Take video games, for example. Live broadcasts of gameplay are so popular that Amazon bought the leader in the field, Twitch, for $1 billion in 2014 (the streaming company is currently preparing to launch its food channel with a Julia Child marathon). In Korea, people watch live streams of other people eating food.
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli live-streamed from his apartment after being charged with securities fraud and released on bail. Facebook has recently been pushing its own version, Live, to artists in the hopes they’ll incorporate it into their promotional strategies. Live-streaming concerts is technically possible, and viewership is high enough to attract sponsors.
A festival with five or six stages can carry a production cost between $500,00 and $800,000, said Hank Neuberger of Springboard Productions. People, often young consumers desired by brands, are willing to watch. And sponsors are already willing to pay for their attention. “With the right brand, it’s one long commercial,” said Karly Tuckner of C3 Presents.