July 15, 2014
Tonight’s performance by the Dave Matthews Band in Jacksonville, Florida will mark the first in a partnership between Yahoo and Live Nation to provide free, live streams of a different concert every day for a year. The idea is to draw attention to Yahoo’s video site Screen, which the company sees as an eventual competitor to Google’s YouTube. For Live Nation, and the music industry, the effort could lead to a new franchise for online concerts, which have yet to catch on with consumers.
“There hasn’t been one location where fans can go to see a diverse group of artists with really high-quality production,” said Russell Wallach, a senior exec at Live Nation. “That’s where we saw our opportunity with Yahoo.”
The partnership plans to live-stream performances by artists such as Kiss, Justin Timberlake, David Gray, Usher and the Neighbourhood (visit the Yahoo Screen Live page for the schedule).
“Live Nation will book each show and manage the camera crews; advertising will support the cost of producing the streams, and Kellogg has signed up as the first sponsor,” reports The New York Times.
“Music streaming itself has taken center stage in the recording industry,” suggests the article. “Online listening platforms like Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio are growing rapidly while CD and download sales are in sharp decline. Yet while some major festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo have been able to draw sizable audiences online — music and technology executives say the most successful events get a few million viewers — most concerts, even by major performers, struggle to attract even modest numbers of people.”
Yahoo and Live Nation hope their planned year of live-streaming concerts will help kickstart a new trend of online viewing.
In related news, Yahoo has acquired LA-based video streaming startup RayV, which develops software to stream HD quality video online and to mobile devices.
“Under CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has worked to expand its video offerings by acquiring exclusive rights to shows like ‘Community’ and hiring well-known media personalities like Katie Couric in order to boost engagement and advertising dollars,” reports Mashable. “Rumors of Yahoo’s interest in RayV first surfaced in late May. The Internet giant has also been rumored to be interested in other video companies like Dailymotion, NDN and Fullscreen.”