Would You Pay to Stream a Concert Online?

Recently, I read an article about the online-only music festival MTV is launching June 19 alongside VH1 and CMT, and it made me think about this idea of watching live music online. Of course, streaming shows has been around for a while now; Coachella did it this past April and numerous others have done it before.

Viewers have been able to catch these concerts online mostly for free as far as I know. However, a new company, EvntLive, which launched its website this past spring, aims to stream live shows from various artists, some for no cost, but others for a fee.

I perused the company’s site a bit and signed up for an account. The website, though still in its beta stages, is easy to navigate and understand. So far there are a handful of shows previously streamed that you can watch on demand, ranging from artists like Dispatch to Kopecky Family Band to Flogging Molly. Some are free, while others currently cost between $3 to $5 to view. The website is also currently streaming the Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter, New York today and tomorrow for free.

In an interview with Billboard, co-founder David Carrico said EvntLive wants to focus primarily on brand artists, whether that means independent artists who have garnered a large following or the big names of today. In other words, they have grand dreams for the budding company.

So my question is – will people pay to watch a concert online? Would you?

Personally, I don’t know that I would.

There’s something about experiencing a show firsthand: not just hearing the music, but feeling it too. The opportunity to witness your favorite band with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of fellow fans is an experience that’s hard to recreate digitally. It’s a glorious moment, even if it sometimes means foregoing personal space norms (hey gal in front of me, your curly locks are literally in my face; please refrain from whipping your hair around) and the occasional near-death experience (shout out to whoever decided to create a stampede toward the stage during “Sleepyhead” at that one Nashville Passion Pit show that nearly CRUSHED me… Fortunately I lived to see Passion Pit again a few months later – this time in Denver and without a stampede. HOLLER.).

I feel like watching a concert online in place of actually being at the show just wouldn’t do it for me. I’d feel somehow cheated of the full experience.


Experience from Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto concert = impossible to fully capture through online means

Maybe if the show were free to stream online, I would watch it. But then again, that’s only a maybe.

On the other hand, I know there are people who would prefer to watch a show from the comfort of their home. Maybe someone can’t afford the sometimes overly-priced ticket or perhaps the show is sold out or the band isn’t making a stop in their town. I suppose the opportunity to watch the show live online is better than not getting to catch the show at all.

EvntLive and others like it could be right – paid online concert streaming could be a new way for the music industry to gain revenue. I’m curious to see if this concept takes hold and does indeed fulfill its potential.

As for me, I’ll just stick with soaking in live music the old-fashioned way for now. Guess who has tickets to see John Mayer at Red Rocks (y’know… that venue that’s on the side of a MOUNTAIN) in July? THIS GIRL. Stoked is an understatement.

Currently Listening:

Today finds me totally missing Nashville (is it August yet?), so why not a song from Nashville/Belmont band COIN? “It’s Okay” is one of my favorites from their first EP “Saturdays,” available on Noisetrade. Their poppin’ new EP “1992” is available on iTunes.

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