Shouldn’t We Be Streaming Concerts Like Mad by Now?
When Canada played the US in the semi-final for men’s Olympic hockey, the CBC served up around a million concurrent streams with nary a hiccup. That’s a lot. It also means that we’ve come a very long way in when it comes to be able to broadcast to mass audiences over the Internet.
So why hasn’t the concept of streaming concerts taken off? Billboard takes a look.
In some form or another, jam band Umphrey’s McGee posts every show it performs on the Internet — you can find its 2006 version of “Dick in a Box” on YouTube, listen to nearly 1,000 shows for $9.99 per month via UMLive.net and hear dozens of live tracks on SoundCloud. But despite this massive archive, the band rarely video-streams shows live as they happen — webcasting makes up 15 percent of its concert content.”The production cost can be prohibitive, where you spend more money than you would make,” says Kevin Browning, a member of the band’s management team who oversees the live content. “There’s often union fees. Bandwidth is actually a sizable hurdle. You also have promoters who aren’t into it — they think it’ll affect ticket sales.”