TWO WORDS: PAY PER VIEW
Recently, Death Cab For Cutie successfully live-streamed the filming of their new music video, to considerable interest. We don’t have the exact numbers, but trust us: a lot of fucking people watched that thing. DebutLive founder Marlena Edwards thinks music lovers would like to hear new material from established and independent artists in a similar way.
From LiveStream to UStream to YouTube, no one thinks it’s a bad bet that live streaming video is the future. But Edwards detects a niche, and that niche is Firsts. “Debutlive.com will stream pay-to-view live concerts featuring major artists [debuting] their [latest] album,” she explains. In other words, fans can check out a brand-new joint from their favorite bands, performed and streaming live on their PCs, iPhones, iPads, or Android devices.
Wait, wasn’t that Death Cab thing free? Well, Edwards thinks there’s a niche for that, too. Independent artists will be able to use their iPhones to broadcast a live video performance that can stream via a sister site, idebutlive.com, and via a social widget that can be syndicated across the web. E-commerce tools will let viewers make donations toward the artist's music project.
Is that offer attractive enough that artists will skip the big players, many of whom are gunning hard to launch pay-per-view platforms of their own? Only time will tell. DebutLive hopes to succeed through a combination of commissions (they take a percentage of all site transactions) and ad sales; Edwards thinks it’ll be worth $50 million in revenue within three to five years.
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