There’s nothing new or revolutionary about streaming live concerts online. Years before U2 staged their recent YouTube stream in L.A., there have been strides to create more live concert video available to folks sitting at home. In Austin, during the 1999 dot-com boom, I remember a start-up called ClubCast that was built around the idea of streaming club shows on one portal. Like many video start-ups, it fizzled because it was way ahead of its time. Now, the technology is at a comfortable pace, and according to Wired you can expect more and more stunts like the U2/YouTube event. Billboard has launched a live streaming destination, called “Billboard Live,” which recently hosted a massively popular R. Kelly gig. However, if you must leave your home, there are now even more ways to see shows in a city far away:
“We’ve converted [theaters] to a digital platform, using digital projectors and a connected environment as we move into the world order that exists today,” said Mike Fidler, Sony senior vice president of digital cinema solutions and services. “Most of the theaters’ demographics are really aligned with music demographics — close to 70 percent of the people attending theaters are under 30 — and so what we thought we’d try to do is bring these events during the week … and do it with emerging or emerged bands.” He said 3D could be the next phase.
Sony’s first such event featured an Aug. 20 Third Eye Blind show viewers could watch in theaters Oct. 22. Up next is Creed, who will appear “live” in some of Sony’s 4,000 theaters nationwide Nov. 19.
Once the program is up and running, Fidler told us, Sony will deliver the shows in high-definition directly to its Bravia line connected televisions, the company’s Blu-Ray players and possibly the Sony PlayStation. He said the concerts are “exclusive to Sony from the theatrical release to this video-on-demand program on the Bravia network.
Now, Third Eye Blind and Creed are no U2, but expect the breadth of artists to grow over time. Classical opera has long embraced the world of digital event theatrical, with great reward. Companies like Emerging Pictures have shifted more of their focus from booking traditional indie features to more events like “Opera In Cinema.” Reportedly, it works rather well.