World Wrestling Entertainment is bringing the Rolling Stones to your living room, with the help of E! and Yahoo!, for the iconic band’s Dec. 15 pay-per-view music concert.
The concert — the last of five shows billed as the rock ‘n’ roll legends’ 50th Anniversary Tour — will sell for a suggested retail price of $39.95, according
to WWE officials. Company chief marketing officer Michelle Wilson said the rare PPV concert — the first major PPV concert event since a Prince music event more than a decade ago — presents an opportunity to give Stones fans unable to secure tickets to the event a chance to experience what
could be the band’s last tour.
“The Rolling Stones are obviously iconic and knowing that the … band members haven’t toured together in a while, and with speculation that this might be their last tour, we felt this is an event-based purchase that will inspire someone to buy this on a PPV basis,” she said. “Those aspects really make it a unique, once-in-a-lifetime event that can be successful, so it was a no-brainer for us to lend our expertise in the space to distribute and market the PPV globally.”
While WWE is looking to reach an older, baby-boomer audience via traditional linear PPV, it hopes to attract younger, technology-savvy music fans online. The WWE has teamed with live video streaming company NeuLion to offer the concert online via online site Yahoo!, as well as through iOS and Android devices for the same suggested retail price as the linear PPV event.
On the marketing front, the network will air a live pre-show event on E! one hour before the 9 p.m. PPV event. The Live From the Rolling Stones special will provide behind-the-scenes access to the concert, as well as exclusive interviews with band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood.
“The whole intention of that show is to build the excitement for fans to buy the PPV,” said Wilson.
Wilson would not project how many buys the show would generate but did say that WWE would look to offer more non-wrestling PPV events in the near future. “PPV for the right kind of event is still a very viable platform and we know this space better than anyone, so if this Rolling Stones opportunity opens the door for other providers that haven’t thought about, we're open for business," she said.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.