While Yahoo and Live Nation are set to launch their year-long concert series tonight with a nearly sold-out Dave Matthews Band show in Jacksonville, FL, analysts are wondering if there’s much of a market for daily live shows.
“If you think you can get millions of people to watch online just because you’re a big-name artist,” chief Ustream executive Brad Hunstable told the New York Times yesterday, “you’re probably going to be disappointed.”
“There hasn’t been one location where fans can go to see a diverse group of artists with really high-quality production,” countered Russell Wallach, a senior executive at Live Nation. “That’s where we saw our opportunity with Yahoo.”
As for what’s in it for Yahoo, the company hopes to elevate its YouTube competitor Screen via the deal, which leaves production duties up to Live Nation and stream costs up to sponsors. According to Kathy Savitt, Yahoo’s chief marketing officer, Kellogg is the project’s first advertiser, and three other as-yet-unnamed brands are also onboard so far. Artist wise, Yahoo and Live Nation are definitely playing it safe, with a mainstream-leaning first month that includes sets from KISS, Wiz Khalifa, Justin Timberlake and Usher. Even so, one booking agent told the Times “the demand just isn’t there.”
To which Savitt said, “Our hope is that you will go to hear your favorites, and discover some new band and say, ‘This is becoming my daily habit.’”
Which reminds us of one market they could tap: smokers who can’t quite get over the country’s many indoor bans.