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Re: Composers should also get paid (was: Fripp & Eno 1973 / BBC / Peel /RIAA)

It's primarily a matter of "atmosphere." Why choose one bar over another, assuming they have the same beers available? Prices? Sure, but in a competitive market, those are going to be relatively close. A larger deciding factor for many is going to be the atmosphere. The music piped over the myoozak system or performed live is going to help people decided which bar to go to. That music can also have an effect on how much time a person or group of people stay in the establishment. The longer they stay, the more they're likely to spend.

As a specific example of music directly impacting the profitability of a bar, I put forth personal experience playing in a band that plays a mix of originals and traditional Irish/Scottish/Welsh/English folk songs (mostly of the drinking variety). When we play at bars, they sell more whiskey than on nights they have one of the local blues bands or the 80s cover/party band. Might have something to do with all the songs we sing about whiskey. At the very least, it has something to do with all the rounds of shots the crowd sends up to the stage to entice us to sing certain drinking-oriented sea chanteys.

As another example, there are a handful of restaurants in the area of the 'steakhouse' variety (both national chains as well as ma-n-pop). Some of the national/regional chains are built on strong ties to the South and Southwest of the US. As a result, their atmosphere is governed by the country music cowboy atmosphere. I generally don't care to have country music blasting at me while I'm trying to eat, so I tend to elsewhere when I want a steak. Plenty of other people love the atmosphere and go to those places, at least in part, because of it.

Ultimately, if the aural atmosphere had no impact on a restaurant or a bar, they wouldn't bother to pay bands to play or even bother to wire the place for sound. Who needs the expense and hassle? A bar owner's magnanimity toward local musicians will usually only last as long as their business benefits from the relationship. There are few who feel an altruistic drive to support local music(ians), business survival be damned.

Jon Southwood

On 7/9/07, Rev Fever <revfever@ubergadget.com> wrote:

But, I still do not see how a place's profits are verifiably
"increased" for them featuring recordings, or cover tunes being
played live, and why they should be "billed" for doing so?