Arena and stadium music acts will vanish within a decade because no one is buying albums anymore, according to music industry analyst Mark Mulligan.
In a new post on his blog, Mulligan, a widely cited industry expert who runs the MIDiA research group, says most music listeners now engage in a phenomenon he calls “grazing” that fails to yield a meaningful relationship with a single artist. That jibes with data Spotify’s Paul Lamere recently published showing the average music streamer doesn’t even finish the song they’re listening to. “In the on-demand age with effectively limitless supply they flit from here to there,” Mulligan writes, “consuming more individual artists in a single playlist than an average music fan would have bought albums by in an entire year in the CD era.”
Mulligan elaborated to us in an email, saying that “heritage” acts like the Rolling Stones are getting into their twilight years, and that most new artists just aren’t big enough to fill the void.
“For example, a Kings of Leon or a Coldplay are become exceptions rather than norms in terms of band lifespans. Large venue managers I have spoken to are already heavily focusing on non-music acts in order to safeguard against a future music collapse.”
This is no skin off our backs — we’ve previously written why we hate arena shows — the acoustics and/or sight-lines are almost always horrible.
For its part, Live Nation, the country’s biggest concert promoter, is betting on an end-around: They have just partnered with Yahoo’s YouTube rival, Screen, to bring free streaming shows to music fans. But the New York Times’ Ben Sisario notes previous attempts at this kind of product haven’t caught on.
“Talent agents said they welcomed the program, and particularly the promotional power of Yahoo, which says it has 800 million users around the world. But several expressed doubts that Yahoo and Live Nation would be able to succeed in drawing large numbers of viewers to concert streams where so many others have failed. ‘The demand just isn’t there,’ said one prominent agent, who spoke anonymously to preserve relations with Live Nation and others.”
Live Nation shares were down 0.6% Tuesday.
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