Catering to a new category of digital content demand, Apple has introduced "Live Music" as an addition to iTunes that accommodates a wealth of live concert recordings through their teamwork with Live Nation.
Although Apple has a lengthy track record of distributing live concerts, the new Live Music section essentially serves a channel for both new and old recordings where classic concert albums and concert films will join new recordings from Live Nation as well as many concerts recorded at various Apple stores - all of which can be sorted by store location.
You will probably notice as quickly as I did, however, that a great deal of the featured content "now available" has already been available for quite some time. One example given is that of Pearl Jam's 2006 Bootleg recordings from their live tour. But It's only now that these and other live concert recording are being lumped together in a category of their own.
For now, the initial wave of fresh and exclusive recordings include material from Ziggy Marley, OK Go, Hillary Duff, Plain White T's, and Duffy.
The existence of Apple's Live Nationís show library comes as a surprise to many who likely never stopped to realize that Apple now has access to enough content to actually make a viable dedicated section. At present, Apple has set the price of concert videos between the $8 and $13 range, which audio only concert shows are consistently priced at $8. Not bad, considering Live Nation sold in excess of fifty million concert tickets in 2008 alone at much higher prices.
The new section represents another breakthrough in the promising area of live digital music, which has been hampered by complicated rights issues even as other forms of music proliferate legally online. Live music has traditionally presented significant difficulty for digital distributors due to a tangled rights situation. Selling a live recording potentially requires sign-off from a band; their label, publisher, songwriters and manager; plus the venue and the promoter.
From the official announcement by Apple:
In the past few years, Live Nation has put on some of the best concerts and tours around, producing over 22,000 live events annually while working with some of the top artists in the world and managing some of the best known venues. Now you can get amazing concert recordings from Live Nation venues and tours, on iTunes. Below you'll find live sets from an eclectic array of artists captured from their live shows around the world.
Image via Apple Insider