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Friday, February 08, 2008


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Matthew Perreault

SL as a real revenue stream for musicians is still a very open question. But as you pointed out, that makes it no different from the RL music scene.

After a year and a half inworld, I can now charge venues up front for my appearances, but even then, it's lunch money rather than rent. Residual iTunes sales help, but here I am still at my RL dayjob.

For musicians, SL can function much like college radio. Good for promotion of product and name recognition, but not for actual revenue.

This will not change so long as it's so expensive to operate venues. I know of no one who's turning a profit by operating a music venue inworld. In RL, that means the club closes. Thankfully SL venues are cheaper to run than RL clubs, but they aren't free.

All of this connects to the broader cultural issue of music being considered a free commodity. It isn't just an SL problem.

Nonetheless, I remain foolishly optimistic. I reach far more and broader audiences in SL than I ever have in RL, and make better friends, too. To paraphrase Gillian Welch, we really are gonna do it anyway, even if it doesn't pay...

Jaymin Carthage

SL as a real revenue stream for _anyone_ is a very open question! The same pyramids exist across all of Second Life. There's really only room for one Anshe Chung.
On the music side, what I think you need is a "Starbucks". Don't laugh. People complain that the plethora of Starbucks on every street corner has made life hard for the "mom and pop" coffee shops. Statistics show the opposite. By popularizing and mainstreaming coffee shops, there is actually increased demand and there are more "mom and pop" coffee shops than ever before.
So, now, if more mainstream bands did live performances in Second Life popularize it as a destination for live music, that will increase demand. The professionals can't do gigs in every 30 person lounge in SL so someone has to fill the gap. There's also the potential to feature local people as the open act for a token performance for mainstream bands. Another avenue to "make it big".
Just a thought...

Matthew Perreault

I would certainly welcome more shows by bands with large followings in SL. The more that happens, the more it gets taken seriously as a music destination. It's weird, there were some forays by biggish types like Suzanne Vega, and then it just sort of dropped off.

I myself am trying to bring as many high-quality RL acts into SL as I can, the better to impress upon people that SL is a good place to discover great new music. Invariably, they're dubious, which is exactly why more of them need to come in and see the potential.

Dizzy Banjo

I think 2008 may be the year we see more ticketed events in SL and possibly tackling the "entrance fee" taboo. There have already been successful precedents ( Dancoyote's Skydancers series ).

Personally I think its a perfectly reasonable response and will both support the artistic community in SL, but also raise expectations - which is a good thing for the community as a whole. Hopefully it will help provoke an evolution in the creative arts in SL.

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