Concert DVDs Fill Gaps

Last year, when the rock band Heart regrouped to the point of thinking about touring and releasing new products, one of the first things they decided to do was to videotape one of their shows for a video release. In years past, that might have seemed an odd choice for a band that hadn’t done much for the better part of a decade. But these days, it just makes sense.

It is easier than ever for a recording artist to make a concert DVD. For a well-rehearsed band, making a concert DVD may actually be easier and less expensive than recording an album, releasing a single, or making a music video. Video cameras are not the big-ticket items they once were, and video editing is now within the reach of anyone who has an up-to-date desktop computer, so video costs less than before. A concert video might cost less than a song video because, by definition, it is recorded during a concert, probably a concert the band was going to do anyway. Unlike a song video, it doesn’t involve endless hours or days of taping. When the concert is over, the taping is done. And editing a concert video can be easier than editing a conceptual song video because there aren’t as many options to consider.

The cost of replicating DVDs has fallen also and is now only fractionally higher than the cost of replicating CDs. This means that the price of a concert DVD can be similar to the price of an album, making it attractive to fans. And from the fans’ point of view, a concert DVD can fill in a gap in a recording artist’s career. Heart hasn’t yet released a new studio album, but the tour and concert video tell the world that they’re a presence again. And when fans wonder whether a band is still good enough to see in concert, a DVD can answer that question at a price that’s much less than the price of a concert ticket.

Some recording artists might want to consider releasing a concert DVD even before they start recording their first album. This wouldn’t have made sense in the past, but for artists who look and sound good on stage, it can be a quick, low-pressure way to get a career started. A concert DVD can, in ideal circumstances, be done in a matter of days, and that might be better than waiting several months or a year to get an album ready.

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