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…which could prove a future revenue stream for artists and the industry alike.

Concert sold out? Located on the other side of the world? Don’t fear – you’ll still get to see the show, in real time.

Recently, I found myself in an extremely privileged position. A large company invited me into a room and asked me, as someone with a background in music content creation and a passable-enough grip on technology, to come up with some ideas and a tangible structure of creating a live concert experience for those that couldn’t attend a concert.

Sounds a bit tecchy, right? Well, not really actually. It’s often easy to forget what’s possible these days; the world around us has changed entirely, and so quickly, almost without enough breath to consider the fabulous achievements going on around us. Anyway, back to the script…

So in the ‘80s and ‘90s, we’d get our music video/filmed concert fix on MTV…

Then in the noughties, YouTube came along… where a far more flexible, on-demand model could more suitably fulfill personal viewing habits. To boot, via YouTube, we were also able to share our live concert experiences from a questionable-quality cameraphone clip.

Now, though, things are far better. It’s all about live broadcast to personal phone handsets and online.

I know – immediately, I reacted the same: live broadcast has been a staple part of traditional TV broadcasting for decades now, and has been rife over the past clutch of years on the Internet. What’s so genuinely new about all this?

Well, it’s the way you provide the service. How about you create a user app experience that can be downloaded for a nominal fee – or free, if there’s a sponsor willing to contribute – of a concert, or any other major event for that matter, and make it as widely available as possible?

Suddenly, wherever you are, you’re able to tune in and watch your favourite act play live, from the comfort of your own smartphone or iPad, or similar.

And what’s the actual appetite for this? Well, the first concert we streamed as part of this project was a sold out show – so already we knew there was demand from an audience to see the concert of the band in question (Everything Everything) that couldn’t get tickets.

Following the band’s extraordinary performance at the Union Chapel in December 2010, we discovered that over 3.5 times the amount of people in the venue capacity were streaming and viewing the concert live from around the world, chatting simultaneously via the app’s message board/chat page. Since archiving the concert both online and within the bespoke event app, as well as providing bonus footage from backstage from the night, those viewing figures have remained healthy.

So suddenly having a concert broadcast live – or an edit of the performance – stored to your phone (as well as an online partnering website, for those that haven’t got smartphones yet) means that the memory of a great night can remain forever intact. The ultimate souvenir, as caught in crisp HD picture and immense multi-tracked stereo sound.

And why should this be of great excitement to everyone?

Well, the fan wins – if they can’t make the show due to age restrictions, or distance, or because the tickets went too quickly, suddenly they can engage in the performance at their leisure, anywhere they like, as many times as they like.

The artist wins – they get to reach even more people than are in the room at the time.

The industry that supports the artist wins, as suddenly a potential new revenue stream presents itself:

– pre-show, fans that buy tickets could get an opt-in to download the ‘official concert app’ for a few extra pounds/euros/dollars/yen/etc. in order to relive the show and converse/meet up with fans attending the show;

– fans that missed out on tickets/cannot attend the show can also buy it to watch the gig they wouldn’t otherwise get to see;

– and – post show – those that missed the boat entirely, and heard it was a great night via the reviews and their mates, can also catch up and download a classic, archived show with bonus content from the night.

And aside from the concert stream itself on the app, you can also include a chat function – so a full-on community can revolve around the performance or tour – as well as links to exclusive competitions, merchandise, artists web-links and ‘buy music’ sites, all within an artist/event-branded mini-hub.

As a result of this, suddenly, the boom of the concert industry can potentially extend itself into the digital content/media business in a visceral, engaging way that was previously limited to occasional television TXs of mainstream artists playing a key event, or over-priced DVD packages.

Then, just imagine the way that such technology can extend beyond one-off concerts, but to major tours, festivals, entertainment events in general… Suddenly the ‘watch at home’, ‘laptop in café’ culture has a new threat… and it’s because of that small device in your pocket.

Toby L – www.lovelive.tvwww.transgressive.co.ukwww.rockfeedback.com


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About Author

James Martin

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.