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But even in the face of endless challenges, the music business has made massive strides. New livestream technologies and fan engagement strategies have helped to sustain the bond between artist and fan, even in the absence of in-person events. The shitstorm is ending, but what’s next for live music?
Livestream adoption is happening quickly and broadly, with research showing 88% of live music fans having watched a livestream performance in 2020, even though the majority had never seen one pre-pandemic. Even more eye opening perhaps is the continued demand for livestream, even after in-person everything resumes. Survey data shows that 91% of fans said they’re still likely to watch a livestream in addition to going back to in-person shows and music festivals.
Because livestream has evolved beyond the “one-way” watch experience, artists and venues can now connect with fans in ways never before possible in person. Miss interacting with your fans before, during, and after the show? Host (and charge for) a VIP meet + greet experience or engage with fans in the chat rooms between sets. Want your shows to be social experiences? Encourage fans to host watch parties, from the comfort of their couch, inviting friends to join them for your next show.▼ Article continues below ▼
Livestreams removes geographical limitations for fans in cities off the tour stop, but it also allows for exclusive access. Access to behind-the-scenes footage, and previews of songs and sets before the concert even starts. Access to candid conversations with the artists, and even access to additional concert footage made available for purchase after the show.
With hybrid being the new normal, we can expect to see even more artists adopting and leveraging a dynamic digital strategy. Want to attract new fans? Use the data from the platform to profile and segment key audiences, and then target new fans with lookalike capabilities.
Want to better serve your most loyal fans? Use livestream insights to better understand who your fans are and what they really want. Tour schedules, songs, merchandise can all be tailored to what fans are already doing. You can integrate the digital data into your in-person shows, maximizing your reach. With the data livestream platforms provide, we can understand the nitty-gritty details such as who attended the show, when they showed up, what artists they spent the most time with and more.
While free was fun for a while, we all need to make a profit if we’re to keep the lights on and the music alive. Want to maximize show revenue? Livestream allows artists to up the ante with custom merch, ticket bundles and other add-on experiences. Not to mention opening shows up to completely new global or concert-challenged audiences.
There is massive market potential for livestreaming, and the market for virtual concerts and hybrid shows is expected to grow exponentially as live music fans continue to demand access and additional viewing options. For many artists and venues (even festivals), a hybrid approach is a no brainer. Why? Because without livestream, artists and venues are missing a huge opportunity to connect with fans and to make money. Plus, livestream keeps you relevant, content-rich, and income generating, regardless of the time period or the current landscape.
Things are going to look a little different moving forward, but a digital strategy is here to stay. Expand your reach. Offer your fans the access they want. Increase your revenue potential, on or off tour. I’ve seen friends and family go from passive music fans to livestream enthusiasts, a phenomenon that creates an entirely new and incremental fan base for so many artists.
main photo by Johnny Silvercloud