Million Media

See Things Differently

USB Flash Bracelets For Live Gigs


The idea of recording gigs and selling the recording after the show has been around for a long time. The two issues for me were always, firstly, artists tend to want to hear their music before it gets sold to fans and second, burning CD’s took up space and time.

This solution cures the second but I’m still not sure about the first. Instead of a CD, Aderra UK have patented the idea of using USB Flash keys that can be sold as a bracelet. I was shown these bracelets at MIDEM and thought they looked good, but never made the leap to think of them for live gigs. They’re ideal since the fan buys the recording then proudly wears the bracelet out of the show and I suspect for several days afterwards. And if anyone asks you what the show was like, you’ve got a copy of it on your wrist. Superb.

The first problem though is still difficult to overcome. Artists, in my experience, want to hear the recording first, have it EQ’d and mastered before they sell it. But for those that don’t, this is a great idea and I’m going to recommend it to some artists we work with.

FURTHER NOTES, added on 16th July

I spoke with a very experienced sound engineer who has experience of this and he told me of two other issues:

  1. The master recording and publishing rights are, of course, a nightmare to clear for live recordings. An artist has to get permission from both before they can sell the recording. And if you do a cover version during your set, remember you have to clear the right to sell it with the publisher of that track.
  2. And bare in mind, any merchandise sold at a gig typically incurs a 25% charge from the venue! So, even if you charged, say, £14.99 you have to take off VAT, then 25%, then the master recording and publishing rights, then the cost of the CD or USB – so even if you sell a few hundred a night you’re not going to make a fortune.

Ah, the ways of the music business….

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About Neil

Neil Cartwright founded Million Media in 2006 with the aim to help people understand digital marketing and use it to their advantage. The vision hasn't changed but the technology has.

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2008 by in music.
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