Clay Aiken – Anyway You Spin It

It seems that anyway you spin it, the music industry is in trouble.    In year-end reports, we have read of CD sales that are dropping, radio playlist that are too restrictive, major labels behind in their support of digital downloads, and most recently, the dismal state of the touring industry.

As CD sales have plunged over the last few years, performers have increasingly looked to touring for income. And for many years the live concert market grew significantly. It seemed there was greater revenues posted each year.

But according to a new report, the recession has finally caught up with the lucrative concert touring industry.

The industry trade magazine and website, Pollstar, reports that gross revenues and total ticket sales from concert tours were down more than expected in 2010.

The year-end numbers from Pollstar show overall grosses for the top 50 tours worldwide fell 12 percent to $2.93 billion and ticket sales dropped 15 percent or about 7 million from 2009’s 45.3 million.

Declining ticket sales have been evident in the number of cancellations in 2010 for usually popular stars.

Major acts such as The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and the Lilith Fair have canceled or curtailed tours. Pollstar editor in chief Gary Bongiovanni said that some artists aren’t having problems moving tickets.  This group includes Lady GaGa, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber.

According to Bob Lefsetz, a long time music business figure, much of the problem can be blamed on the promoters.  The major record labels no longer rule the concert field.  It is the promoters who make or break the tours.  Bob puts a lot of blame on LiveNation.  He feels that they are not allowing local decision-makers to do their jobs.

The concert promoter is the one who decides what building, what day and what price for each performer.  They try to do this on a national basis, but don’t allow the local venues and managers to share their knowledge.  The promoter is also the organization that provides the advertisement for the concert.  They are supposed to get the word out so that people will buy the tickets.  Bob and many others say this just can’t be done correctly if you don’t allow those who know the market to help make the decision.  AND…. they have the power and the ability to make or break anyone who doesn’t go along with what they say.  It’s sad, isn’t it?

According to Pollstar, more people are listening to more music than ever before.  The artists just need to have faith that as the economy becomes more stable and the promotion companies wise up, touring will again be a strong part of the music industry.

It must be a difficult time for musicians like Clay Aiken who just want to go out and sing for their fans.

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10 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Anyway You Spin It

  1. Very interesting piece about the music industry. I appreciate the opinion and synopsis of those who follow this industry. I often wonder if appearing in an area for one day results in people who would have wanted to attend but didn't hear about it until after the fact.

    Perhaps sending out reviews of the concert to an upcoming city would make those aware of a concert that will be in their area. But, of course, someone would have to attend and actually review it.

  2. I read your article this morning and found it very interesting and educating. I appreciate all the time you take in finding out information like this. I had heard that a lot of artists ticket sells have dwindled in the past year. All genre's of music are suffering and it's a tough time for Clay to be touring.

  3. Very interesting piece regarding the music industry, the promoters wise up and let those who know the market to help make decisions.

  4. I agree, until our economy picks up there will definitely be a slow down in the touring business. There are a lot of singers out there who are not doing well. Hope it all clears up soon. I've got my tickets to Orlando on Feb. 11…and can.not. wait!

  5. Interesting reading – I'm just glad that Clay is touring again and that I'll be seeing him in Charlotte. Am looking forward to a fantastic show!!

  6. Very interesting and informative blog. I skipped several tours the past year that I would have normally gone to had the economy not been so bad. I am going to see Clay Aiken next month and am looking forward to it.

  7. Thanks again CANN for a another informative blog. I not too sure we will get an upswing in the economy until mid 2012. That being the case, the music industry, like other entertainment industries will continue to hurt for awhile.

    INHO, I think LiveNation has gotten too big for it's own good and has been a disservice to many artists.

  8. It's so easy for fans to rush to judge or critize without having the correct facts. Thanks for informing us of how concert promotion is handled and who deserves the blame for little or no promotion.

  9. Very interesting blog musicfan. thank you verymuch…
    totally different situation from the US.

    I think because of our economic situation (indonesia economic growth in 2010 is around 6%) there were sooo many artist had tour concert in indonesia, i.e kelly clarkson, David Foster & friends (including Ruben Studdard), Pit Bull, etc, etc.
    Some of the tickets even sold out at presale time (not even on formal publish ticket time).
    This year…another list of famous singer is queing… janet jackson, maroon 5, santana, etc…

    Also in Singapore, our closest neighbour … Eric Clapton, Micheal Bubley, Josh Groban, Broadway show etc, etc.. will have concert there..and many Indonesian willing to spend quite significant amount of money for the sake of watching their idol …

    I really wish Clay or…his promotor have a plan touring Asia… please come to the place where the people are crazy enough to see whatever on the stage (sometimes for the sake of being updated with the latest happening 😀 ).

    (me…still wishing …. )

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