Using Virtual Reality and Livestreaming To Grow Fans and Make Money

This recent Mashable headline, Virtual Reality will bring fans ringside for live boxing match, mentions how tonight’s


“Live boxing VR broadcast is yet another first for virtual reality. As VR becomes more mainstream, VR sports broadcasts could become the norm, allowing fans to get as close to the action without having to physically be at a venue.”

Even more interesting than it being the first ever VR boxing match, is the fact that it’s being put together by one of the boxers.  According to David Haye’s website, IM360 will broadcast a live, multi-camera, 360° video production of the boxing match between David “Hayemaker” Haye and Mark “The Dominator” di Mori at the O2 Arena in London, England.   

The match will be viewable on Hayemaker 360, a VR app custom-built by IM360, available on Android smartphones and tablets worldwide (except France), or on the Hayemaker 360 website. For more information about Hayemaker 360 or to download the free app, visit


1st ever 360 Boxing Match


As 2016 will hold plenty of firsts for virtual reality, the ability for live events to bring fans as close to a live event without actually being should be an amazing monetization model. Both virtual reality and livestreaming should offer excellent ways for live performers from those starting out to the largest acts access to a mostly untapped way to increase revenue from their shows.

I recently had a conversation with someone who was livestreaming a major performers recent show. As it turned out they were watching a cracked feed that was in HD and never buffered. Even more amazing was the fact that over 110,000 people were watching this same feed at one time. This person went on to mention that there were probably anywhere from 6-12 feeds that were well known throughout the fanbase.

It turns out the feed the band was offering was around $30 for the show. My thought was that was extremely expensive and in order for livestreaming and eventually virtual reality to become a viable income stream then proper pricing was going to prove important.


The Importance Of Correctly Pricing Your Livestream

It turns out this is true. Quarty recently reported, People definitely do not think standalone ESPN is worth $20 per month. The article went to mention…

Of the 1,600 people polled, most of whom were multi channel TV subscribers, 85% said they would not pay $20 a month for ESPN and ESPN2 if the channels were only available as a standalone service. An additional 9% said they weren’t sure. And only 6% said they would be willing to pay for the hypothetical platform.

If ESPN can’t get $20 per month for it’s service even the most committed fans of a band are going to find it hard to shell out $30 for a single show. Establishing the correct pricing model would be paramount for this looking to adopt this model. This same principle holds true should Apple or Google get the rights to live stream the NFL games from London this year.

I imagine for most bands it will be a while before they can offer a 360 Virtual Reality experience. Even adopting the 360Heroes Starter Bundle for GoPros would set a band back around $4,500. For most bands just starting out it would probably be worthwhile to adopt a livestreaming monetization model.

360 Heroes - Pro 6 Starter Bundle

How To Start Monetizing Your Live Shows

The easiest way to get started would be to use a mobile app and live streaming platform, like  Streamup, that offer a split of ad revenue. A better way would be to invest in a 4K camera like the GoPro Hero4 with:

an XSplit with connected to a live streaming platform that best fits the pricing model you want to offer.


The ability to earn some revenue while exposing their music to a new audience would provide an immediate benefit through using video annotations to their music or merchandise.

Better known performers would probably benefit from adopting a multi-tier pricing model. One that includes a higher fee for an ad-free experience and perhaps a hybrid model that runs ads but charges a lower user fee.

Who Can Benefit From Livestreaming Their Live Events

With the increased number of live streaming platforms available there is a revenue model that supports just about any goal from increased awareness to a completely new revenue stream. Many traditional arts could benefit from offering a stream of their events. Offering an ad-free or ad-based experience could help numerous organizations and individuals from playhouses and theatres to musicians and entertainers.

Hopefully, we see a wider adoption of both virtual reality and live streaming during 2016. I think the important thing for live performers to understand it that virtual reality or offering a live stream is never going to replace the experience of being at the actual show.

Instead what it does is provides creative people a way to continue creating.

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