Live and Not Near You: The Streamed Concert

Streaming Music

(From USA Today, September 13, 2013) With the improvement of technology, the way live music fans enjoy concerts could be changing. “Streaming concerts are suddenly everywhere, in all shapes and sizes,” says Paul Resnikoff, the founder of CA-based Digital Music News, a source for industry information. “And the quality is approaching HD (high definition) ‘amazing.’ ” The best place to enjoy a concert could very well be your own couch.

Streaming is a way of receiving a file without downloading it to your computer or device. One well known application for streaming music is Spotify. For a monthly fee, music fans can stream their favorite music directly to their phones and other devices. Streaming live concerts gives the consumer the ability to partake in a concert in say, Sydney, without having to purchase and plan a trip to Australia. Apple’s iTunes Festival, taking place in London, is an example of the streamed concert concept.

“(The iTunes Festival) gives artists exposure to millions of iTunes customers around the world who can view the live streams on their iOS devices and Apple TV,” Oliver Schusser, Senior Director of iTunes International, said in an email. If┬ácustomers have access to Apple hardware and software, they have the ability to see, in real time, Lady Gaga, Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake, and Elton John perform at the festival. As the music industry tries to reach new and established audiences, the live streamed concert is proving to be a unique and popular concept, connecting fans with their favorite artists when they can’t physically be at their performances. “What is sold is the live experience,” says Alex Pham, a senior correspondent at Billboard.

While some analysts agree that it’s hard to judge the direction of the live streamed concert idea because of its newness, some people are optimistic about the concept. “The vision (with streaming) is that the concert experience spreads far and wide, generating revenue beyond the actual venue itself,” Resnikoff said. “Coachella (the annual three-day music and arts festival held in Indio, CA) may grow or maintain its relevance and importance to music fans over the next decade thanks to smart streaming strategies. How do you put a price tag on that?”