There are few industries that have been affected by the Internet as much as the music industry. Whether it's the advent of file-sharing technologies such as BitTorrent or the popularity of video sites such as YouTube, artists and record labels are constantly devising strategies to survive in a world of digital music sharing, marketing, and distribution. However, for listeners there has never been a better time to discover new bands from all over the world.
This week, Apple is launching a project that combines our favourite musical elements with the latest technology. Today's hottest singers will perform live in concert for 31 nights at The iTunes Festival London 2011. The concert features 62 bands, all playing from Britain's Roundhouse venue in London. The series kicks off with Paul Simon on July 1st, Adele plays July 7th, Coldplay on the 22nd, and Moby wraps it up on the 31st. In between these "headliners" there are a number of up-and-coming bands and a few pop favourites such as Bruno Mars and Duran Duran.
Within the official app you'll be able to tune into the live performances or watch them later. All for free. The iTunes download will also include festival news, information, and photos. Apple is encouraging fans to follow along on Twitter as well as using the hashtag #itunesfestival to take part in concert-related tweets. Although the focus is on the ability to stream from your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, I plan to sync up my iPad with my AppleTV to explore the live HD musical experience on my living room television so the whole family can watch along.
I for one am excited about the concert and can't imagine better timing. As hit TV shows wind down for the summer months and music channels play fewer videos than ever before, the concept of a 31-day event like this is bound to find a captive audience of all ages. No ticket line-ups. No bad seats. No charge. As for how Apple wins in this scenario, they will sell music from within the app and I can only guess this the beginning of the company's foray into more live streaming events, encouraging consumers to get access to content that was once only available for a charge via their cable provider.