COVID 19 Will Forever Change The Live Music Industry
By Evan Shapiro, EvanShapiroMusic.com
COVID 19 has brought the music touring industry to a virtual standstill in most major cities in the United States, however the trend towards innovation in the live music space has been taking place for several years. Big ticket shows with major label artists will continue when it is safe to open after a vaccine, and better treatment options become available for COVID 19. A lot of mid size and small venues may never reopen. What is becoming clear is that there are and will be more choices for bands to perform and fans to consume live music, now and in the future.
Silent Events has been facilitating the equipment and resources for “silent disco” style music events for many years and the technology could be used to bring entertainment outside during COVID 19 without loud music disturbing the local neighborhood. In addition there are benefits to hearing health for both bands and fans. Instead of being exposed to loud music inside a club, with repeated exposure being a setup for partial hearing loss over time, bands and fans control the volume on their headphones. Also, with the noise component removed it makes it more likely that the regulatory landscape could change, with more municipalities issuing licenses to add an entertainment component to their business if it doesn’t disturb the local neighborhood.
Concerts via online platforms such as StageIt offer bands a way to monetize their performances through a ticketed event, without leaving home and eliminate the significant travel, business expenses and equipment rental costs incurred with touring. In addition, bands are finding ways to monetize concerts streamed live on social media platforms such as Twitch, Instagram and Facebook Live and video conferencing platforms such as Zoom It is a further extension of the DIY movement that permeates the business model of more and more independent artists. It gives artists and bands an increasing amount of control over their own destiny and allows bands to keep more of the revenue generated from their performances. It also allows for monetization from fans worldwide, rather than just the fans that are in town for a show at a particular music venue. Performances can also be made into a music podcast to generate further awareness and help to build a band’s fanbase.
An increasing amount of live performance outside at music venues, restaurants and retail stores is conducive to more partnerships between musicians and brands, that is an extension of in store performances which have been taking place over the last several years. An increasing amount of online performances will also lead to more partnerships. A band has the power and influence to promote products and services to a loyal fanbase, that is a unique form of advertisement for a brand. At the same time, the marketing power of consumer brands can play a role in generating awareness for a band that can lead to significant growth in a band’s fanbase, which will lead to engagement and ultimately monetization.
I believe that the tools and resources that are needed to change the landscape of the live music industry are right in front of us. The tragedy of COVID 19 may lead to the change that has already been taking place.