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Seems like voice-based mobile content services are coming back into fashion (conceptually everyone thought it would take off during the first wireless boom, but it didn’t happen)…this morning I mentioned Snapvine getting funding. Now an even more ambitious service was launched today: Listen Live Now, a new company and service backed by Creative Artists Agency, tour promoter Live Nation, and veteran artist manager Marty Erlichman (and technology from Single Touch) allows used to listen into live concerts through their phones (ladline or mobile), and the company has done an initial deal with Cingular.
The first concert on offer is the biggest rock band there is, the Rolling Stones, and the service will debut on Friday when the band takes the stage at the Stade de France in Paris from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. EDT. Form landlines they call a toll-free number but pay $1.99 for seven minutes (and for Rolling Stones, you can only listen to 14 minutes from one phone/account, because of a crazy fear of piracy and cannibalization fear by the band). From Cingular, they can register and then when the concert is about to begin, they get an automated call on their mobile phone letting them know the concert is starting.
The sound for the concert comes direct from the soundboard and up to one million fans will be able to listen in on selected concerts.
Reuters: The deal with the Stones was signed after several months’ of negotiations with their tour manager, Michael Cohl, and they will get an unspecified “piece of the action,” Erlichman said.
BusinessWeek: Concerts featuring up-and-coming hip-hop stars Chris Brown and Ne-Yo are slated for the fall. And Anthony Macaluso, founder of Single Touch Interactive says TV news channels such as CNN and Fox News are teed up. That way, fans of, say, The O’Reilly Factor, featuring Bill O’Reilly, can tune in live to the show as they’re on the train or sitting in an airport. Some more details in release here.
Will the service work? Well, depends a lot on pricing, for one…the current pricing they’re using is not sustainable by any means. Secondly, better audio-quality handsets with headphones need to become more common. Thirdly, depends also the data plans on phones these users/fans have. So a lot of variables are in air before this concept takes off….