The Business of Pearl Jam

KV4053KV4053 Mike's side, crushed up against the stagePosts: 991
edited December 2013 in The Porch
Somebody ought to write a book about the Business of Pearl Jam.

From a business perspective, they have and continue to break new ground on a various fronts, not only for themselves, but also the music industry and future/upcoming bands.

When viewed through the lens of history, I predict they will be seen as innovative, both from a musical perspective but also as a business enterprise.

In case 10C is reading, I volunteer to research and write it.
I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine. I am mine.
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • asatersasaters Loveland, COPosts: 41
    I will also volunteer to help!!! :idea: :idea:
    2013: Wrigley, OKC, Seattle
    2014: Moline, St. Paul, Milwaukee
    2016: Greenville, SC, Fenway Night 1 & 2, Wrigley Night 1
  • Ahr MannAhr Mann Posts: 141
    KV4053 wrote:
    Somebody ought to write a book about the Business of Pearl Jam.

    From a business perspective, they have and continue to break new ground on a various fronts, not only for themselves, but also the music industry and future/upcoming bands.

    When viewed through the lens of history, I predict they will be seen as innovative, both from a musical perspective but also as a business enterprise.

    In case 10C is reading, I volunteer to research and write it.

    Hey, I love me some Pearl Jam, but I wouldn't call their business model (or, to a lesser extent, their music) "innovative". What did they do that changed anything for upcoming bands or the industry in general? Not trying to troll, genuinely curious...
  • shortstackshortstack Posts: 2,318
    they made it all about "the fans" :roll:
    did you see me? i saw you.
  • GmoneyGmoney Posts: 1,618
    Ahr Mann wrote:
    KV4053 wrote:
    Somebody ought to write a book about the Business of Pearl Jam.

    From a business perspective, they have and continue to break new ground on a various fronts, not only for themselves, but also the music industry and future/upcoming bands.

    When viewed through the lens of history, I predict they will be seen as innovative, both from a musical perspective but also as a business enterprise.

    In case 10C is reading, I volunteer to research and write it.

    Hey, I love me some Pearl Jam, but I wouldn't call their business model (or, to a lesser extent, their music) "innovative". What did they do that changed anything for upcoming bands or the industry in general? Not trying to troll, genuinely curious...


    I would say that they've followed their own path as a business entity, and that path has been somewhat innovative.
    -Not doing videos or interviews when they were as hot as any band in the world. Especially the video part, videos and MTV were a religion in the early 90's and they proved you could survive without doing them.
    -Fighting ticketmaster. Win or lose, they were a band who said that the art and fan experience of their live show was more important than making money. This was a pretty cutting edge stance to take at the time.
    -The releasing of all of their live shows was pretty ground breaking as well.
    -Also they became their own record label at a time when any major would have signed them... Signing only distribution deals opposed to a full deal.
    Further back and forth a wave will break on me, today...
  • quimby20quimby20 Posts: 823
    Gmoney wrote:
    Ahr Mann wrote:
    KV4053 wrote:
    Somebody ought to write a book about the Business of Pearl Jam.

    From a business perspective, they have and continue to break new ground on a various fronts, not only for themselves, but also the music industry and future/upcoming bands.

    When viewed through the lens of history, I predict they will be seen as innovative, both from a musical perspective but also as a business enterprise.

    In case 10C is reading, I volunteer to research and write it.

    Hey, I love me some Pearl Jam, but I wouldn't call their business model (or, to a lesser extent, their music) "innovative". What did they do that changed anything for upcoming bands or the industry in general? Not trying to troll, genuinely curious...


    I would say that they've followed their own path as a business entity, and that path has been somewhat innovative.
    -Not doing videos or interviews when they were as hot as any band in the world. Especially the video part, videos and MTV were a religion in the early 90's and they proved you could survive without doing them.
    -Fighting ticketmaster. Win or lose, they were a band who said that the art and fan experience of their live show was more important than making money. This was a pretty cutting edge stance to take at the time.
    -The releasing of all of their live shows was pretty ground breaking as well.
    -Also they became their own record label at a time when any major would have signed them... Signing only distribution deals opposed to a full deal.

    No,,,, the Dead allowed you to record their shows for FREE... Big difference to charging 9.99 for a download
  • YefaYefa Posts: 985
    quimby20 wrote:

    No,,,, the Dead allowed you to record their shows for FREE... Big difference to charging 9.99 for a download
    Pearl Jam also allows audio tapers to tape their shows.
    You see me empty, Sir, do not pause and inquire, simply assume and refill.
    - Al Swearengen

    http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com
  • quimby20 wrote:
    any major would have signed them...

    :lol:
  • OK, quimby didn't write that, but the quotes got messed up.
  • OceansJennyOceansJenny Manhattan, NYPosts: 1,077
    asaters wrote:
    I will also volunteer to help!!! :idea: :idea:

    I also volunteer, specifically to assist with band member interviews :lol: ;)
    DC '03 - Reading '04 - Philly '05
    Camden 1 '06 - DC '06 - E. Rutherford '06
    The Vic '07 - Lollapalooza '07
    DC '08 - EV DC 1 & 2 '08 (Met Ed!!) - EV Baltimore 1 & 2 '09
    EV NYC 1 '11 (Met Ed!) - Hartford '13
    GCF '15 - MSG 2 '16 - TOTD MSG '16
  • bobvlbobvl Media PAPosts: 26
    Check out this article by Greg Kot on bbc.com from October:

    http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/201310 ... teful-dead
    No matter how cold the winter... there's a springtime ahead

    Philadelphia 10.22.13
    Philadelphia 04.28.16
  • GmoneyGmoney Posts: 1,618
    I would say that they've followed their own path as a business entity, and that path has been somewhat innovative.
    -Not doing videos or interviews when they were as hot as any band in the world. Especially the video part, videos and MTV were a religion in the early 90's and they proved you could survive without doing them.
    -Fighting ticketmaster. Win or lose, they were a band who said that the art and fan experience of their live show was more important than making money. This was a pretty cutting edge stance to take at the time.
    -The releasing of all of their live shows was pretty ground breaking as well.
    -Also they became their own record label at a time when any major would have signed them... Signing only distribution deals opposed to a full deal.[/quote]

    No,,,, the Dead allowed you to record their shows for FREE... Big difference to charging 9.99 for a download[/quote]


    BIG difference between allowing people to tape a show opposed to professionally recording it, mixing it, mastering it and releasing it as a physical product or mp3.
    Further back and forth a wave will break on me, today...
  • Ahr MannAhr Mann Posts: 141
    Gmoney wrote:


    I would say that they've followed their own path as a business entity, and that path has been somewhat innovative.
    -Not doing videos or interviews when they were as hot as any band in the world. Especially the video part, videos and MTV were a religion in the early 90's and they proved you could survive without doing them.
    -Fighting ticketmaster. Win or lose, they were a band who said that the art and fan experience of their live show was more important than making money. This was a pretty cutting edge stance to take at the time.
    -The releasing of all of their live shows was pretty ground breaking as well.
    -Also they became their own record label at a time when any major would have signed them... Signing only distribution deals opposed to a full deal.

    No videos: Ballsy? Yes. Innovative? Don't know about that.

    Ticketmaster: The best thing to come out of that fiasco is my ticket to the show at San Jose State from that tour (the art is wonderful). But beyond that...

    Bootlegs: I see this as cool way for the band to generate revenue (nothing wrong with that), rather than innovative. But it is great for the fans that have a few extra $$$ lying around (I've purchased a-plenty of them myself)

    Record Label : Didn't the guys from Fugazi do that w/ Dischord records many a moon ago? And I'm pretty sure that wasn't unprecedented. A savvy move to be sure, but hey, Target commercials, amirite?

    To reiterate, I'm a PJ guy through and through, but innovative is not a word I'd ever use to describe them. Isn't it enough that they are the last Great American Rock and Roll Band™?
  • Ahr Mann wrote:
    Bootlegs: I see this as cool way for the band to generate revenue (nothing wrong with that), rather than innovative. But it is great for the fans that have a few extra $$$ lying around (I've purchased a-plenty of them myself)

    I couldn't disagree more with this. Nowadays there are dozens of bands that release every show and I can't think of one that did it before Pearl Jam in 2000. It actually might be the most innovative thing the band's ever done. Especially doing it on disc in 2000 before everything became digital. I think you're being a total curmudgeon dismissing it as just another way to generate money. Would they have done it if they thought it wouldn't generate money? Of course not. That'd be bad business. But I'm sure the idea was conceived as new way to distribute music first with monetary logistics worked out afterward.
    2000: Camden 1, 2003: Philly, State College, Camden 1, MSG 2, Hershey, 2004: Reading, 2005: Philly, 2006: Camden 1, 2, East Rutherford 1, 2007: Lollapalooza, 2008: Camden 1, Washington D.C., MSG 1, 2, 2009: Philly 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010: Bristol, MSG 2, 2011: PJ20 1, 2, 2012: Made In America, 2013: Brooklyn 2, Philly 2, 2014: Denver, 2015: Global Citizen Festival, 2016: Philly 2, Fenway 1, 2018: Fenway 1, 2

    Pearl Jam bootlegs:
    http://wegotshit.blogspot.com
  • Ahr MannAhr Mann Posts: 141
    Ahr Mann wrote:
    Bootlegs: I see this as cool way for the band to generate revenue (nothing wrong with that), rather than innovative. But it is great for the fans that have a few extra $$$ lying around (I've purchased a-plenty of them myself)

    I couldn't disagree more with this. Nowadays there are dozens of bands that release every show and I can't think of one that did it before Pearl Jam in 2000. It actually might be the most innovative thing the band's ever done. Especially doing it on disc in 2000 before everything became digital. I think you're being a total curmudgeon dismissing it as just another way to generate money. Would they have done it if they thought it wouldn't generate money? Of course not. That'd be bad business. But I'm sure the idea was conceived as new way to distribute music first with monetary logistics worked out afterward.

    Hey now...I went out of my way *not* to sound curmudgeonly (clearly, not far enough :)).

    I just don't think releasing concerts on CD can be considered innovative, regardless of the context. But I'm sure as f*ck glad they did, as I have a crapload of them spilling off the shelf...
  • Edved007Edved007 Milwaukee, WIPosts: 901
    In grad school I actually remember Pearl Jam being referenced in a text book regarding how many "albums" they have been able to sell. They were counting all studio albums, LD, and all the bootlegs they could count. After thing gig with Epic was up I don't know how much data there is since they don't need to really share it any more, but it was staggering that through their release of every show how many times the cash register was pulled. You can not aruge that by the release of the boots and creating almost a false demand by all the limited merch that it creates an amazing business model... and you can bark all you want about secondary market prices because they don't relase more of an item, but it creates the buzz and the demand for the prodct, and they have been able to sustain that like no one else. it's actually incredible.
    95' - 7/9
    98' - 6/26, 6/27, 6/29, 8/26, 9/22
    99' - 6/13 (EV)
    02' - 11/2 (Brad)
    03' - 4/25
    06' - 6/29, 6/30
    07' - 8/05
    08' - 8/19 (EV),
    09' - 8/23
    11' - 9/03, 9/04
    12' - 9/30, 11/14 (RNDM), 11/15 (EV), 11/16 (EV)
    13' - 7/16, 7/19, 10/21, 10/22, 11/15, 11/16, 12/06
    14' - 06/28, 06/29, 10/1, 10/03, 10/16, 10/17, 10/20, 10/22
    15' - 11/20, 11/22
    16' - 4/21, 4/26, 4/28, 4/29, 5/1, 5/2, 7/9, 8/5, 8/7, 8/20, 8/22
    17' - 4/7 (RRHOF)
    18' - 7/1, 7/3, 7/5, 8/8, 8/10, 8/18, 8/20, 9/4
  • GmoneyGmoney Posts: 1,618
    Ahr Mann wrote:
    Ahr Mann wrote:
    Bootlegs: I see this as cool way for the band to generate revenue (nothing wrong with that), rather than innovative. But it is great for the fans that have a few extra $$$ lying around (I've purchased a-plenty of them myself)

    I couldn't disagree more with this. Nowadays there are dozens of bands that release every show and I can't think of one that did it before Pearl Jam in 2000. It actually might be the most innovative thing the band's ever done. Especially doing it on disc in 2000 before everything became digital. I think you're being a total curmudgeon dismissing it as just another way to generate money. Would they have done it if they thought it wouldn't generate money? Of course not. That'd be bad business. But I'm sure the idea was conceived as new way to distribute music first with monetary logistics worked out afterward.

    Hey now...I went out of my way *not* to sound curmudgeonly (clearly, not far enough :)).


    I just don't think releasing concerts on CD can be considered innovative, regardless of the context. But I'm sure as f*ck glad they did, as I have a crapload of them spilling off the shelf...

    Innovative is a tricky word sometimes... Maybe they WAY they released the bootlegs was more innovative than them actually doing it. But I agree, im not aware of any other band that professionally released every show from a tour...

    Another point, I know pj has been at the forefront of bands that are monitoring their carbon footprint while touring. Id say some of the practices they use on tour on this front our also pretty innovative.
    Further back and forth a wave will break on me, today...
  • GmoneyGmoney Posts: 1,618
    Edved007 wrote:
    In grad school I actually remember Pearl Jam being referenced in a text book regarding how many "albums" they have been able to sell. They were counting all studio albums, LD, and all the bootlegs they could count. After thing gig with Epic was up I don't know how much data there is since they don't need to really share it any more, but it was staggering that through their release of every show how many times the cash register was pulled. You can not aruge that by the release of the boots and creating almost a false demand by all the limited merch that it creates an amazing business model... and you can bark all you want about secondary market prices because they don't relase more of an item, but it creates the buzz and the demand for the prodct, and they have been able to sustain that like no one else. it's actually incredible.


    Well said. 100% agreed
    Further back and forth a wave will break on me, today...
  • quimby20quimby20 Posts: 823
    Edved007 wrote:
    In grad school I actually remember Pearl Jam being referenced in a text book regarding how many "albums" they have been able to sell. They were counting all studio albums, LD, and all the bootlegs they could count. After thing gig with Epic was up I don't know how much data there is since they don't need to really share it any more, but it was staggering that through their release of every show how many times the cash register was pulled. You can not aruge that by the release of the boots and creating almost a false demand by all the limited merch that it creates an amazing business model... and you can bark all you want about secondary market prices because they don't relase more of an item, but it creates the buzz and the demand for the prodct, and they have been able to sustain that like no one else. it's actually incredible.
    Uhhhh, Springsteen???
  • This is an interesting thread.

    PJ's business plan? It's basic business 101.

    Not making videos? Metallica became the biggest rock band in the world by NOT doing them then, became an even bigger rock band by MAKING videos.

    Releasing live boots? Grateful Dead and Phish... Dick's Picks?

    PJ is very smart in what they do
  • Edved007Edved007 Milwaukee, WIPosts: 901
    quimby20 wrote:
    Edved007 wrote:
    In grad school I actually remember Pearl Jam being referenced in a text book regarding how many "albums" they have been able to sell. They were counting all studio albums, LD, and all the bootlegs they could count. After thing gig with Epic was up I don't know how much data there is since they don't need to really share it any more, but it was staggering that through their release of every show how many times the cash register was pulled. You can not aruge that by the release of the boots and creating almost a false demand by all the limited merch that it creates an amazing business model... and you can bark all you want about secondary market prices because they don't relase more of an item, but it creates the buzz and the demand for the prodct, and they have been able to sustain that like no one else. it's actually incredible.
    Uhhhh, Springsteen???

    I'm not doubting Bruce's longevity or sustainability, but I went to his show at Wrigley in 2012 and all I'm saying is I don't remember people in 5 hour lines at 4 different merch tents 3 days before the show. When it comes to merchandize PJ is in a league so far on their own it's crazy…and from a money making perspective, the margins destroy anything they get from concert tickets…. I would LOVE to know how many thousands (probably millions) where taken in for Wrigely merch alone.
    95' - 7/9
    98' - 6/26, 6/27, 6/29, 8/26, 9/22
    99' - 6/13 (EV)
    02' - 11/2 (Brad)
    03' - 4/25
    06' - 6/29, 6/30
    07' - 8/05
    08' - 8/19 (EV),
    09' - 8/23
    11' - 9/03, 9/04
    12' - 9/30, 11/14 (RNDM), 11/15 (EV), 11/16 (EV)
    13' - 7/16, 7/19, 10/21, 10/22, 11/15, 11/16, 12/06
    14' - 06/28, 06/29, 10/1, 10/03, 10/16, 10/17, 10/20, 10/22
    15' - 11/20, 11/22
    16' - 4/21, 4/26, 4/28, 4/29, 5/1, 5/2, 7/9, 8/5, 8/7, 8/20, 8/22
    17' - 4/7 (RRHOF)
    18' - 7/1, 7/3, 7/5, 8/8, 8/10, 8/18, 8/20, 9/4
  • SP96445SP96445 Posts: 208
    Interesting thread with some good observations.

    Regarding Ticketmaster, they where hung out to dry by the rest of the music industry. There was a deafening silence from the industry in support of fighting a monopoly. Unfortunately nothing has really changed but the band brought awareness to a real life issue that continues still.

    Bootlegs professionally recorded is not new but releasing entire tours was and is unique.

    Following the influence of Neil Young, their insistance on releasing every album on vinyl and preserving the wonderful warmth of analog recording stayed true to a course that has become popular again.

    Lastly the idea of commissioning poster artists for unique one time posters for each show is another redeeming revenue flow that is appreciated by both consumers and creators.

    All these points do reinforce the notion that their business sense has mirrored their professional persona without too much compromising along the way. May not be juicy enough for a book but maybe a business school thesis.
  • quimby20quimby20 Posts: 823
    Springsteen plays 3x as many shows. Has been playing 3 hour shows for 30 years. As for Merch... It's nice to go to a show and not stand in any lines especially if you have GA's
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