As the focus has shifted away from being music collectors, it may be fair to say that we have become collectors of experiences. I can’t say that I have any data to back up my assertion, but I have a heap of anecdotal evidence to suggest that people are very keen to go and see their favourite artists perform live, in a way that perhaps they weren’t ten years ago or so.
Again, this may not be the case and it’s certainly undeniable that live music venues in major cities are struggling, but I look at the relationship that fans have with acts such as Chance The Rapper as a completely new model for how music collectors show their dedication.
Chance, adapting to an environment in which the album means less and less, gives all of his music away for free. Rather than being a collector of his music, his fans collect memories of incredible gigs and declare themselves part of the tribe through the purchase of merchandise.
Merch and live gigs are nothing new, of course. But they occupy a very different space than they once did. And I think they are the badge of honour among a new generation of collectors.