The Past, Present, and Future of Concert Bootlegs

Author: Jimmy Dendrinos
Date: April 22, 2021

Concert bootlegs, or unofficial live music recordings have a long and storied history in the music world. For as long as there has been the ability to record sound, people have recorded live music. The oldest surviving live concert performance is George Friedrich Handel’s – Israel in Egypt performed on June 29th, 1888.

While official concert recordings were a regular occurrence, unofficially bootlegging shows turned into an art form in the 1960’s. Bob Dylan was among the first artist to have a unofficial bootleg boost his prominence. There were even famous bootleggers such as “Dub”, an amateur sound engineer and Rolling Stones fanatic who recorded a number of shows on the their first U.S. tour and released the prominent bootleg, Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be.

In the 1970’s full on bootleg labels rose to prominence. Bootlegs grew more and more mainstream through the 1980’s and 90’s, as recording equipment became more accessible to a large portion of the population. The bootleg market grew oversaturated, and only high-quality rare recordings were selling for a profit.

In the 2000’s, the rise of the internet revolutionized bootleg distribution. Full length concerts are routinely uploaded to YouTube, often without the artist permission. While copyright holders can now make claims against this content, they will forever be fighting an uphill battle. Currently, artists are left with the choice but to publicly release their live show recordings or keep them locked away and allow bootleggers to fulfill the demand.

Current distribution methods for live show recordings are extremely poor at monetizing their value. YouTube or Soundcloud ad revenue is minuscule and everyone hates advertisements in the middle of a performance. NFT Concerts plans to fix this. Artists will now be able to extract the true value from their live show recordings. By using NFT’s to grant access to stream the uninterrupted recording, NFT Concerts can protect the official recording from unauthorized viewers while granting owners access to a unique digital asset. Fans can sell or swap access to different show recordings at a fair market value, and the artist can set a resale fee to ensure they get a piece of the action. If you are an artist looking to properly monetize your live show recordings, contact us today for more information.


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