CANNES, France -- Shows like MIDEM are full of companies looking to strike deals and make partnerships, but not yet ready to discuss on the record the details of their products. So we wind up having many meetings on background with companies planning to take their wares live in the coming months.
Once such meeting here was with a firm preparing a unique multiplatform live music platform designed to let artists stream their performances to multiple connected devices--mobile phones, the iPad, game consoles, connected TVs and so on.
Now, I can't divulge yet all the details due to promises made, but the takeaway is that we'll probably start seeing more flavors of these kind of live-streaming services in the year ahead. One of the bigger catalysts is the profligation of connected TVs, such as what we say on display earlier this month at CES.
People may be buying these TV sets for thir flat screen and HD graphics, but what's going to drive users to interact with the Internet-based content features is, of course, content, and for now there's a scarcity of it.
That means the market is wide open for both new and established content services to establish a presence early as the format is young in expectation of growing along with the use of the format. Look at the success of app developers like Smule, who emerged from nowhere to become the king of the iPhone music apps simply by creating tone of the first music apps for the iPhone when it launched.
Live music streaming services are similarly eyeing the connected TV space. Some, like the company I met with here, propose to produce their own events an non-traditional venues with superstar acts by bringing in big name sponsors to cover the cost of it all. They then layer in interactive feature like viewer-to-viewer chat, viewer-to-artist chat, and the ability for fans at the venue live and those watching digitally to interact.
Artists and managers are into the idea. Tyler Hanson, of the rock family group Hanson, is here representing his indie label 3CGRecordings and is a big fan of livestreaming services. His label uses the Livestream platform to air performances online, and is also exploring a new company called LiveU. The latter is a company that uses multiple mobile phones and networks to stream video live while it's captured from a special camera equipped with a backpack holding all the technology used to make it happen. It's like a mobile recording unit.
Meanwhile Aaron Ray, a partner at The Collective, gave a case study on how his client Linkin Park uses a variety of digital initiatives to stay connected with fans and help promote their music and tours. They're eyeing deals with the likes of Netflix and Boxee for a branded artist channel, already have archived videos stored on Hulu, and are even eying 3D video.
"It's not just for recorded music," he said. "It's legitimate fan interaction. We really try to stay on top of the tech aspect of things."