Let’s be clear: Live-streamed concerts are here to stay. They’ve enabled bands to connect with their fans like never before and they continue to boost revenue in an industry that really needs sustenance after more than a year of lockdown. More importantly, they’ve given musicians the opportunity to gain more control over this data as well as clawing back a fairer slice of the revenue pie.
This is exactly what Doors is all about.
Livestreams can be profitable:
– BTS have grossed $60m across THREE concerts from South Korea.
– Laura Marling (June 6th 2020) at Union Chapel - 6,284 tickets sold for $90,000
– Nick Cave (June 23rd 2020) live from Alexandra Palace - 35,337 tickets sold for $711,000
Fun fact: Nick Cave's livestream took in almost twice the average of $373,000 per venue during his 2018-19 tour.
Alongside ticketing, streams showcase how artists can efficiently sell event-based merch. The model of physically touring mercilessly to sell directly to fans while barely breaking even is dead. Live-in-person concerts will always remain a core of the magic (and are something we love deeply). But it's heartening to know artists can finally make some merch money without breaking their backs.
The past 18 months have been brutal for many people and of course the social restrictions have affected most of us. Live-streams were a window to normalcy in an unfamiliar world. An outlet for sharing hope and joy through audio-visual, even if we weren't together in the same space.
Fans showed appreciation not just by paying for events, but also by helping to build and sustain fandom. Those who hadn’t seen their dream band perform live because they live somewhere "un-tourable" finally got that chance. Streaming artists stay relevant to their audience until they meet their fans again, which ensures future ticket sales to physical shows. Also, with many more fans signing up to newsletters and social media accounts, performers can communicate directly and widely.
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Live-streamed gigs are now normal, something to talk about in press and social media, like a new single or album. There’s huge value in having activities to talk about and engage your fans with.
A bonus for artists is the wealth of data that fans provide when they buy a ticket and watch the stream. It’s the equivalent of interviewing everyone on their way out of a physical gig.
Also for many middle-sized or smaller acts, a filmed performance lets them present themselves on their own terms. Many musicians will reap dividends and future bookings now that promoters can see a presentation beyond a simple fan video on Youtube.
On top of that, artists are repackaging their live streams in new ways after the event. Making anything from press materials and social media content to gifs for fans to use.
The end of music has come and gone a number of times already. In the nineties, the decline of vinyl and rise of CD's. A decade later it was piracy and the eventual emergence of the streaming giants. Through every major shift, music found a way and musicians bounced back because it's not an option to give up. Artists survive. They have to.
As Esther said recently after her show on Doors "it's something I just have to do".
Surviving a pandemic through livestreams is another example of how musicians thrive in turmoil. Eryka Badu’s “Quarantine Concert Series” went live from her Texas home in late March 2020 which included the chance to interact and featured her full band playing a different set each day.
Badu even controlled the pricing as she essentially "built her own livestream company for the series in just 10 days, charging viewers directly $1 for the first concert, $2 for the second, $3 for the third." If there is one major takeaway, it's the fact that musicians know how to weather a storm.