The links scattered throughout this article chronicle the 16-month narrative I composed on the way to it being proven right with the Live Nation deal. In one of those articles, I lay out in methodical detail what Yahoo! should do going forward. You can link to the meat and potatoes of that explainer HERE, but it ultimately comes down to turning live concert streaming into both an ad-supported and subscription-based business.
The study cited at the beginning of this article lends support to the notion that live music sells. But it doesn't only sell in person at the actual live show. It translates well online for many reasons, but largely because it fulfills the emotional requirements of music fans. As I noted last month at TheStreet:
By and large, the music industry does a wholly pitiful job meeting the emotional needs of its customers. We're forced to scrap and scavenge third-party platforms from fan sites run on a shoestring to YouTube to get our fix.
And that's the point, we need our fix. Once we get a taste of the live experience, we go searching for other ways to self-medicate. To feel like we're part of something we know can't match, but is better than nothing vis-a-vis being there. If serious and casual fans can become addicted for periods of time to refreshing a freaking message board thread to see the name of the next song an artist played, don't you think they might pony up for high-quality streaming access to the tour?
And that's why Marissa Mayer needs to conceive a live concert streaming subscription service in the letter and spirit of the streaming apps employed with runaway success by Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League (I don't use the other sports leagues' apps so I am hesitant to comment, but I know MLB and the NHL have fantastic streaming products).
If Mayer does this, she will have set Yahoo! apart from the pack. She will have finally thrown the monkey off of her company's back. She will have -- after what feels like decades of trying -- made Yahoo! distinct again. She will not only have opened the door, but taken near sole ownership of a space that has the potential to generate hundreds of millions, if not billions in revenue. She will have done something we don't see all that often in tech these days. She will have set a fresh, new trend in motion as opposed to tweaking or copying one that already exists.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.