For some musicians, live streaming was a way of life long before a global pandemic dictated that it should be the main way live music is heard. But since COVID-19 grounded tours for more than a year, live streaming has leveled up.
Almost every major act did live streams in 2020 – from Justin Bieber to Post Malone to Dua Lipa -- to name a few. Meanwhile, live stream concerts gained new importance for independent musicians, some of whom rely on streaming for their main sources of income and connection with fans.
Live broadcast technology over the internet has also improved by leaps and bounds, which means even small concerts are no less compelling and high-quality than full-blown music videos or footage from in-person concerts.
And fans are watching. In fact, 73% of music fans say they’ve watched a live stream concert, 80% say they’d pay to watch one, and 60% say they’ll continue consuming live stream concerts when in-person concerts are fully back.
Why Live Stream
Whether an act is a huge star or an independent musician just getting their start, the most important thing they can do for their career (and revenue stream) is show up in front of fans. Touring has long been the primary means music acts show up, get discovered, and make real, face-to-face connections with fans.
But touring has its downsides. For one, it’s expensive. Prohibitively so for some indies. It’s also hard. Tours are often booked solid, with no chance to rest or catch your breath. Travel can be hard, and healthful habits are often sacrificed. And, of course, touring isn’t great for the environment.
Still, performing live for fans and allowing them to interact in real-time is crucial. So, as soon as online streaming became a possibility, acts that couldn’t otherwise get in front of fans began to take advantage — and many recognized that live streaming could supplement in-person performances.
Live streaming is time-efficient, cost-effective, and can be done from anywhere with high-speed internet. Simple live stream concerts can even be broadcast from cell phones. Best of all, live streaming allows musicians to reach anyone in the world — not just where they can travel.
Supplementing with Live Streams
The live music industry took an enormous hit in 2020, with revenue dropping from $28 billion in 2019 to just $10 billion. Those numbers are stark, but one noticeable fact is that live concerts didn’t disappear entirely.
Still, that massive drop in income indicated a need for something else to fill the gap. Live streaming exploded in response. According to a report by MIDiA, from June to November 2020, the share of live stream concerts on BandsInTown (a concert discovery site) jumped from a paltry 1.9% to 40.7%. Meanwhile, total ticketed revenue skyrocketed, increasing 292% in December over June 2020.
Live streaming stepped up in a big way, and now it’s here to stay.
Live Stream Concert Considerations
If you’re convinced to implement live streaming, you’re in good company. Here are some things to consider when planning live streams.
- High-quality internet – Connections need to be reliable and fast to handle the heavy audio data involved in streaming high-resolution, live audio.
- No limits - Make sure the video platform won’t limit the number of fans who can watch.
- Branding – White-label services are advisable to keep band branding front and center.
- Monetization – Live streams don’t have to be free – implement a secure paywall to get the most out of the event.
- Analyze data – After an event, a robust set of analytics will help determine the success of each event. Great over-the-top (OTT) platforms should provide good analytics.
Now’s the Time
Live streaming concerts are yet another in a growing list of ways businesses can take advantage of the OTT revolution. With major growth from 2020, live streaming has exploded and will never go back. There couldn’t be a better time to jump into live streams, and MAZ Systems is happy to help.
Contact us now to get started.