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Concert venue boosts profile with Facebook live-stream

Live event venue Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater wanted to distinguish itself from competing locations in concert-crazy Austin, Texas. The venue held its first concert in February, but a rock show in mid-June showcased its digital capabilities.

“Our model is to be able to produce and broadcast concerts,” says Freddy Fletcher, partner at ACL Live and founder of its production company Stageside Productions. “We built the theater with that in mind.”

ACL Live partnered with social commerce company Milyoni to live-stream a two-day Widespread Panic concert to Facebook fans around the world via Milyoni’s Social Theater product. Consumers paid 50 Facebook Credits, equal to $5, to view the HD-quality concert.

Dean Alms, VP of marketing and business development at Milyoni, says Facebook offers interactive value unmatched by the typical streaming vehicle, TV.

“It’s the notion of creating a shared experience versus just watching on TV,” he says. “Fans loved the intermission interview with [Widespread Panic lead singer John Bell]. They felt they were getting more than just the viewing experience.”

ACL Live was also able to collect information about Facebook viewers through a form that asked for consumers’ profile information when they accessed the live-stream. The venue was able to determine that 75% of the Facebook viewers were male, that the average viewer was 33 years old, and that most viewers lived in Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Nashville, Tenn. ACL Live can then use that data to better target future promotions, says Alms.

However, ACL Live’s major goal was to incentivize other musical acts to hold tour stops at the venue. Caroline Burruss, director of business development at ACL Live, says she has discussed the venue with record companies, agents and managers as “a place an act can launch its tour.” She says the venue can take a regular show, with a capacity of less than 3,000, and broadcast it to a band’s fanbase worldwide.

In Widespread Panic’s case, more than 2,300 consumers in more than 19 countries watched the Facebook streams, generating 1,900 comments that ranged from what song the band might play next to how someone could connect their computer with a TV.

Fletcher adds that ACL Live will host about 10 more Facebook-streamed concerts this year, but “next year will be a whole different ball game.”

“This is the future of where our business is going,” he says.

Milyoni is planning to enhance the online experience by letting brands sell merchandise and exclusive music downloads on Facebook, says Alms. Adding those capabilities will help the venue achieve its long-term goals, says Burruss.

“The Grande Ole Opry in Nashville, the Fillmore in San Francisco, Madison Square Garden in New York – that’s what we want to build,” says Burruss.

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