The summer concert season was slated to the best yet for up-and-coming company DiscLive, which offers concertgoers a live CD recording of the show they witnessed only minutes after the house lights go down. Already, DiscLive has offered the service at shows for the Allman Brothers Band, moe., The Doors Of The 21st Century and, most recently, The Pixies. On April 12, the company estimated their gross income for the spring to be around $500,000. However, just as this brand new way for live music fans to take home the best possible piece of memorabilia was getting off the ground, Clear Channel Entertainment has made a move to monopolize the new technology. Just as they have with radio stations and concert venues, Clear Channel is taking steps to shut out the little guys and dominate this burgeoning industry.
According to Rolling Stone, Clear Channel Entertainment has bought the patent from the technology's inventors and now claim to have exclusive rights to sell concert CDs after shows - not just shows in Clear Channel's 130 venues either, but every venue in the entire country. As Clear Channel makes the push to entirely eliminate the competition, many fear that less money and fewer opportunities to sell live CDs will be available.
The Pixies have a fall tour planned that will undoubtedly include Clear Channel owned venues. They also have an existing agreement with DiscLive to offer live CDs following each of their reunion tour dates. However, the band has already been told by Clear Channel that DiscLive will not be allowed to burn and sell CDs on-site. Pixies manager Ken Goes told Rolling Stone, "Presuming Clear Channel's service and product are of equal quality, it may be best to feed the dragon rather than draw swords. Still, I'm not fond of doing business with my arm twisted behind my back." Artists will be paid about 10 dollars for every 20-25 dollar CD that is sold, regardless of which company they use.
Three cheers for corporate greed and the Bush administration that perpetuates it.