Is there current a music crowd recession ?

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The next post is a reaction to DoubleDown’s blog.
He asked me to read it and give my ideas about it.

His post can be found Here

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Attracting people to come to see live shows,
and after that keep them coming,
is and will allways be a problem.
You have a group of die-hard gig hoppers, and the rest come and go as they please.

in RL a lot of people go to a gig for a night out, it is a treat for them.
Something they maybe do once a month, but sure not on a daily basis.
On SL it is more of a habit, and mutch easier to do.

Log in and you see an average of 60-80.000 people online.
Its hard to estimate the amount of gigs ( not all are listed or promoted )
But i think ( wild guessing here ) an average of 25 shows migh be accurate.

Assume that each show has an average of 20 people,
do a little magic on the calculator
and we see 500 people visiting a gig at the same time.
thats less then 1 % of the people who are online.

I would love to see those stats in RL,
Holland has about 16.000.000 citizens.
That would mean 160.000 people going to a gig at the same time.
And that aint happening.
We maybe have between 20-30.000 at one gig,
and we are not having 8 big gigs a day.
Check them for your own country or state-region
to see how it is at your area.
Its hard to estimate the “smaller” gigs, the local pub gigs etc.etc.etc.
But i dont think that 1 % is really bad ( in RL )

Offcourse this is RL,
people pay big bucks for a concert, have to plan it maybe,
find a baby sit, drive maybe 2 hours etc.etc.etc.
So lets forget about that.

In general there are 3 groups of residents.

1) The ones that care
2) The ones that dont care
3) The ones that care but have other reasons for not going.

Group 1 and 2 are very clear.
Some of us just dont care for live music,
whatever we do they are not interested.
We have to accept that and stop wasting time and energy on them.

I know there are sports events on SL.
But dont try to get me to go to a sports event on SL.
I am not interested in it,
i dont care how nice it looks or how good it is all done.
I just wont go …….

I stopped trying to get newbees to come to gigs.
The ones that are just online are anxious to “do” things,
they want to see it all, live it all at the same time.
They have this urge to fly around like maniacs and dont waste time.
I can understand that, when you just logged in it might be overwhelming.

You need to get that urge out of your system,
so i scan profiles and check how long they
are on SL, avies between 0-3 months i leave alone.
Let them have their adventures, let them explore and learn.
If they get bored with what they do, then its time to grab them,
and most times i notice this happens after 2-3 months.

We also have to accept that their is a group of residents that love music,
they might even visit a lot of gigs in RL,
but they have other reasons to be on SL.
They just want to build or script, design clothes
or fullfill their fantasies.
After all it is a virtual world and for a lot of us an escape from RL.

Music is RL, no matter how you look at it.
It is a subconsious connection to RL.
walking around like a tiny or a fairy, or a medivial queen is not.

There are a lot of reasons why people wont go to a gig,
but really i am not interested in that for now.
We have to find ways to get people to come to gigs,
that are interested but dont know how to do it.

I have to believe that their is a drop down of people going to gigs,
i mean i registered last year november or so,
the days with an average of 30-40 was before my time.

When you look at all of this, then something is really wrong.

LME has 4028 members
SLM 1119
SL-Events 2954

to pick a few groups.
I see some artists have big groups.
1000 and more, saw someone with a group of 4000+

But still we are only able to get about 500 people to live music ?
And i dont care if its 500 or 800 or 1000.
The numbers dont match at all.

Offcourse we can not add those numbers.
We all have the same groups offcourse.
Spam LME and SLM and you dont get the message out to 5147 people.
most likely it is around ( just some guessing ) 3500.
Again the numbers are not that important.
Still not enough people show up at a gig according to the stats.

So why are people in a group ?
We must not look at it from our p.o.v
but we have to take the view of the music fans.

A lof of those members are “space fillers” they get an invite, accept it without caring.
If i go to a newbee place and add newbees to a group then i can boost it bigtime.
Maybe a few starts to check out those LM’s being send,
but ( look at the numbers ) the biggest group isnt.
This will be allways be a problem, people join groups because they can join.
Maybe it has a nice tag, or maybe they like the artist or group but they are not that interested
to go to the shows.

Focussing on groups is not that important in my opinion.
If it would really work then spamming through LME would be enough to pack a sim.
4000 + members in one group and a total of maybe 500-1000 listeners at 25 shows ???
Something is not right…….

When i am at a new place, a lot of times i get an unasked invite.
I use to accept out of policy, you do that when your new on SL.
Now i click it away and dont care what they think of it.
But a lot keep on accepting and rotating groups.

There is talked about groups a lot, and it will be hard to come up with a good system,
It can work with a personal group.
Dont add people at random, mention the group and the ones that let you know who are interested
are the ones that most likely will respond to a notice.

Whats the use of having a personal group of 2000 +
if, through that group, maybe 10-15 show up ?
it means that your group is filled with people who dont really care if you play or not.

Best thing ( in theory ) would be to have one SL Music group.
But then we have the problem, how to send notices ?
25 gigs an hour means at least 25 notices being send.
So you are clicking and reading constantly,
( assuming you are reading those novel like notices )
because there are shows all the time.

Group IM wont do as well, it would mean 25 IM’s in about 10 minutes to come to a show.
Offcourse you only reach people who are IN the group.
You dont attract new people because they dont get the notices or IM’s

Thinking further, if we cant spam because there is too mutch spam,
then why even bother ? offcourse we all do it, because it has become a habit.
And dont get me wrong, it works for people who are allready hopping gigs.
If an artist who i like is playing, then i get 4-5 notices of that.
I go because i allready want to go, the notice comes in handy to remember the time
But it doesnt attract new people.

I think the only way ( untill someone finds a good solution )
is the events list.

It can be checked by everyone, but it has to change.
It has to become easier to check, LL has to promote it better on their website.

I checked the SL website, and you can find the event list,
but its hard ( especially if you dont know that there is one )

There is a very small link at the bottom of the site,
included in a section of buying land, lindens, bizz talk.
LL should promote the event section at the top.
They talk about entertainment, so make it a link to the events section.
Its a small thing to do, but people might click the underlined word ENTERTAINMENT
and there ya go.

You will end up here : http://secondlife.com/events/
Looks nice but i miss a few things.
This would be the perfect place to include some tutorials about how to listen to music,
how to set your audio etc.etc.etc.

A lot of the newbees dont know this stuff,
we can explain it but a lot of times they dont want to be bothered by this,
they want action !!!
If they can find it ( easily ) on the LL website,
they might check it out and remember it the next time they log in.

This brings me to the next step.
We know their is an event list, we know how to do things.
I am no computer guru or website designer, so im not sure if it can be done.
But it would be cool if new members would get a message each day if they log in.
Offcourse not all the time, but lets say, one every 24 hours for the first 7 days.
I dont mean the log in screen itself, who reads that anyway ?

They log in, and after a few minutes a pop-up window appears in the center of their screen
saying something like :

Did you know you can listen to music on SL ? here is a link to a tutorial
Did you know there are events sutch as Live Music, Poetry Readings, Sports games ?
click here to open the events list.

etc.etc.etc.

Offcourse they dont react right away, but they see it.
So they know there are things like that,
after a few days ( when they learned things and spend some hours on it )
they might be interested to check it out.

Why after a few minutes ?
Because that has a bigger effect, if they see it right away they might click it away,
they have places to see, IM’s to answer.
Wait a bit and they notice it, they might not respond right away, but it gets known.

LL could make it easier for us.
I think they could make it so we can give some kind of url to the Live Music section.
I know Soundcircel has a stage sign that connects to his group, click it and his groups opens.
I dont know if that can be done with the event list but it would sure be easy to promote the list.

LL can promote it all over the place.
they have the power to do so.
Now people click on search but maybe they dont notice the event section
( its way in the back of the list )
LL could put a message in the general search : click here to browse for cool events.
They could post a link all over the place if they want too.

We have to clean up the events list ( the Live music section i mean )
Now we see double listings, not all gigs are in there and the descriptions are not helping at all.
All musicians are genius, RL ones with lots of experience and all are unique on SL

Yeah, whatever…

Again, im not an expert on websites and script languages but wouldnt it be possible to
create a database ( its all in their right now after all )
where people can list their events with the following details :

First name artist
Last name artist
Date and Time
max of 25 words description ( or another number, but limited so long novels are not possible )
and the url to the venue.

This would make it easier to clean it up.
Double names at the same date and time can be blocked out by some script.
They could do it now as well, but you can cheat.
I could list a soundcircel gig a couple of times, even if they have some checking script.

I can say :

Soundcircel at noon at The mini Bar
The tiny bar presents Sound ( oeps a clever screw up with the venue name )

Leave out all unneeded info and it gets easier to check.
You get a simple form
First box you write the first name
Second box you write the last name
select date and time
Description ( now is 1024 character limit, but that is a lot more then 25 words )
fill in the rest and add the LM

It will be listed only with the performers name-date-time and a button that sais TP
Easy to browse, easy to keep clean and better to work with.
You cant post other things, because you need a first and last name
so you cant post something like ( taken from todays postings )

BON JOVI CONCERT
the name Bon Jovi is not in the database, so it must be not real.
Ii think its just a bunch of avies on stage while they play Bon Jovi mp3’s

PARTY IN CLUB ~venue name~!!!

their is no name, and the description sais :

Come on over and lets have a GREAT party!!
Talk,meet and greet,make and have fun,sploder
(Join the GLOBE or the RED HEART above the dancefloor,or join BOTH)
and have an AWESOME time in our CLUB with the great music.
Try the famous TRANCE SHUFFLE by clicking the Main Danceball.
Also room enough for couple dancing!!
Don’t be late now and oh,don’t forget to VOTE!

about 75 words or so, nothing to do with live music at all.

Those posts wouldnt be able to do,
offcourse people would try to cheat, but it would get harder, and easier to check.

The venue name is not needed at all,
if i ( and i think this goes for the majority ) go to an artist then i dont care where it is.
all i want is a button to get there.

I think ( no expert, so i might be wrong ) that it is even better for the datebase as well.
Less info to deal with.

Owhh i see this is becoming a long post.
So i shall stop now, and respond to DD’s blog in different sections.
And as allways, keep on replying and giving your opinion.
More will come soon……

Love, Peace and Melody
Less

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~ by homelessmartian on April 15, 2009.

4 Responses to “Is there current a music crowd recession ?”

  1. Agreed on the database/feed extraction.

    SignPostMarv was tinkering with some folks based on the Tunes inSL roster, but I’ve lost focus and energy.

    -ls/cm

  2. Thank you so much for your VERY insightful thoughts Les!

  3. I have read alot of very plausible explanations regarding audience numbers dropping on various blogs this week. I’d like to add this. Little is made of the throughput of SL users. Linden metrics tell us that online concurrency is steadily growing and a new record is set every quarter. What is hidden by these figures is that although new people are coming in all the time there is a considerable natural wastage occuring. SL is viewed as a gaming passtime for many people and so they get bored of it in exactly the same way as people get bored of WoW, Halo, Football Manager, Mario Karts, Resident Evil or whatever application they are into. I’ll use some clumsy figures to explain what I mean. For every 1000 new “live music interested” SL users imagine 250 “live music interested” SL users leave. That gives a net gain of 750 so it all sounds good. The problem is that the 250 who left were experienced gig attendees and already knew how to find and enjoy live music in SL. The 1000 new users who came in are clueless that gigs even occurr let alone how to find and enjoy them so that net gain of 750 suddenly looks alot less healthy. The only antidote to the effect SL throughfall has on music attendence is constant education of potential listeners and that means constant legwork…spreading the word about live music in SL will always be required.

  4. At the risk of getting some snarky replies, because I respect Homeless, I’ll put in my two-cent, though the past year I’ve been lacking in desire to post anything on a message forum.

    DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, IT DOESN’T MEAN I THINK I’M BETTER THAN YOU. IT IS NOT THE “GOSPEL ACCORDING TO VON” AND IT IS NOT INTENDED TO SOUND AS THOUGH I AM “BIGGING MYSELF UP.” AND AS ALWAYS, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!

    Here goes: I’m not ready to say “hey, my crowds are shrinking” because I personally don’t see that happening. If anything they seem to be still trending upward. I’ve seen more and more new faces at my shows in the past couple of months. How can this be? I play five to seven shows a week. Surely people would be burned out on me by now. Common sense says I’d be overexposed like a naked man on a freeway exit ramp, right?

    Each club has its own little scene going, for one thing. And each venue I play has their own core group of people who come, along with the Von-faithful (whom I adore!). People were brought there by friends, who in turn get their friends over, and some of these people become part of the regular crowd. I’ve got a core group of amazing hardcore fans who show up at nearly every show, and considering I do five-seven a week, two hours or so each, that’s an awful lot of time these wonderful folks put into listening, dancing and in the end, even “evangelizing” for lack of a better term, to help me continue to build the audience.

    I’m constantly adding new arrangements of old songs, and adding new songs to turn into old songs. I’m careful to try to maintain a good social networking thing with those who come out. I maintain my Facebook and MySpace page, I publish my gig schedule on a website, and I find myself booked months and months and months in advance. I have worked with a handful of key clubs who enjoy what I do who have booked me steadily six months in advance at times to try to build up a scene at these locations for both myself and the club owner. These are things I do. Maybe you do them to (he said not singling out anyone specifically). Maybe they are things you don’t do, or do here and there.

    I also think there is a little odd way of looking at these numbers being thrown about, as though because 60,000 people might be online, the fact that only 45 might be at a show is somehow a bad thing. If I lived in a town of 60,000, or did a show in a town of 60,000, and had a gig at a nice small club, getting 45-50 people to show up would be just fine with me. In the real world, at a $10 cover charge, that’s a nice payday. Even at a $5 cover it ain’t bad. I’m not making that kind of money in SL, but by golly, its pretty decent what I do make for what the gig entails, and all of the convenience it comes with such as not having to move my gear each night, drive to another town, or mess with any of the other physical world trappings of performances.

    If you find that your show attendance is shrinking, I’d advise you to stop looking for external reasons from some grander picture to explain it away with a “crowd recession theory” and look at ways you can make your concerts more likely to draw bigger crowds. I can’t say “what” it is that is causing some of you to see your audiences shrink. I don’t know. But I do know that if it were happening to me personally, I’d be examining myself and my show, my music selection, my schedule, my physical appearance, my stage look, my set, my audio sound quality, listening to playbacks of my shows, my promotion techniques, how I use notices, how effective my social-networking outreach is, how much fan interaction I’ve done, etc.

    In short, I’d be hyper-critically self-examining every detail about my shows to find out what might be making people not come out like they used to do. I’d be honest with myself. I’d ask trusted fans who’ve stuck with me, who would tell me the truth. And I’d try to shore up any areas where I’ve slacked off that might be contributing to my decline. I’d work to get in the SL press, in the physical world music press, mentioned in blogs, etc. I’d take a hiatus while I reinvented my shows, then make a big deal about the new and improved Von Johin when I “made my comeback.”

    Why? I want people to come to my shows. I want people to enjoy my music. I don’t take pride in clearing sims. I don’t want people who used to care to stop caring.

    The last thing I’d start doing is wondering if there was a crowd recession going on. If there are people online going to concerts, either I’m doing something they like, related to and enjoy, and want to attend, or I am not. Why am I still seeing my audience grow while some of you are not? I have no idea, I have not critically examined your whole scene the way you are capable of doing yourself if you’ll be brutally honest with yourself about every little detail, which is what I’d do if I were experiencing a decline in attendance so noticeable that I wondered if the whole SL music scene was shrinking.

    That’s my two-cent, provided for free, and worth what ya paid for it! 🙂

    Homeless, thanks for letting these comments get posted. Please, NOBODY take any of this directly as a hit at YOU as nobody in particular was in mind when I wrote it. For those inclined to take a snide view of this, no, I don’t think I’m all that. I’m honestly amazed at the continued “success” in SL playing music, and whether you believe it or not, I am very, very humbled and honored by it all. If it started to go away, I would be really bummed and I would bust my butt to try to fix whatever was broken, and that would start by looking within, not looking at the grand scene to see if there was some other reason why, like a crowd recession.

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