Hear that sound? It’s the sound of silence. Or well the absence of live concerts in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Just like the EHR machines and virtual learning topics recently discussed on this blog, the global pandemic has given rise to revelations into countless aspects of our daily lives. And this time we’re discussing how this affects the music and performing arts industry.
Let us first look at the financial situation of the music industry. In 2019, it was reported that 75 to 90% of income for the top artists on Billboard was due to live performance ticket revenue and merchandise sales. Compare that to the personal streaming services of a platform like Spotify. Artists typically only earn $1 for every 250 streams of a song. That means that live shows are vital to the wellbeing and earning potential of musical artists, especially sub-famous ones. So, you can imagine that when the pandemic shut down live shows worldwide it hit the music industry immensely in their earnings. The solution? Live streaming events.
Artists all over the world used the quarantine era of 2020 to hone their tech skills and create meaningful content for live streaming to their fans. For example, in April 2020, rapper Travis Scott hosted a virtual reality live show titled ‘Astronomical’ on the platform Fortnite, which set the record for unique participating players with 12.3 million people. The success of tech-enabled live streaming events contributed to $600 million for artists in 2020, which included a 300% increase in revenue from June to November that year.
It is no surprise, however, that these events are so popular. Live streaming has the potential to vastly increase the participation at any single event (as seen in the Travis Scott event). They allow audiences from all over the world to attend and witness the artform, which can vastly increase the show’s revenue and thus the artist’s income. Additional benefits include possibly cheaper ticket prices for attendees due to the volume attending, no lines or commute to the event, and greater accessibility for disabled or differently-abled individuals who may otherwise not be able to attend. It also has the potential to greatly expand international exposure for the artist, which could in turn help inspire the next generation of music talent. However, one of the drawbacks is the participation of the artists.
Some artists may not have the technological skills necessary to implement these types of shows and keep up with the changing demand. That is where companies like Patron Technology come in. This type of service offers everything from streaming assistance to ticketing, marketing, and even fundraising. Apart from just the live streaming, these types of services also offer an interface for interactive participation by the audience such as artist meet n’ greets, chat functions, exclusive viewing parties, polls, augmented reality, and much more.
The pandemic may be ending, but live streaming concerts are here to stay. So, this presents a unique opportunity for growing technology companies to provide the tools and education demanded by these artists to put on new and exciting shows. The technology is quickly evolving, and this could be the perfect time to seek it out and aid in its development.