‘It was an absolute Fyre Festival.’ Before Miami contestants were enlisted to save the world, another group signed up in Montreal. But where were the cameras? During the 2016 Super Bowl, the New York Giants became the first broadcast network to show a Super Bowl on Snapchat. And in 2017, Snapchat began testing the concept of broadcasting its live events, including the Oscars, Academy Awards and Grammys.
The technology firm has taken a different path this year, starting with its first big deal with a broadcaster: a week-long, live version of Fyre Festival, which took place from October 4-13.
The Fyre Festival was created by rapper Ja Rule, and his team, in a bid to make a boatload of money by promising, but then delivering, an experience that was “the party of a lifetime” in the Bahamas. To do this, Ja Rule and his team promised unlimited food options — and a large “gigaton” of luxury accommodations — to the lucky few who paid at least $ milliard to attend. Those who did were promised tickets to the show, and then allowed to walk on the stage to watch and be part of the festivities.
But when the Fyre Festival never materialized, the company was forced to refund those who paid more than $1,000 to attend, as well as those who went to the event who were promised a ticket to the actual event — and that was about $20,000 in lost ticket revenue.
While the show might not have been what Ja Rule claimed it was, the reality show has taken a unique approach to broadcasting its event: By using Snapchat Live, live-streaming the event for one-week, and allowing participants to interact with each other and the show at all times. With over 1.3 million followers and 4.6 million views on Snapchat, the Fyre Festival’s live stream on Snapchat is proving that broadcast via the platform is here to stay.
Snapchat as a broadcast vehicle
Like Instagram, Snapchat has taken many different directions during its life. Early on, users were limited to text-based updates. This allowed Snapchat to grow its audience, but the platform struggled to connect with millennials, with a younger demographic struggling to see the value of the app. But over time, it began to embrace livestreaming, allowing people to watch