Live Nation Yahoo Channel Debuts

Dave Matthews Band helped kick things off as the first artist to perform for Live Nation’s new channel on Yahoo’s Screen video site, debuting July 15 from  in Florida.  

The Live Nation/Yahoo partnership, announced in April, provides free daily live concerts via the channel for one year in addition to artist interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and a video-on-demand live concert library.

The companies announced at the time that the deal would provide advertisers with a new global platform and they planned to sell corporate partnerships to enhance the fan experience.

They’re also apparently hoping the agreement could help gain traction for Screen, which Yahoo is pitting as a competitor to YouTube.

“There hasn’t been one location where fans can go to see a diverse group of artists with really high-quality production,” Russell Wallach, a senior executive at Live Nation, told the New York Times. “That’s where we saw our opportunity with Yahoo.”

Some veterans of the concert world are skeptical, however. Brad Hunstable, CEO of Ustream, which has hosted concerts by Bon Jovi and the Zac Brown Band, explained that “if you think you can get millions of people to watch online just because you’re a big-name artist, you’re probably going to be disappointed,” the Times said.

And a prominent agent who spoke anonymously to the paper chimed in that “the demand just isn’t there,” for concert streaming.

But advertisers are betting on the service. Kellogg has reportedly already signed on as a sponsor for the channel and announcements of additional sponsorships are forthcoming.

“Our hope,” Yahoo Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt told the Times, “is that you will go to hear your favorites, and discover some new band and say, ‘This is becoming my daily habit.’ ”

Upcoming performances scheduled on the channel include KISSCommonWiz KhalifaOne RepublicJustin TimberlakeUsher, and , among many others.