Monday, July 21, 2014

Yahoo Now Broadcasts Live Concerts Every Night

Dave Mathews Band on Yahoo Screen
Yahoo keeps on trying to reinvent itself, and its latest venture into the unknown involves broadcasting a concert to a computer or mobile device near you. The service kicked off its "365 days of concerts" last week with a show by the Dave Mathews Band streaming live from Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL.

The concert-per-night idea is an effort to establish Yahoo Screen, it's competitor to YouTube. The concerts will be broadcast via it's LiveNation channel, with major stars like KISS, Justin Timberlake, and Usher upcoming, but less popular acts like Chevelle, 311, and Jurassic 5 more the norm.

While this sounds like a great idea and one that both fans and artists have been forever clamoring for, live concerts do present some challenges. First of all, it's difficult to adequately capture the vibe of concert on a small screen (especially on a mobile device). Then it's difficult to get people to watch for an entire concert, especially in these days of persistent multi-tasking.

Another factor is the timing of the concerts, which are broadcast live. A concert beginning at 8PM Eastern is right in the rush hour for the West Coast, which limits the audience. On the other hand, an 8PM West Coast start might be too late for all the Easterners to watch in its entirety.

A potential problem is the fact that the viewer can't scrub the concert timeline, so you're not able to go back to something that you might have missed earlier. Plus, the constant camera cutting can be annoying. It might be better if there was only a static shot.

Of course, live concerts is how radio first started, and concerts have been part of Public Television and HBO from the beginning. We're in a new world here, so it can only improve over time as the concept gains acceptance.

To me, the killer app will be when you're given multiple camera feeds that you can switch yourself. That way you'll have the most pleasing picture at your fingertips. I personally can't wait for the day when there is no more audience shots.

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