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06.28.2012

Why we’re partnering with YouTube

We’ve decided to ditch our own custom player (built on top of the open-source JW Player), and move to YouTube.  There are several reasons we’ve decided to do this, but the last straw was YouTube’s move to offer a self-serve live streaming platform, initially to a small-ish set of existing live content producers, and eventually to the masses.  I imagine Livestream is a little nervous at this moment.  After all, YouTube is planning to give away for free a service for which premium Livestream customers are currently paying $350 per month.  

Furthermore, you can aggregate all your traffic on one platform, via one player.  And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but YouTube’s player has improved by leaps and bounds over the last 2 years.  When we were in the initial planning stages and deciding things like player technologies, we started out with Vimeo and then moved to JW.  The players were either equal to or better than YouTube, and we could incorporate a paywall (which we did early on).  Vimeo, in particular, once enjoyed the top spot among digital content producers - it was a clean experience, you could make videos public or private, password protect them, and share them easily.  The player worked in Flash or HTML 5, was iOS compatible, etc.  Vimeo had a reputation for quality among professional and pro-sumer content producers.  Unfortunately, Vimeo hasn’t shown much progress, and IAC has squandered their once market-leading position for high quality content.  The combination of Vimeo falling way behind and YouTube innovating at break-neck pace has completely changed the landscape.  YouTube is now on top from a player technology perspective.  It’s really not even close.

When you combine the ability to live stream with the advances in player technology, and THEN add the recent announcement that YouTube has set out to sign 100 original content producers as exclusive channel partners, it becomes clear that YouTube is aggressively pursuing a strategy to differentiate itself based on content quality.  YouTube has now become a category killer.  Netflix and Hulu should be on notice.  YouTube is coming after your business too. 

And of course the coup de gras is their 800 million customers.  No one else comes close.

So we’ve decided to switch to YouTube.  The aesthetic hit we’ll take from not being able to customize our own player should be greatly offset by the additional traffic we’ll get from the YouTube masses.  No one goes to Livestream to just hang out and ‘watch something live’, but people go to YouTube all day long to watch everything.  Including, increasingly, live content (every major music festival this year has been streamed on YouTube).  

So if you’re a content producer today, and you have visions of creating your own stand-alone brand in your own little corner of the .com universe, I would challenge you to think again - why would you ever try to compete with YouTube’s distribution network?  This game is over - focus on the content, and let someone else handle the distribution.  As a content producer (or entrepreneur, or artist for that matter), you aren’t competing with other content producers like you, you’re competing with the 10 sites per day that people regularly visit (nytimes, facebook, twitter, cnn, wsj, rdio, etc.).  Guess what?  YouTube is that site for video, and will increasingly become THE destination for all types of video, both paid and free, both long-form and short-form, both live and on-demand, across every platform.  They’ve won.  No use fighting them any longer.

And one more thing - we’re also releasing all of our content for free.  This post by @aweissman explains why, and I’d rather incorporate his post by reference than keep writing…

The Liveset Team

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05.19.2012
Going live w/ @thelumineers in 15 minutes on Liveset.com (4pm ET) Check out this photo of them sound checking right now.

Going live w/ @thelumineers in 15 minutes on Liveset.com (4pm ET) Check out this photo of them sound checking right now.

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05.19.2012

Ho hey by The lumineers

Pretty excited for this one… The Lumineers are playing a special set live online today for the world to watch. Catch them live on http://Liveset.com at 4pm CT / 5pm ET and chat with the band!

shared from exfm

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05.18.2012

Check out this wonderful video for Ho Hey by @thelumineers. We’re pretty excited to have them on @liveset tomorrow, please tune in. http://Liveset.com

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05.18.2012
“Tie up your scarf real tight, these boys are out for blood tonight …”

The Lumineers :: Slow It Down

Watch em’ live with me this Saturday evening on http://Liveset.com!

(via rachielikes)

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05.10.2012

We’re excited to announce our next show on May 19th on Liveset.com with The Lumineers. Check out this great performance on Conan O’Brien and tune in here next Saturday.

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05.10.2012

Why You Should Make Liveset Your Next Stop on Tour

One of the most powerful forces in the music industry over the last 5 years has been video  (see Bieber, Justin).  Fans have flocked to sites like YouTube and Vevo to see their favorite artists perform - it’s not just about how you sound these days.  For a long time, there was a tremendous lack of quality on YouTube, but those days are over.  Vevo came along and cut a deal with YouTube to place tens of thousands of professional music videos on the platform and traffic took off.  It was a great idea and has generated tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in new royalties for the industry where none existed before.  And the cost of production has come down as SLR technology and editing tools have become more affordable - so the ability to create a high quality video is more accessible.

But there’s a new game in town.  Live streaming video.  And we’re not talking about the webcam shooting one static angle at low quality - like StageIt (although StageIt certainly has its own value proposition).  We’re talking high quality live video, shot in beautiful HD, with a filmmaker behind the camera.  And we’re talking interactivity.  Live chat in real-time between artsits and fans - song requests, questions, appreciation, jokes, inside baseball - we’re talking about putting fans in the same room with you.  This is the future - connecting with your fans live, in real-time, and giving them an intimate experience they cannot get elsewhere.  They can’t ask you questions at a regular show.  They aren’t close enough to see the drummer wink at the bass player and take off in a new direction.  On our platform and others like ours, you can provide your fans a new experience, and they will love you for it.  

So when you’re planning your next tour, make room for platforms like ours.  There are others out there, and you should visit them too (VEVO/YouTube, la blogotheque, NPR, and Daytrotter are a few we like).  But make no mistake, this is a way to differentiate yourself, to create a new experience for your fans, and to come away with beautiful video you can use for marketing elsewhere.  It’s not just about your fans following you on Twitter or liking you on Facebook, it’s about them loving you.

The Liveset Team

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04.28.2012
All ready for @leefields12 on @liveset. Wishing him Happy Birthday during the set, come watch at 6pm CT :: Liveset.com & wish him well too!

All ready for @leefields12 on @liveset. Wishing him Happy Birthday during the set, come watch at 6pm CT :: Liveset.com & wish him well too!

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04.28.2012

We’ve got Lee Fields on @liveset this evening. Here’s just a taste of what to expect. Lee will be performing a short intimate set live online at 6pm CST on Liveset.com.

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04.26.2012

Setting up for the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Going live with an intimate set online in 1 hour! Catch it all at Liveset.com (1:30pm CST).

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04.12.2012
soulful noises coming from these keyboards in preparation of the Hurray for the Riff Raff stream going live in 30 minutes!

soulful noises coming from these keyboards in preparation of the Hurray for the Riff Raff stream going live in 30 minutes!

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04.12.2012
Setting up for our Hurray for the Riff Raff stream. Going live in 30 minutes on Liveset.com!

Setting up for our Hurray for the Riff Raff stream. Going live in 30 minutes on Liveset.com!

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04.11.2012
A glimpse of our set for tomorrow’s Liveset session w/ @HFTRR. Catch their set live online tomorrow (Thurs) @ 6pm CST : http://lve.st/hurray-live

A glimpse of our set for tomorrow’s Liveset session w/ @HFTRR. Catch their set live online tomorrow (Thurs) @ 6pm CST : http://lve.st/hurray-live

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04.09.2012

A really wonderful video of Hurray for the Riff Raff performing a Lucinda Williams cover of “People Talkin’”. Watch them perform a full set live online this Thursday on Liveset.

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03.15.2012
Photo taken by Peter from Peter Wolf Crier in our studio just now. Going live in 20mins (1pm CST) Liveset.com

Photo taken by Peter from Peter Wolf Crier in our studio just now. Going live in 20mins (1pm CST) Liveset.com

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