When the Rolling Stones take to the stage on Dec. 15 for their final 50th anniversary concert fans around the world will be able to watch the show via a pay-per-view offering put together technically by WWE, Dainty Group, Endemol, and NeuLion, whose interactive platform will allow for pause, rewind, fast forward, and even song chaptering on mobile devices and PCs.
“We are bringing a lot of the interactive widgets we developed for sports over to the concert player, including slow motion and twitter logs,” says Chris Wagner, founder of NeuLion. “And also once it is purchased there is a 30-day VOD window so fans can watch it later.”
This is not only the first entertainment show for NeuLion but it is also the company’s first project with WWE.
“We’ve been talking to them a lot and they needed a quick and branded interactive experience that they could do on a global scale,” adds Wagner. “And I think there is a great opportunity to apply our sports technology to entertainment.”
Features like geo-location, for example, could allow for a concert promoter to black out the PPV option in cities where a artist is performing. Additionally they could open up the PPV option after the band leaves town, allowing fans that went to the show to relive the experience at home.
“Live is a stickier product and the artists, promoters like Live Nation or AEG, and the venues are all looking for new revenues,” adds Wagner.
Multiple video and audio feeds from the Stones show will be pulled in through the NeuLion teleport facility in Long Island, encoded in HD, then transcoded and demuxed for playback via Flash and HLS. Apps downloaded from Apple and Android stores process the credit card payment and the fans are virtually in the first row.
Wagner says advantages of the NeuLion TV Everywhere platform is the ability to take in multiple currencies. It also can easily add graphical skins that offer a deeper, more customized experience. Signal quality also will hit 4.5 Mbps. And perhaps most importantly, it can be put in place in four to six weeks. For this event the deal and technical buildout took four weeks.
The Stone may be the first big music brand to tap into NeuLion, joining sports brands like the NFL, NBA, NHL, and UFC. And networks like Univision and the Big Ten Network have also used NeuLion.