Yahoo and Live Nation team up to stream concerts

By Ben Sisario / New York Times News Service

The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, where the Dave Matthews Band is playing tonight, can hold up to 15,000 people. But as Yahoo and Live Nation see it, the potential audience is limitless.

Tonight’s show is the first in an ambitious partnership to supply free live video streams of a different concert each day for an entire year; more shows are planned by Kiss, Justin Timberlake, Usher and the Neighbourhood.

If successful, the program will help establish Screen, Yahoo’s video site and competitor to YouTube. And for Live Nation, the world’s biggest concert promoter, and the rest of the music industry, it could create a franchise for online concerts, which have long been promoted as the next big thing.

Yahoo and Live Nation want to cultivate a regular audience for concerts online by establishing a familiar destination and promoting it heavily. Their program promises to stream a concert for each of the next 365 days, including every major holiday. Live Nation will book each show and manage the camera crews; advertising will support the cost of producing the streams.