Tag Archives: LiveStream

Arcade Fire Unstaged

3 Aug

A few weeks ago I wrote about a new idea some companies had to offer streaming HD video feeds of concerts for fans at home.  This week, American Express and the Arcade Fire (an awesome band, check out their new album ” The Suburbs” which dropped today) are streaming the second show from their two-night run at Madison Square Garden free on Youtube.

Arcade Fire has been embracing social media and using the Web to reach its fans for years, but for this tour they’re taking things to the next level.  Live-stream concert viewers can “Tweet the Band” to ask questions for the band to answer during a pre-show Q&A.  In addition, Amex is supporting “Digital Happenings,” where artists will collaborate with the online audience.  For this show, that means fans will have the opportunity to submit photos of their suburbs, which will be projected on stage during a song from “The Suburbs.”

Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) is directing the show, but viewers can choose between the director’s stream and a second camera that captures alternative vantage points, such as backstage or the balcony.   This is the first of five concerts in the American Express Unstaged series – future shows include John Legend and The Roots.

The show’s this Thursday, August 5, at 10 pm.  Check it out at www.youtube.com/arcadefirevevo.  If this is popular, it could signal a shift in priorities for the live music industry, which has struggled this summer due to higher ticket prices and fans reluctant to spend in a tough economic climate.

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Today’s News: Paying for Concerts Online?

12 Jul

From CNN: “Turning Live Music on the Web into a Hot Ticket

Some see a new market in online “live” entertainment opening up in the next few years. But will fans embrace their favorite artists online without the thrilling atmosphere of a concert?

“The business of live music on the web has to be tied to a bigger initiative,” says Scarpa.
“It’s not just about broadcasting a live concert, but making the tour, the album, the videos all part of a cohesive strategy for the band and the audience. It’s about using all the mediums and bringing them together.
“It’s important they don’t see it as an afterthought….”It’s about creating experiences, marketing them — and making them participatory. “That’s when you can see this thing really having meaning.”””

How do you market an “experience” that doesn’t involve leaving your couch? If everyone is having their own “experience” watching an event, how do you connect them? Companies such as LiveStream think that the next big thing in entertainment is user-created “television,” and with 16.7 million unique viewers a month, they might be right. The question then becomes, “Is this a fad, or a viable business?” YouTube already streams videos for free, supported by ads on the page and embedded in the videos, and allows users to upload their own creations for free.

“We’ve made it very affordable,” Max Haot, founder and CEO of LiveStream, told CNN.
“Our main target is event owners and producers around the world, whether that’s concerts or school events or churches, whatever their budget; whether they want to use our free version or do something which is a bit professional, we can do that for them.
“We have our own IM chat and we integrate Facebook chat as well, so the viewers can talk together about the concert… It’s really cool; people really share the experience.”
“The CNNs, NFLs, ESPNs of this world will still do it for themselves,” he says. “But everyone else will, I think, gravitate around a business like ours.”
Haot believes that the web is on the cusp of a huge upsurge of live content on the web.
“There are millions of compelling live events going on out there, and as soon as they start to come online people will watch them. I think in five years 20 per cent of the internet eyeballs will be watching live events.”

I see two problems with this: First, who is going to police this and make sure that people are actually paying for content? I could see, say, ESPN charging to stream the World Cup Final live, but within an hour of the final whistle, there are already dozens of unauthorized sites providing video of the match, for free. Scarpa, a pioneer in directing and producing live interactive media, says these legal issues have been ironed out as Web 2.0 technology has matured, but I’m not so sure.

Similarly, I think Haot’s idea about creating a conversation around your event is intriguing, but also a little redundant. People are already doing this, discussing the set list over Twitter while the show is still going on. (Want proof? Talk to any Phish fans you might know!) Unless an artist can build a dedicated community through their own website, the tools to do this are already in place with Twitter and Facebook, so I don’t know if the niche this product is designed to fill actually exists at all. There’s already so much free music (including live concert videos) on the Internet, complete with ways to react and comment on them, that this idea seems a little like trying to sell snow to Eskimos.

What do you think? Would you pay to watch a concert streamed live online? What about to watch a video webcast of a show you went to in person? If you’re at a show, are you watching the stage or watching your Twitter?

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