Entertainment News to Chew On: Music Spending, Carrie in Los Angeles, Veronica Mars

Staring at the collected links today while eating my salad over lunch identified two distinct themes. The first brings together a number of entertainment items of interest:

  • Money for Music. Some interesting numbers out of SXSW 2013 provide a picture of entertainment spending: Serious music fans spend over $442/year on music. Specifically, Neilsen has identified three core consumer categories. The “aficionado” is willing to spend more than $422 per year on music, concerts and artist merch, and does so via sites such as iTunes, Amazon and indie outlets. The “digital fan” was determined to spend about $363 per year and views a smartphone or tablet as the entertainment hub. Finally, the “big box” fan shops at mass retailers, is partial to pop and country and spends, on average, $196 per year on music. Those who can be classified as music fans account for nearly 75% of all music spending in the U.S. The bad news? The most avid of fans in Nielsen’s sampling of 4,000 consumers downloaded the most tracks for free, approximately 30 in a year. What’s more, those classified as “music fans” account for just 40% of the music-buying public in America. Based on these numbers, I’m in the aficionado group — about 3-4 times per year, I’ll do a $100+ music buy — usually a mix of used CDs, new CDs, LPs, and digital music. I go to lots of concerts and musicals during the year, but don’t buy that much merch. I also listen to my music — I’ll note my Music playlist on the iPod is at 30,888 tracks, and nearly two-thirds of those tracks have been listened to at least 8 times.
  • Blood on the Stage. This is some exciting news. Playbill has announced that the Transfer Theatre Company will be mounting a production of the musical “Carrie” this fall. Transfer Theatre Company is what used to be known as the Neighborhood Theatre of Palos Verdes. In that guise, we saw truly excellent productions of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Parade” (the latter even better than what the Mark Taper Forum did). So I’m really excited about TTC’s production of Carrie. The original production was a notorious flop; the revival redeemed the musical’s reputation, and I can’t wait to see what TTC will do with it.
  • Veronica Mars Lives. Now I’m not into TV that much, except for a few guilty pleasures (cough, Dallas, cough, Survivor, cough, Smash). But I have been having fun with Kickstarter lately, so an article in EW about the brief UPN/CW series “Veronica Mars” being revived for a movie was interesting. Why? Because the only way it will happen is if a $2 million, 30-day Kickstarter succeeds. I’ve seen Kickstarter used for lots of things — cast albums, theatre productions, and some specialized movie projects, but this is the first time I’ve seen it for a major-market product with a major studio. It is also a gigantic amount they need to raise. It will be interesting to see if they can do it. [Note: In less than a day, they’ve raised over $800,000; if this pace continues, reaching $2,000,000 is clearly possible.] [ETA: In less than 8 hours, they are up to 1.84 million. I expect them to reach their goal in under 24 hours. Amazing!] [ETAA: They made it, in less than a day. Expect to see funding efforts for movies like this again.]

Music: The Wedding Singer (Original Broadway Cast): “If I Told You”


3 Replies to “Entertainment News to Chew On: Music Spending, Carrie in Los Angeles, Veronica Mars”

  1. That Veronica Mars movie is a sure bet–this is the first day and they’re already over $1.3 million, with over 20,000 backers. And I haven’t backed yet (will do it when I get home after work).

    1. I’ve been watching it as well (although not backing — I never watched VM itself). I’m curious if it is going to make 2MM in the first 24 hours. If so, I’m wondering the impact that this “experiment” will have on big-budget film funding, especially when there is no requirement to pay any of these producers a share of the eventual profit (if any). Might it also impact large-scale (read Broadway-bound) theatre project funding?

      1. Obviously most backers think that an adequate return for their money is (a) the thing coming into existence and (b) whatever swag their level of support returns. I’ve backed 3 projects now; one has made reasonable progress (a game that has released one of the modules but not the entire game), one is in beta (a privacy-related software project), and this Veronica Mars project. I wonder whether we’d hop on the bandwagon as quickly or at all if there were a statement about how profits would be handled? I wonder whether people would choose to raise funding through Kickstarter if they had to recite how profits will be distributed?

        A Broadway show…what would the support level swag be? They’re not usually recorded, and they can’t really offer a walk-on part. Premiere tickets would be very limited (as are the VM tickets, only 50 pairs and that sold out very quickly). Signed posters, a copy of the script, tickets to later performances of the show (but assumes a minimum run of enough days to allow supporters to see it). What else can you think of?

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