it, how quickly a $28 show can become a $50 one?
But much as concertgoers might loathe the idea of giving Live Nation (LYV) even more of their money, they may soon do so. Because beginning today, the company is offering exclusive audio and video recordings of some of its events through Apple (AAPL) iTunes. Prices start at $7.99, which seems astonishingly reasonable for live recordings of this quality. More so when you factor in Live Nation’s involvement.
Not an original idea, by any means; Metallica, Primus, The Pixies, Phish and others have been peddling soundboard recordings of their shows through their official sites for years now. But this is the first time, I think, that we’re seeing the live side of the music business really leverage iTunes and its massive installed base.
And, let’s face it, this is a great idea, indeed. I saw two live shows in the past few months and happily paid $10 and $14 for soundboard recordings of each. But I had to spend some time seeking them out, creating a new customer profile, etc. It would have been much nicer to just fire up iTunes and buy them both with one click.