A Fool and His or Her Money…

Deal with it.For the past few years, after the music industry’s fortunes went bottom-up and, consequently, the performing artists got even more taken to the Vaseline jar than they previously had, it seemed that the only way that performers would be able to make a quasi-reasonable living was through live performances. The return from the shows wouldn’t be predicated on the take from the tickets, but from whatever swag they were able to sell to the faithful.

After all, one of the issues vis-à-vis ticket sales was that there were corporate interests involved in many of the venues, which worked to their favor. “They,” not incidentally, were Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which are now a singular pronoun.

So it is interesting to note that even the swag portion is being undermined to the benefit of “Them,” with the plural pronoun referencing Live Nation and Qualcomm, with the latter owning a subsidiary named Outlier, which is described as a “leading mobile commerce enabler.”

Outlier has an app named “SWAGG,” and through it people can get guess what?

In the words of Rocco Fabiano, president of Outlier, “Our collaboration with Live Nation Merchandise will provide consumers with an efficient and convenient way to get music collectibles from their favorite artist. SWAGG makes it easy to give and receive Live Nation Merchandise gift cards directly from their mobile device.”

Efficient, convenient and easy. Yep. Why go out of your way for something you like when someone will grease the skids to get you there (reference to the foregoing metaphor entirely intended)?

Two well-worn phrases come to mind about this:

1. You get what you pay for.

2. Buyer beware.

7 thoughts on “A Fool and His or Her Money…”

  1. I didn’t entirely follow this – too many references reading as cryptic/conspiratorial – but I guess it sounds like a bad thing.

  2. So does this mean venues will be doing direct licensing/merchandising deals with the artist instead of just doing a count during load-in and load-out?

    (For those unaware: big venues charge a percentage to the artist for merchandise sold–which is why, to ensure they get their cut, the folks at the merch tables are not employees of the artist but of the venue itself–so the artist’s go-to person gives the venue the merchandise when they get in and at the end of the night the go-to person does a money/merchandise count with the venue and settle up.)

  3. 1. Bands have a difficult time making money when they’re under the thumb of promoters like Ticketmaster.

    2. So bands tour without Ticketmaster.

    3. The draw at the door isn’t a huge source of revenue for the bands.

    4. So the take at the door is supplemented by selling stuff like shirts and posters and other “swag.” This is good money for the bands because there is no middleman.

    5. Now Ticketmaster is selling this stuff.

    6. Bands get screwed again.


  4. Wait…bands don’t make money on tickets with Ticketmaster…so they leave them in order to not make money without them? Sounds confusing.

    Also, wouldn’t SWAGG only be offering merchandise for band for whom they have marketing rights, i.e. bands still affiliated with Ticketmaster/Live Nation? So the bands who broke free should still be…free.

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