Apple Music will livestream concerts, starting with Harry Styles

Apple Music will start livestreaming some concerts from major artists this week as part of a new series. Apple Music Live kicks off with a Harry Styles show that subscribers in 167 countries can watch live on May 20 at no extra cost. The company says Apple Music Live is a way to “give music’s biggest stars the largest possible platform to show off how they connect with audiences and how their songs translate into live performances.”

The concert will take place at the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York. It’s basically a record release celebration for Styles, whose third album, Harry’s housecomes out on the same day. Apple Music’s landing page for the event contains an interview with Styles about the making of the album, a link that users can add beforehand Harry’s house to their library and some playlists focused on the artist.

This seems like a smart way for artists to both promote new releases and give people a sense of what their live shows are like to maybe sell a few more tickets. It can also help Apple Music convince fans of artists whose shows it streams to sign up for the service.

Styles’ performance, titled “One Night Only in New York,” will stream Friday at 9 p.m. ET. So that people in other parts of the world can attend the show at a more reasonable time, there will be encore streams on May 22 at 12:00 PM ET and on May 26 at 5:00 AM. That suggests that the concert will not be available on demand after that. When business traverse asked for clarification, an Apple spokesperson said the company “has nothing to report at this time.”

Several other platforms have streamed live shows to viewers. YouTube has broadcast Coachella performances for the past few years. Styles was one of the festival’s headliners this year. Hulu just struck a deal to stream Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits music festivals this year and next. Amazon Music has baked in Twitch streams from artists, while Amazon has streamed live shows on a ticket basis and then offered them to Prime Video subscribers.

Apple also has some experience with live streaming concerts. In 2007, the iTunes Festival (later known as the Apple Music Festival) began in the UK before expanding to the US in 2014. Apple announced in 2017 that the festival had come to an end.

Update 17/5 11:10 AM ET: Comment from Apple added.

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