There used to be a day when the live album was a nostalgic gem among album collections. Whether you even liked the live album or not, you just had to have it in order for your collection to be complete. Some music fans really dig live albums, while others, like myself, are very choosy when it comes to a live album.
These days it's a lot different in that most people, especially people that only buy or download digital albums, don't really care about live releases.
A live album has to be a very pristine recording for me to really enjoy it. Other people like the raw, bootleg type. Either way, the band has to be at their best. You can't be a stellar band in the studio and sound like complete garbage live. That can ruin a lot of bands for fans. If I pay good money to go see a live show, I better be able to enjoy the music, especially if I have to put up with (other) drunk and sweaty concert-goers.
Most of the big bands of yesterday have released one or more live albums. It almost seems out of the question these days because of the trends and how long they tend to NOT last. Bootleg concerts used to be a big seller and most bands and labels tried to stop the sale of them because it was considered and still may be copyright infringement. So are live albums not as relevant in the music industry as they used to be? If your favorite band put out a live album today, would you go out and buy it, or would you rather have something visual, like a live DVD?