While we here at PhanArt do not cast judgement upon posts of this nature, we can’t help but admit that this is a well thought out idea. Phish Inc., take note.
We Need a High-Quality Paid Webcast for Phish Concerts
(Originally posted at Livemusicblog.com on October 23rd, 2009)
After witnessing the evolving and ever-expanding online activity surrounding Phish’s recent reunion tour, I’m now thoroughly convinced that the Phish fan base is primed and ready for a high-quality and paid live video stream for the band’s next tour. If done properly and in innovative Phish fashion, it could create an untapped revenue stream for the band while allowing more Phish fans to engage with the band’s music – in particular those fans that can’t make it out to every show on tour.
Given the band’s recent history of wanting to scale down their in-house operations, I could see why you might think that a large-scale paid webcast would not be worth the large investment and effort it most certainly would require. But it’d be wrong to think so. There are some very compelling reasons why this should happen now and why Phish is the band to do it.
Phish, Red Light Management, please hear us out. We’ve really thought this one through…
Phish Fans Are Primed, Hungry and Creating Their Own Options
The key here is that this new viewing option would serve the fans who are not at the show, but who are just as engaged in the online coverage and setlist updates happening around the show.
The Precedent Has Already Been Set…By Phish!
Some folks out there may have missed or just forgotten the Summer of 2004 (I wouldn’t blame you if you did or if you wanted to). While I remember some great shows from Alpine Valley, I also vividly remember heading out to some random Cineplex in the Northern Burbs of Chicago to attend a Phish Simulcast from the band’s Brooklyn show at Keyspan Park. If Phish can get a bunch of random heads to congregate into shitty suburban multiplexes at $15-20/head (price?), you’d think it’d be pretty easy to amass a much larger audience online.
An Untapped Market and An Evolving Fan Base
We all know the band has an enormous and insatiable fan following, with fans willing to travel the ends of the earth to see this band live. But what about the hordes of fans who DON’T get to every show? I had friends who hit every show on the West Coast this summer, but for various (and obvious) reasons, they didn’t hit any of the shows on the East Coast. Not just that, but what about fans who have kids or demanding jobs and can’t really pull off going to a show on a random Tuesday these days? Let’s face it, Phish’s fans have gotten older. And more and more, there will be fans that can no longer consistently go on the road for entire tours or even do multi-night runs of shows. Not only that, but what about the fans who simply aren’t able to afford or obtain tickets to a sold out show?
Webcasts Could Be Bigger, Better and More Scalable
Simulcasts are so web 1.0…brah. The cinematic simulcasts were cool and all, but an online stream could potentially be so much better (more on this below). More importantly, the simulcasts were limited. They were only available in certain theaters, to a limited number of fans, and only so many fans were willing to make the trek to the local Cineplex.
Watch Phish Live From Your Living Room
If fans are willing to congregate at their local cineplexes to pay for a concert webcast in a movie theater, putting that stream into their homes should really be the next logical step. Once you give these fans an high-quality option to watch a show from the comfort of their own homes, the possibilities expand dramatically. Just imagine the potential for “webcast viewing parties!” Hell, the band could play into it by running a contest to encourage and sponsor viewing parties throughout the country.
Include Social Media to Bring the Online and In-Venue Worlds One Step Closer
Of course, in this day and age of social media this and twitter that, you’ve got to integrate some social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, so fans can easily link to their status updates and spread the streaming links/commentary out to the rest of the web. At this point, that’s probably a bit of a no-brainer. But how it could play out during the show makes it a bit more interesting. This is because it creates two distinct audiences watching the show, with everyone having the ability to update their social net statuses in real-time, while watching the concert. While much of this is activity is already taking place, adding the webcast in the mix exponentially expands the audience that’s commenting while they’re actually watching the show.
So…Mr. Capshaw, Mr. Coulton, Trey, Mike, Page, Fish, and everyone else in the current Phish organization, what do you think? Can we make this happen?
Sir Marcus Whitperson, Esq.
Lead Webcast Evangelationist
Read the entire article at Livemusicblog.com