On-site download kiosks enable concert goers to download a live recording of the entire performance they just enjoyed in MP3 format, on a USB memory stick. It's all about LIFE CACHING these days.
The LIFE CACHING phenomenon we covered in July’s TRENDWATCHING.COM newsletter continues its major upswing as more and more industries take advantage of portable tiny tech innovations to capture, package and store consumer experiences. One of the newest entries in the music sector has the potential to make old school concert bootlegging all but obsolete, and instantly puts once-in-a-lifetime shows in the palm of the audience’s hand. Meet the USB Concert-On-A-Stick (and the umptieth nail in the coffin of the big bad ‘record’ companies). Subscription-based MP3 outfit eMusic recently debuted USB downloads as a service available from eMusic Live, their concert division that sells CD copies of shows at select venues a mere 10 minutes after the last encore. The high quality of the CDs, reasonable pricing, and legal status positioned them as viable alternatives to often-substandard bootlegs, but the groundbreaking new USB-based system trumps bootlegs and the CDs by a mile in portability and potential. The service’s focal point is the on–site, wall-mounted eMusic Live download kiosk, where concert goers can use a credit card to buy reusable USB 2.0 keychain drives for $20 and download a live recording of the entire performance they just enjoyed in MP3 format for another $10 (Source: AP). Consumers also have the option of bringing their own USB flash drives to use in the kiosk – either way, the recording is restriction-free, making it perfect for easy, unlimited (and encouraged) legal sharing. The initial rollout began with the kiosk’s debut at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ on June 28th, 2004, and will ultimately focus on a total of 7 small and mid-sized legendary live houses in eMusic Live’s existing venue network. The second stage will see kiosks installed in more of the network’s 25 venues across the country, many of which are located in major college towns like Ann Arbor, MI and Chapel Hill, NC. Music industry insiders are already looking at the technology as an additional source of performance revenues and a viable form of target demo viral marketing, especially for new acts looking to create that all-important buzz.