The Coachella festival in California has become as famous as Glastonbury in the past decade, holding an increasingly important date in the pop culture calendar. It has particularly been a big supporter of hip hop, R ‘n’ B and grime in recent times, with Skepta famously making waves last year in front of a backdrop featuring a BT phone box and this year’s event boasting headline-grabbing sets from both Beyonce and Cardi B.
The festival’s importance has undoubtedly been highlighted by news that YouTube’s live stream of performances from the event was watched by more than 41 million people, a figure which marked a rise of around 75 percent from last year. Furthermore, the LA Times reports that Beyonce’s set reached the highest audience for a Coachella performance stream with more than 450,000 logging on to watch it.
The success of the live stream is just the latest evidence that the concept has become a core part of the music scene and many other areas. As well as the streaming of festivals and gigs becoming a norm in recent years, such video services have also become common in the online casino world where sites often broadcast live games featuring a real-life dealer. Major conferences such as TED also use streaming services to bring announcements and high-profile talks to the masses too.
However, while many areas are embracing the concept, there is remarkably still some resistance to it – and in the case of this year’s Coachella, it came from one of hip hop’s biggest stars.
Eminem’s set at the festival was not included on the live stream, apparently at his request, with some fans taking to social media to discuss their disappointment at not being able to watch the action. However, as Hot New Hip Hop reports, others understood the decision and argued it was reasonable as he may not want to give too much away ahead of an upcoming tour.
Source: @RapUp via Twitter
This is not the first time that the star has made the move after he made headlines last year when he did not allow his set at Reading to be streamed or broadcast live on the BBC. In addition, the Hollywood Reporter outlines how he also asked the BBC not to stream or broadcast his Reading performance back in 2013.
Time for a change?
Ultimately, it is fair to say it is up to Eminem whether he chooses to let his performance be broadcast via live streaming or not. However, what is also true is that while some fans understand the decision, others are not convinced by it.
Live streaming has undoubtedly become a huge opportunity for artists to reach out to fans across the globe, so there is an argument that he is only preventing himself from gaining new followers by not embracing the concept. With Coachella seemingly taking music’s relationship with streaming to a whole new level this year, Eminem and others who have chosen not to broadcast performances in the past may already be thinking about whether it is time to change their stance on the issue.