If you’re like many other casual music fans, you like to post and view footage of live music on Youtube. The main issue with this is sound quality and grainy footage. Some of these videos rack up thousands of views anyhow. The folks running the website Concert Window saw this and theorized that there may be a market for “virtual” attendance of a show. The website explains the concept as follows:
This is your real-time exclusive window into the best venues in the country. With HD video, high-fidelity sound, and the ability to chat with other viewers, you’ll feel like you have the best seat in the house. To make your experience even more enjoyable, hook your computer or laptop up to your TV with an HDMI cable [source]
This is a brilliant idea, we think. Not without drawbacks, but a good idea. Let’s break it down. First, the positives:
- 2/3 of the profits from virtual tickets (up to $5 a ticket maximum) directly support the venues and artists
- HD quality viewing!
- Tickets are on the cheap and shows are only streamed live, giving people incentive to buy in rather than wait for bootleg Youtube videos.
- Artists and venues now have a new marketing platform.
- Advantage over Youtube: real-time chat ability, which will not annoy fellow concert goers like they might in a live setting (obvious perhaps, but bears mentioning anyway).
- They are starting out with widespread venue representation already – Austin is a no-brainer, and an esteemed college in Boston opens up the potential for a whole new demographic, for example.
- Though not here yet (at the time of this writing), streaming via smartphones and tablets is coming.
Now, some things to think about for the company:
- How do they intend to compete with the exclusive streams of some major concert events that Youtube carries, i.e. U2′s show in the Rose Bowl or performances from Coachella or Bonnaroo? Do they want to showcase that niche market at all?
- How does the 2/3′s profit get divvied up between the artist and venue? This isn’t immediately clear.
- There is potential for server overload. HD streaming is pretty ambitious, but with technology accelerating the rate it is, hopefully this problem will resolve itself.
- What about colleges that live stream their student ensemble performances? Is there an opportunity here?
- If this concept takes off, I could see people attempting to “record” the streams for later plays on Youtube, similarly to Youtube rips of concert DVDs. How do they attempt to combat this?