By Caleb Hsu
YouTube has consistently provided musicians and performers alike with unique opportunities to gain visibility, establish global audiences and formalize a substantial income when cards are dealt properly. YouTube recently announced an expansion of its monetization feature that will enable users to create paid subscriptions to their channels, creating a prominent new marketplace for programming content online. As a leading music partner, Qello was launched as one of the first paid YouTube channel additions, boasting the world’s largest streaming source of HD concerts and music documentaries currently available.
“We’re excited to launch this new user experience with YouTube. They’ve built an audience of more than one billion viewers and this latest effort to expand access to long-form video feels like a turning point in streaming media,” said Qello Co-Founder and CEO Brian Lisi.
“We’ve spent years amassing a library of top-quality concert films and music documentaries at Qello, and we’re proud to bring that experience to more music fans.”
Qello’s video-streaming platform has been praised as “excellent” (AppAdvice), “a music DVD fiend’s new best friend” (Billboard magazine), “without peer” (TechCrunch), and “like an exclusive backstage pass” (Appolicious). We’re definitely impressed with all Qello has to offer, proving that the crossroads between ingenuity and initiative can spawn lucrative invention. Continue reading to discover exactly what Qello is and how it’s quickly becoming a digital entertainment service to be reckoned with, providing millions of users worldwide with quality content streamed through its proprietary platform.
How does it work?
Qello licenses a wide variety of long-form concerts, documentaries and behind the scenes footage & interviews from both major and independent music labels. It’s essentially a commercial-free unlimited viewing subscription service, having no pay-per-view or per-concert rentals. “We aim to be simple while easy to use with a clear mission statement to our customers,” Lisi tells us. “Content ranges from classic rock to alternative rock to pop, with new concerts and documentaries consistently being added. All paid content is streamed across the iOS and Android ecosystems, as well as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Windows Mobile, Samsung and Sony Smart TVs, and of course – the worldwide web.”
How was the idea behind Qello conceptualized?
Brian tells us how, “[he] was at an Alterbridge concert in Amsterdam and it was just so good.” He got to thinking, “There’s got to be a way I can easily pull this up and watch it whenever I want to see it.” Brian goes on to say, “I was already in the tech world and I saw the proliferation of screens exploding.”
“I saw where the streaming industry was heading and I knew we could develop something to capture the moment for music fans across all new media devices.”
Where does the music come from?
Qello has amassed quite a large inventory of live concert recordings and full-length music documentaries available to subscribers through licensing deals. CEO Lisi tells us that, “[Qello has] the world’s largest library of HD concert films and documentaries available to stream to any device worldwide. We have licensing deals with all the major music labels such as Warner Music and Sony, as well as many boutique labels, which affords us the opportunity to choose the highest quality and most iconic performances. Most of our assets wow me every time I watch them; whether it’s the remastered version of The Doors Live at Bowl in 1968, or our recently added ‘Slightly Stoopid’ session with Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead) at his state-of-the-art Tri Studios, the quality is stunning.”
If you’re wondering about rights and usage, Brian explains how the process works. “Rights are handled early on by the underlying copyright holder(s) for the original commercial exploitation term of [each] program. For lanes of usage that are streaming only, we expect our content providers to clear synch rights in connection with their initial exploitation (i.e. DVD or broadcast). We then partner with PRO’s (Performing Rights Organizations) like BMI and ASCAP for the exploitation usage whereby a percentage of our subscription revenue is paid out to the underlying writer songwriter and their publishers.”
How much will it cost you?
For $4.99/month (or $49.99/year), YouTube users will now have access, without ads, to Qello’s massive library of concert films and music documentaries. Qello also offers a free service where users get unlimited access to Qello TV, which has more than 30 channels of non-stop concert moments; they also get one track from every concert film. For only $4.99 a month, Qello offers an All-Access Pass, giving subscribers unlimited access to every full-length concert and documentary in the entire library. Subscribers also get access to create and share setlists.
To subscribe, all you need is a YouTube account and a Google Wallet account. More info available here: www.youtube.com/blog.
“We are expanding our catalog, our partnerships, our devices, platforms and features. A good place to stay on top of what’s new in the Q is by liking us on Facebook and Twitter [linked below] and by checking out our blog called Inside the Q, managed by former Rolling Stone Senior Editor, Ben Fong-Torres.” – Brian Lisi