About 32 million people attend at least one music festival in the United States each year, and 46% are millennials, making the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the highest-grossing one in the world, the perfect place to find young people with disposable income, according to a Nielsen report.
Last year, Coachella broke a festival ticket sales record, grossing more than $84 million in sales according to Billboard, and three companies used the festival's popularity to target millennials this past weekend: American Express (AXP) - Get American Express Company Report , T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get T-Mobile US, Inc. Report and SiriusXM (SIRI) - Get Sirius XM Holdings, Inc. Report .
Since Coachella's inception in 1999, concertgoers were only able to spend cash at the festival, but last year, AmEx partnered with the festival's producer, Goldenvoice/AEG, to be the official payment provider of the event and allow patrons to pay with credit cards.
"When it comes to cashless, just as a festival goer myself, I don't want to have things in my pockets. You want to have as little on you as possible, but the one thing you've always got with you is your mobile device," Amy Marino, vice president of digital communications and design strategy at AmEx, told Forbes.
"For Coachella, where so much of your experience, your itinerary, the way that you are meeting up with your friends, is done through your mobile device, this seemed like a no-brainer where we should go to add value," she said.
The partnership is a multi-year deal that includes AmEx offering experience packages for card members such as weekend passes and exclusive hospitality access, according to Billboard.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile is helping Coachella evolve and allow people to enjoy the festival from the comfort of their own homes via live video streaming. All the concert performances from April 15 through 17 were live video streamed on YouTube and "unleashed" by T-Mobile sticking with its "un-carrier" theme.
Live streaming the event was a great way for T-Mobile to showcase the new Binge On program, which it launched recently to allow eligible customers to stream an unlimited amount of video from specific services such as YouTube without having to use their high-speed data.
There are 60 service providers that are part of the Binge On program, and they represent 70% of all the video that T-Mobile customers watch on their mobile devices each month, according the company.
The Binge On program complements the Music Freedom program that T-Mobile launched in 2014. That program allows certain T-Mobile customers to stream music from more than 40 service providers also without using their high-speed data.
Those 40 service providers account for 96% of all music streamed by T-Mobile customers, according to the company.
Sirius XM made a similar offering, live streaming the Coachella festival's audio over the radio waves and the Internet for all three days. Live performances, interviews and exclusive backstage commentary will be played on the limited-run channel Coachella Radio as well as other SiriusXM stations.
SiriusXM also sponsored a sweepstakes, offering a grand prize of round-trip tickets, hotel accommodations, and three-day passes to the festival to a subscriber.
"Broadcasting the live performances and interviews from Coachella will give SiriusXM listeners, no matter where they are, the feeling of being somehow magically transported to this seminal live music event. We are thrilled to again be the exclusive radio broadcaster of this influential festival as Coachella Radio offers listeners unique access to performances, backstage interviews and more," said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer of Sirius XM.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.