Though still considered a nascent technology, concert Webcasting—especially in a festival atmosphere—can be a great marketing opportunity or alternate revenue source for artist and venue. Always keeping an eye on the future, Iridium Club (New York City)—the home of the late Les Paul—has begun a series of Webcasts featuring performers gracing the long-storied club’s stage.
At last year’s NAMM show, club owner Ron Strum met with Dean Guitar, which wanted to do Webcasts to promote their endorsed artists. Strum began the hunt for a Webcast vendor, settling with Live Stream, which would provide its platform and handle distribution. Using the club’s recently constructed recording studio—centered on a 24-track Pro Tools system—Iridium is able to send out a high-quality, high-definition feed to its Facebook page. The studio’s engineers take signal from the stage using a splitter and make tweaks on the fly (reverbs and such) as it hits Live Stream’s platform and then the Web. In addition, those engineers are also recording for a possible “Live From Iridium” CD series release.
“We’re giving [the artists] the footage that they can promote and we get the footage that we can promote,” says Strum. “Through learning about the Webcasts, it’s a strategy with us because we’re really focused on social media and our fans on Facebook. The advantage of it is that it’s going to grow in the future and it spreads virally. If those 50 people with Facebook accounts watch it, and they have 400 friends, potentially you’ve got 20,000 people right off the bat. It’s a small base, but it’s going to grow.
“We’re giving the Webcasts for free now. We feel that a lot of the people who are watching it are outside of the New York area, and I don’t think it cannibalizes people coming down to see a live show. I think over time, people from other countries will see the Iridium brand and want to see the club when they come to New York. I think Les would be smiling about this because he was one of the fathers of modern recording.”