Coachella is by far one of the most well-known music festivals of the current generation. Hosted in Indio, California, the festival has an average attendance of 250,000 people. The event also routinely brings in over $100 million in revenue.
Coachella plans to host their annual music festival after two years of canceling their event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current lineup brags huge names in the industry, including Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West.
YouTube has been responsible for streaming the festival’s opening weekend since 2011. This service expanded in 2019 when both weekends were streamed live to thousands of online viewers. According to the Hollywood Reporter, 2019 was also the year when Coachella’s live stream audience jumped up by 90%.
Here are a few Coachella facts that might just blow your mind:
- Over four million people viewed Coachella’s inaugural live stream in 2011
- In 2017, Beyoncé’s headlining performance brought in over 458k thousand concurrent viewers
- Blackpink’s 2019 Coachella performance has over 38 million views
- Coachella 2019 is officially the most live-streamed event of all time with over 82 million total viewers
With Coachella performances getting millions of views on YouTube and a seemingly positive live stream experience, you might be wondering: what’s the point in offering online tickets?
Why should Coachella offer online tickets?
With a live stream already available for free on YouTube, offering tickets to the event may seem redundant and pointless. With recent discoveries in event technology, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
While YouTube is a great platform for people who are interested in sharing their content for free with little opportunity for monetization, other online platforms have a lot more to offer. Not only do virtual event platforms make ticketing and registration easy, but they also have endless possibilities for customization and optimization.
For example, on Youtube, merchandise stores have to be linked below the live stream and will take audience members away from the webpage when they click it. Virtual platforms have the unique ability to allow customers to browse, checkout, and pay all within the same platform while never having to look away from the live stream.
Virtual platforms also can offer exclusive content for those who pay for tickets. This way, viewers who don’t pay for tickets can still watch the live streams, but VIP ticket-holders have access to specialized content made just for them. This content could include backstage interviews with celebrities and performers or lyrical analysis with songwriters- content made for superfans who want a more in-depth experience.
Digital experiences are all about accessibility. Hybrid events especially cater towards both in-person and online attendees, making the event accessible to all types of audiences. Having a free ticket option is a great way to be inclusive- but that doesn’t mean that a premium option shouldn’t exist as well.
Music festivals are home to superfans across the entire world. While some people might want to watch the live stream casually in their free time, others would be excited to pay extra to see special content featuring their favorite artists.
From a business standpoint, creating a ticketed live stream event for Coachella is a no-brainer. Let's assume that 100,000 people (a fraction of Coachella's live viewership) decide to pay $10 for the exclusive, online VIP experience. That's an extra million dollars in revenue just by switching platforms and adding exclusive content.
Ultimately, Coachella shouldn't stop offering free live streams of their event, as it clearly brings in a huge fanbase of people that don't deserve to be ignored. However, it is important to note that there is a market for superfans that would love to pay an extra few dollars to gain access to more exclusive content including some of their favorite artists.