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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 11:56 AM

 

The Business of Phish

Over the past four years, the rock band Phish has generated over $120 million in ticket sales, handily surpassing more well known artists like Radiohead, The Black Keys, and One Direction. Since their start 30 years ago, Phish has consistently been one of the most popular and lucrative touring acts in America, generating well over a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales.

Yet, by other measures, the band isn’t popular at all. Only one of their original albums has ever made the Billboard top 10 rankings. None of their 883 songs has ever become a popular hit on the radio. They’ve made only one music video to promote a song, and it was mocked mercilessly by Beavis and Butthead on MTV.

If the traditional band business model is to generate hype through the media and radio airplay, and then monetize that hype through album sales and tours, Phish doesn’t fit the model at all. For a band of their stature, their album sales are miniscule and radio airplay non-existent. And so when the “music business” cratered in the 1990s because of file-sharing and radio’s importance declined because of the internet, Phish remained unaffected and profitable as ever.

Phish doesn’t make money by selling music. They make money by selling live music, and that, it turns out, is a more durable business model. This wasn’t some brilliant pre-calculated strategy by the band or its managers; it’s the business model that sprung forth from the kind of music the band makes. The band developed the kernel of this musical style during their first five years when they played almost exclusively in bars in Burlington, Vermont, and slowly, but organically, grew their audience.

http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/48216173465/the-business-of-phish

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Business of Phish (Original post)
Paul E Ester Apr 2013 OP
bloomington-lib Apr 2013 #1
Bennyboy Apr 2013 #2
Paul E Ester Apr 2013 #3
Myrina Apr 2013 #4
Bennyboy Apr 2013 #6
Champion Jack Apr 2013 #5
Bennyboy Apr 2013 #8
Paul E Ester Apr 2013 #9
Bennyboy Apr 2013 #7

Response to Paul E Ester (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:17 PM

1. Nice read

Thanks

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Response to Paul E Ester (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:21 PM

2. EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON HOW A BAND THAT NOBODY EVEN KNOWS OF

 

has made it in America. And how they are evolved and embraced things that are not normal. Now they sell every show. So every night they play they sell 18,000 shows. tickets and the recordings. Then there is live streams that offer of a good number of shows as well and fans can purchase those as well, so their revenue now, even from live concerts, is coming off of Streams ales and recordings to a much larger audience than just those in the building.

I love them and they are one of the best bands I ever saw, but the model should be there for everyone.

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:37 PM

3. You might like

 

"Backwards Down The Number Line", every tuesday from 8-10 pacific on the voice of the redwoods KMUD, coming to you from the heart of the emerald triangle. They are celebrating 15 years of phish playing shows from each year, they are currently on 1995.

http://www.kmud.org/

Live: http://www.kmud.org/programs-mainmenu-11/listen-live-kmud

Archive: http://www.kmud.org/programs-mainmenu-11/kmud-audio-archive.html

Peace

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Response to Paul E Ester (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:43 PM

4. THANKS!

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Response to Paul E Ester (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 02:55 PM

6. Cool.. I looked for a Phish at Mateeel date

 

and they never played there. odd. Almost every band has a at least one show history there. Some us that location to load up on a tours worth of supplies all in one stop "When we play this one in Humboldt it RAINS REEFER ON THE STAGE" Little Feat when they play "Willin'" in any venue not the Humboldt venues.

So many band now are like this> DMB, the same story> I saw DMB open for Phish in 84. T0

he What's left of the grateful Dead(FURTHUR) have tons of non commercial streams going it not funny. FURTHUR is in the middle of a NYC residency at the beginning of theri spring and summer, tour. the jsut announced more shows taking them to October. 15 bucks gets you the show. Stream, it for 15 bucks or less. Anyone anywhere. they allow streaming but not good enough to record..... enough to peak your interest in buying the show. Then there's Terrapoin landing. Phils restaurant that is going crazy with shows. When FURTHUR is off the road, shows every night with different players. like Levons rambles. And you can stream them as well for 15 bucks. And TRI does the same thing, sometimes free sometimes not, but it is in Bobs world, nobody else makes Bobs deal. Same with Sweetwwater. they can bring quality acts in, stream those shows at five bucks or whatever and that bar makes money.

the great thing is ther is manager mister there. they conquered it. All of the jambands can do that and do. Some of the mainstream guys can't do that becasuese they are the same night after night. U ahve three or four DVD's with Eric Clapton in which he doess essentially the same set . I don't need another one. but the dead, ad the jambands are different every night so that in itself creates a demand.

I am going to stream a WSP show when they do video on this tour because the lights look freaking amazing....

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Response to Paul E Ester (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:53 PM

5. Wide Spread Panic is doing the same thing

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Response to Champion Jack (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 03:16 PM

8. Without the publicists...

 

Phish is not nor ever has been a DYI outfit completely.. Most of the jambands are though with the entire operation in house now. panic still has a outside label but pretty much only to provide a product. they stream and it is absolutely amazing every show and have the buy a show thing too.... Good model if you can lay people out every night.

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 06:11 PM

9. My only beef with the articles history, were not to mention

 

The dead and the horde tour. Both played a big part in their business model and Horde was a breakout tour for the next gen jam bands.


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Response to Paul E Ester (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 03:13 PM

7. Everyone might like thIS:

 

http://www.phishtracks.com everyshow, every everything, all right there. Mind blowing.

And the complete every everything of the Grateful dead: https://listentothedead.com/

Every show, every know recording of every show and lots of ways to play it. An amazing resource.

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