“Live 2.0” – the value of live events

At TED University yesterday, Jim McCarthy talked about the phenomenon of the value of recorded media plunges whereas the value of live, in-person experiences increases. He refers to this as Live 2.0. He pointed out that in 1985, the cost of a CD and a concert ticket were roughly the same. Recorded media has lowered in price (if you think about buying whole albums on iTunes) whereas concerts have gone up and up. Considering he was saying this in a room of people who paid $6,000 to attend, even though all the talks can be seen free online, clearly, there’s something there.

When this trend is discussed, the typical explanation involves people wanting to be together, with one another, because we’re fundamentally social, etc. etc. That’s obviously correct, but insufficient — people in 1985 wanted that togetherness as much as we do today. Other forces at play must have dramatically shifted the value.

A couple ideas:

  • The decreasing price of recorded media means people have money left over, and are able to funnel that money into other things they love, such as concerts.
  • Information about live events is easier to come across, thanks to the internet (whether simply sharing of forwarded emails, or tools like Upcoming). So more people know about these events increasing demand, increasing prices, because supply is limited.

    Your thoughts?