Grateful Dead’s final shows shatter pay-per-view records

the grateful dead amazon studios bio series
Grateful Dead, PPV Chris Stone/Flickr

Deadheads came out in historic numbers to the Grateful Dead’s five last Fare Thee Well shows, but they also paid to watch from the comfort of their homes in record numbers. The jam band heroes set the record for the largest syndication of a live music show in history, according to production company Live Alliance. The company said that over 400,000 paid to watch the event through cable and satellite subscriptions and online streams. As the event is available to cable and satellite subscribers through video-on-demand until August 2nd, Live Alliance expects this record-breaking number to grow.

And that 400,000 figure significantly underestimates the total number of viewers. “A lot of those are parties,” said Live Alliance president Nate Parienti to Mashable. “And with cable as well. I saw lots of people with projection screens in their backyard, at bars, around the pool. The actual numbers of viewers will be much, much larger.”

The Dead’s Fare Thee Well Shows were available on YouTube, as well as 2,200 systems in North America including cable on-demand, the Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, Verizon Fios, and other systems in Canada. And they certainly weren’t cheap to stream: the Santa Clara shows were $19.95 each, while the Soldier Field shows were $29.95 each. All five shows could be purchased for $109.95.

The event, which featured the surviving members of Grateful Dead and Trey Anastasio, was hosted by CNBC reporter Steve Liesman and featured noted deadhead (and NBA Hall of Famer,) Bill Walton. The group formed 50 years ago; its frontman, Jerry Garcia, passed away in the ’90s; and the “core four” members are now in their golden years. For their hundreds of thousands, though, none of that stopped them from paying to tune in across North America.

Live Alliance noted that the shows were the first time a musical event had reached six-figure pay-per-view customers since 1999, when a Backstreet Boys show reached 160,000 paid viewers.


Apple’s Netflix competitor Apple TV Plus headlines a barrage of new services

Apple's It's Show Time event in Cupertino, California, is officially over, with the tech giant announcing a new video-streaming service to compete with Netflix and Amazon, a new way to subscribe to paid news outlets, and more.
Movies & TV

The Mandalorian snags Taika Waititi as the voice of a classic Star Wars villain

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Home Theater

Get loud with the best outdoor speakers to rock your party in any weather

From rugged, solar-powered backwoods listening companions to floating pool party jam boxes, the best outdoor speakers partner with your lifestyle to let you listen to your favorite tunes wherever you go.
Home Theater

iPhone owners can finally hear the highest-quality streaming music on Tidal

If you're an iPhone owner who is after the highest possible audio quality from your streaming library, you now have the best option out there: Tidal's Masters Quality Audio (MQA) is now available on iOS.

Apple Music offers a few subscription options. We break them down here

Competition for music streaming apps is quickly dwindling with giants like Apple Music and Spotify dominating most of the market? But how much does Apple Music cost and what does a subscription to the music-streaming platform entail?
Home Theater

If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you now get Hulu for free

Spotify Premium subscribers have yet another reason to love the Swedish streaming service, with the company now offering ad-free Hulu accounts to all premium users at no additional cost.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Home Theater

Apple Music completes its Amazon migration, is now available on Fire TV

Amazon's popular Fire TV devices are now compatible with the most popular on-demand music streaming service in the United States, thanks to a new integration with Apple Music that has finally hit Fire TV devices.
Emerging Tech

This streaming music service pays artists in Bitcoin, plants trees if you listen

Feedbands is an environmentally friendly subscription streaming music service that pays its artists in Bitcoin, and plants trees in exchange for authenticated listens from customers.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.