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Springsteen Live Concert Recording Plans Enter Then Exit The PR Disaster Zone

Bruce-springsteen-high-hopesBruce Springsteen's upcoming tour begins in Cape Town with a new offering that's got a lot of future potential, giving fans an audio and/or video recording of the show immediately afterwards or quite soon thereafter. Wish we had a clear term for such concert recordings but one can imagine that many fans would be interested in such a thing. Unfortunately the initial Springsteen announcement was met with some dismay by hardcore fans because it seemed like an overpriced ripoff. Now fans have a second option and response so far has been quite positive.

First Team Springsteen announced a $40 wristband with a flash drive that listeners take home and use to connect to a server for the download. So it's a pass key on a USB with the name of the band and a woven leather wristband.

You get to choose one show of your choice. Shows will be available within 48 hours of the show date. Files are MP3s.

Apparently they got the idea from Matchbox Twenty and both work with ONELIVE to make it happen.


Pre Order - Bruce Springsteen USB Wristband

A post titled "Total Disaster as Springsteen Tries to Sell Recordings of Live Shows" seemed to sum up many fans' initial response in the original post. Here are some selected quotes:

"The $40 price is so far out of line with the industry standard as to be baffling. Pearl Jam charges $10 per show in MP3 format; $15 per show in FLAC format; $16.98 for physical CDs and $20 for FLAC-HD. Similar prices are charged by Metallica. John Fogerty. Phish."

"Plus tax and shipping. That’s right, because the only way to get the recording is on the silly USB drive, a buyer has to also pay for shipping (minimum charge $8.95 on an item that requires about $2.00 of postage) in order to get the recording." [note: unless they buy it at the show instead of preordering]

"MP3s are not 'high-quality' audio. This is not up for debate. Advertising these as 'high-quality audio recordings,' as listed in the store on Bruce’s official website, is insulting."

"Offering MP3s only is stupid."

"The takeaway here is that Bruce and/or his advisors, including Jon Landau, simply do not understand Bruce’s fanbase."

Digital Peace Is Restored

As you'll note from the opening of the above post and the upbeat news update at, this offering was followed by one that made the hardcore happy:

"Springsteen will also be offering direct audio downloads through his official Live Nation online store following each show on the upcoming leg, with no physical purchase required."

"There will be two options for audio formats: MP3 (320 kbps) or FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec). Pricing will match Pearl Jam's, at $9.99 for MP3 or $14.99 for FLAC. Hard to say fairer than that."

This is what hardcore fans had been asking for. Unfortunately some unneeded discord was created by the two phase announcement.

As Erik Flannigan discussed in a separate post on, the original item was intended to be for those fans who rarely see a concert and really only need one momento from the show or tour.

All that sorted out, we now have yet another major artist providing recordings of their live shows.

[Thumbnail image cover of Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes.]


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.