There are artists who follow and there are artists that are game changers. Any fans of Metallica already know that the band stands as one of the most innovative rock and roll acts of all time. Yes, of course there were thousands of metal bands that came before Metallica, but the way the group attacked the genre was incredibly unique and fresh as they would wind up inspiring thousands of bands that came after them.
Metallica was also very protective of their music as they have every right to be. Composing and recording original songs is a painful process. It’s incredible hard work that can take years to develop and perfect before ten songs are released on an album. It can also be a very expensive process when musicians are giving up their entire lives to creating music. Studio time can be very expensive running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Groups always looked to recoup all that money by album sales which is what used to happen.
Sadly, illegal music downloading came along in the 90s and begin to wipe out the music industry. Eventually. legal streaming services like Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify took over and bands were still pretty much making no money selling their music. Metallica was one of the biggest bands fight back against all of that. Sure there were others that helped in the fight, but eventually they all lost. Metallica fought hard against the pirates and then held back their music from the streaming services, but in the end they could not really stop any of them.
When one loses battle but remains standing they usually either join up with the winners or pack their bags and move on and away. Metallica has done a little of both. The band now has their music on all streaming services but instead of just letting those corporate giants dictate all the rules, the group has created their own gateway for fans to enjoy exclusive material that they just cant download on Apple Music or Spotify. It’s called the Black Box Project and its initial launch was yesterday November 16th 2021.
Metallica’s Black Box Project is a forward ways of both looking back and ahead. The project gets its name based on their legendary Black album. The group has launched a website addressed metallicablackbox.com. The website will serve a a forum that will host much personal memorabilia and material that has never been released before. Currently the website is filled with some really amazing never seen before photographs that have been placed in separate galleries from the personal collection of each individual band member. Metallica fans will really enjoy flipping through all these great photos that I’ve never been seen before.
The real game changer behind Metallica’s Black Box Project is the live streaming shows that the band will be offering on the website. Using technology that will hopefully not allow people to copy the videos or at least that’s what the band is probably hoping for, fans will be able to purchase at a very fair price live streaming concerts that are scheduled to be held on the site. The life streaming concerts are not actually really live but rather live streaming events meaning everybody gets to watch it at the same time. Many musical artists like Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen have been selling past live shows on their websites now for the past few years. That was done to beat the bootleggers. In the old days fans spent anywhere between 30 and 100 bucks buying a bootleg CD. That’s all changed now and so many artist sell their own bootleg CDs for cheap prices. But once again, those CDs and videos that are on sale are just copied and put on YouTube or on streaming sites pretty much defeating the purpose of what the bands are trying to do.
Metallica’s Black Box Project is a game changer because these past concerts are only going to be streamed live making it very difficult for people to make copies of the shows and share. Additionally, Metallica is hoping that the live streaming experience in which people will be able to comment and speak to each other during the show will make it like attending a live concert in the past. Where Metallica is really getting it right with this is the price they are charging for these live concerts. The live concerts only cost $5.98 to stream the show.
The $5.98 price is pretty much on par with most video stream rental prices. Metallica also give you 48 hours to rewatch the video. Now of course you know some people will figure out how to copy it, but that’s not the point of the live stream. Metallica is hoping that the live stream experience in which fans will be able to talk to each other and comment in real time will entice people to come back for each individual show that is streamed in the future. It’s pretty much a pay-per-view event but it gives people the ability to comment live and it’s much cheaper than most pay-per-view events charge anyway.
The first live stream event will take place on November 20,2021. The live stream event will broadcast Metallica’s 1991 show from Graz, Austria. Metallica has also set dates for live streams in December from their 1991 show in Cleveland and their 1992 show from Los Angeles.
By signing up for an account on the website Metallica promises future notices about more unreleased material, concerts and the ability to buy some rare items like photographs that can cost thousands of dollars because of the rarity. In many ways it’s like joining a fan club but on a much more modern level with the ability to join live stream events. For the band Metallica it can be a game changer because it gives them the ability to make money once again selling their music and of course merchandise. Will other bands follow suit? Of course they will if they see Metallica making money on the site which they most definitely will from their most diehard fans. It probably won’t reach a mass cultural audience like they’re hoping for, but it will definitely be a game changer for loyal fans who are just dying for anything new from the band.
Metallica’s Black Box Project Launch A Game Changer article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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