Discover more from Walk On
Everything is becoming more digital. Not everything...
Economist & Photographer / No. 65
P: Good morning, Economist.
E: Good morning, Photographer.
P: I went to a concert over the weekend.
E: Nice for you.
P: A question came to my mind while waiting for the concert to start.
E: Bring it on.
P: I asked myself whether the concert business works the same way today as before digitalisation and the internet.
E: Why shouldn't it?
P: Today, we have options for perfect music experiences outside of live concerts. Incredibly good sound, great videos, and the music content is always available. In an earlier dystopia, one would probably have predicted that people, under these conditions, would prefer to sit at home with headphones on – and become lonely.
E: People don't like to be lonely. The development of the concert industry is the best evidence. Most of the best-selling concert series ever existed took place in recent years.
P: Which were they?
E: In third place of the highest-grossing tours of all time is Ed Sheeran touring from 2017 to 2019, with inflation-adjusted revenue of 888,442,379 US dollars. In second place is Elton John, touring from 2018 to 2023, earning 939,100,000 US dollars. Only number one, a U2 tour called "360°" with revenues of 958,001,690 US dollars, took place some years ago, from 2009 to 2011.
P: Why do so many people go to concerts?
E: On the one hand, because of the end of physical sound carriers. As a result, the music industry increasingly relied on income from concerts. On the other hand, canned music and live music are so-called complementary goods. If one is consumed more, the other is sold more.
P: I don't understand.
E: The availability of canned music is greater today than ever before. Such music comes to every corner of the world. This creates the desire to see and hear the music live on stage.
< silence >
P: Do you like going to such huge music events, Economist?
E: Rather not. Too many people.
P: You are more of a loner, aren't you?
E: Could a loner be with you all the time?
P: Point taken. Have a nice day, Economist.
E: You too, Photographer.