Yahoo signs streaming deal with Bob Weir


Yahoo!Bob Weir’s Tri Studios (TRI: Tamalpais Research Institute) announced on CNBC a deal with Yahoo that could help bring high quality music and videos into homes around the world and change the music streaming business model.

TRI Studios, a state-of-the-art music studio Weir built near San Francisco, entered into a third-party revenue-sharing deal with Yahoo’s music website, providing it with HD-quality streaming content. Yahoo Music, previously dubbed Yahoo Broadcast after the deal with Mark Cuban, has 34 million viewers monthly.

Under the TRI/Yahoo deal, TRI will split pay-per-view online concert revenue with Yahoo. The CNBC story said Weir said he sees the advertising linked to the live music as a move away from traditional corporate sponsorship of performances and toward “patronage for rock and roll” the way companies underwrite classical music.

“Bobby and TRI Studios are interested in bringing the highest-quality sound to the audience when they want and where they want on it and on any device they want it on, and we’re enabling them to interact,” TRI President and CEO Chris McCutcheon said.

TRI online shows, which so far have featured the likes of Weir, Sammy Hagar and Carlos Santana, allow viewers to watch on their home theater systems and interact using Facebook and Twitter.

Weir, former rhythm guitarist with the Grateful Dead now touring with Furthur, built TRI-Studios with state-of-the-art cameras and sound equipment, allowing, for example, artists to program the type of concert hall they want the room to sound like, such as a stadium or a cathedral.  One key was providing sufficient data connections to stream massive amounts of high-quality audio and video. The price tag for the studio came in around $5 million.

From the TRI website: “Tamalpais Research Institute is the vision of Bob Weir, a founding member of the Grateful Dead. Weir and his team have built a state-of-the-art performance studio for broadcasting live HD video and audio streams directly to the Internet.

TRI is a virtual venue where fans can gather and enjoy the performances in the comfort of their own homes, or anywhere they have Internet access.

The main performance space at TRI houses a Meyer Sound Constellation System – a revolutionary acoustic modeling technology which has the ability to dramatically change the acoustical properties of the room. With the touch of a button, an artist can instantly change the sonic environment from that of a small intimate club to sounding like a theater, an arena or even a cathedral.

Each show will be directed, filmed, and mixed live in real time. Every care will be taken to provide the highest possible upstream bandwidth to transmit high quality HD video and audio to the end user. The live stream will be accessible by and tailored to a variety of viewing equipment such as mobile devices, streaming players, game consoles, computers, Internet ready HDTV’s as well as home theaters.”

See the full CNBC story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’re pretty sure Weir has some high quality Grateful Dead Shows that he could put up on the menu to stream. That would be a big draw—hearing them and seeing them in high quality, vs. a bootleg video or youtube clip.