Wednesday, 9 October 2013

'Official bootlegs'

Further to a previous blog entry 'Is bootlegging piracy?', this short entry explores 'official bootlegs'.

What's an official bootleg? Well, it's essentially a fancy word for a live album. Nothing more. It's a clever fancy word though (think 'b-sides') beyond being an oxymoron as it conjures up ideas of illegitimacy.

Pearl Jam are the market leader in the land of official bootlegs, making high-quality recordings of live shows available to fans since their 2000 Binaural tour. That is, EVERY show (with a few exceptions) can be listened to by fans. Think of how awesome that is, especially if you were at the show (Indeed, I picked up official bootlegs of the 2012 Manchester shows I was at for that very awesome reason).

Pearl Jam, as a live band, essentially capitalised on the fact that fans were trading unofficial bootlegs of their shows by offering them high-quality audio recordings of their shows at a relatively low price. Now trading in digital recordings, Pearl Jam offer even more reasonable prices for these recordings (hence why I bought digital bootlegs and not physical ones, with expensive USA to UK shipping. TRIVIA: This was the first digital song/album I bought and for this reason alone).

There hasn't been much research into official bootlegs, where the most relevant articles are discussed in this article. Importantly, they offer bands a way to advertise themselves in a live context; provide a means for fans to re-live their live concert experiences and presents an additional source of revenue for artists.

They are a good thing - for everyone.

As such, it's no coincidence that more and more bands are monetising recordings of live shows (check out Tori Amos' Spotify profile), with some even including purchases immediately after the show.

Will it roll out into common practice in the future?

We shall see (or hear...).

Tweets @musicpiracyblog

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