While live-streaming concerts is nothing new to the music industry, a market leader has yet to emerge. 2vLive, an Atlanta-, London-, and Toronto-based company that describes itself as the "On Demand" of live concert streaming, aims to change that.
2vLive offers customized concerts, an interactive platform that allows users to do things like buy merchandise without leaving the show, interact with other fans simultaneously watching remotely, and ask the performers questions during the performance via iPad.
"There's been a lot of people experimenting with the live streaming space, but for us the inspiration was to find a live-streaming product that that could work for the consumer," says 2vLive president and founder Jennifer Dyer, "to give them a live service that's consistent, frequent, always there."
Eventually, 2vLive hopes to become a primary, regular destination for live concert streaming in the vein of companies like AXS TV, the entertainment streaming channel owned by Mark Cuban's HDNet, Livestream, which regularly live-streams occasions like conferences, awards ceremonies, and sporting events in addition to concerts, and Ustream, the San Francisco-based partner of media heavyweights like Samsung and Viacom (other market leaders include Justin.tv, Vivolive, and Brightcove). Though 2vLive has plans to increase its shows from the current once-a-month model to hosting live-streamed concerts once a week, right now it more closely resembles series like American Express' "Unstaged" series (where actors/directors work with bands to direct footage), iTunes Festival, which was live-streamed around the world from London this month, or Stageit, a medium for artists with a smaller following to broadcast their living room sets.
2vLive certainly has all the ingredients of a successful live-streaming platform: it has interactive components such as the option to buy merch; "Three In a Row," questions posed by the audience to the performer mid-show; a view of the backstage before the show starts; and the ability to choose your own camera angle. And, like Stageit, it also sells virtual tickets at a cost of $5.99 to watch the performance.
In order to reach their goals for monetization, Dyer is engaged in sponsorship negotiations for 2vLive (so far, the company has been privately funded). "The caliber of the commercial talent naturally draws that conversation," she said, admitting that 2vLive would probably be "testing the waters" for the first four shows before finding a solid financial backer.
In the meantime, all four of the artists lined up -- Cee-Lo Green (who will live-stream the first show from the Sound Academy in Toronto on Oct. 21), Demi Lovato (the Belasco Theater in L.A. on Oct. 28), and Avil Lavigne and Paloma Faith who are confirmed for future dates -- have endorsed 2vLive completely. The company's inaugural trailer, below, showcases Green saying, "I am 2vLive," which the company views as a winning endorsement. "With those artists owning it and expressing it to their fans, it's a completely different ball game," Dyer says.
"[The reason] we think we will stand strong in this market, is that we're getting the talent to endorse it," Dyer says. When choosing such talent, she adds, "We look at a number of things -- their social numbers, current activity, album cycles, whether or not they're doing any reality shows [Green is a judge on "The Voice" and Lovato is returning to judge another season of "The X Factor"]," which enhance the performers' ability to draw a wide viewership, which 2vLive as a new brand depends on. Dyer estimates that for Lovato's performance, at least, there will be upwards of 300,000 viewers. "You don't have to worry about shows selling out," she says.
It remains to be seen whether 2vLive's model will be viable in a market saturated with live concert-streaming platforms, but Dyer believes in her vision. "Our vision is to become the consumer’s first choice for live and on demand digital concerts," she says.