Yahoo’s steady move back into digital music continues, with news that it has signed a partnership with Live Nation to stream gigs online.
Yahoo is launching a dedicated video channel for the deal, with plans to stream a live concert every day, plus interviews and backstage footage around it. The venture will be funded by advertising rather than subscriptions, with Kellogg’s already signed on as a launch sponsor.
“We plan on making money on this channel, as does Yahoo; we know advertisers are going to be oversubscribed,” Live Nation boss Michael Rapino told the Wall Street Journal.
The channel – delivered as part of the Yahoo Screen site – will feature artists of varying sizes, from emerging acts to big stars. The deal follows Yahoo’s acquisition of streaming-concerts startup EvntLive late in 2013.
That service launched in April 2013, and livestreamed hundreds of gigs before being snapped up by Yahoo. “Although our service will no longer be available, we are excited to be joining Yahoo’s video team,” said the startup at the time. Now we know more about what that excitement was leading to.
Will streaming gigs be big business for Yahoo and Live Nation, as well as for the artists featured on the new channel? Naturally, no details of potential revenue splits are being shared publicly at this point.
Even so, it’s part of a wider resurgence of industry interest in livestreaming: aggregator Irocke is quoted in the Wall Street Journal piece claiming that 380m people watched concerts online in 2013, up 40% year-on-year.
YouTube, Apple, Vevo and sundry startups have played their parts in this, but the Yahoo / Live Nation deal is the biggest bet yet on fans watching gigs from their homes – even if it could also be seen as an acknowledgement that persuading them to pay for it remains a tough task.