25 May 2018 | Sergey Bludov
What's Next for Streaming? The Convergence with Live Music
"There's a reason music never worked on TV. It's a community experience. Now, if you turn a passive viewer into an active viewer that feels like they're connecting with people, now we've created the music community online." — Allen Sanford, LiveList co-founder and CEO.
The RIAA 2017 year-end music industry revenue report clearly reaffirms the value of streaming for the industry. Total revenue from music streaming platforms increased by 43% to $5.7 billion, accounting for 65% of total industry revenues for last year, while paid subscriptions grew to become the biggest growth driver in 2017.
With all eyes firmly focused on the latest trends, what is the new big wave for the streaming market?
Live video streaming!
Thanks in part to social networks, this technology has definitely gone mainstream. The move from streaming sports games and news conferences to live streaming concerts and music festivals is a natural progression, as consumers increasingly embrace the concept of watching events while on the go or from the comfort of their home. While Facebook Live, Instagram Live Video, Periscope, YouTube Live and other similar services continue to be hugely popular for personal use, professional video streaming platforms cooperate with music industry leaders and unsigned musicians to leverage the experience of live concert streaming. LiveList, Brightcove, DaCast, IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream), Livestream and other platforms have already proved the benefits of this technology.
Streaming live concerts provides incredibly powerful branding and exceptional fan engagement opportunities for the music industry. Many platforms offer extensive range of video players, social sharing features, API-based solutions for easy embedding and other tools allowing musicians to reach colossal numbers of viewers with practically any internet connected devices. Live video streaming literally helps eliminate physical, geographic and technical barriers between musicians and their fans.
But what do artists have to gain? The current reality is that touring and concerts make the main source of income for the large majority of musicians. However, instead of diminishing revenue, live streaming of concerts helps increase ticket sales. According to the results of a survey conducted by Livestream and New York Magazine, 67% of audience are more likely to attend the concert in person after being inspired by watching a live video.
Another massive value prospect in live streaming concerts provided by online platforms is their ability to collect and analyze data about fan preferences. Broadcasters can measure performance of their live videos and know how many new or repeat viewers watch the content, where they come from and other metrics depending on the platform. With the right approach this video streaming analytics allows for better tour scheduling, improved branding and a more engaged audience for musicians.
Additionally, combining virtual reality (VR) with the live streaming of concerts carries the potential to further transform the live music experience. Coachella, the popular music festival, has already experimented with integrating a 360 broadcast with a highly-trafficked 2D broadcast in conjunction with vantage.tv, thereby allowing users to easily toggle between 2D and VR. Another startup, TheWaveVR, live streams concerts in VR while offering interactive features to further engage fans and give them an opportunity to virtually touch equipment or dance in the concert landscape.
We're merely at the beginning of discovering the myriad of ways that live streaming concerts can engage fans and improve the branding potential for the media industry. As a growing number of artists and companies take the leap into this relatively new format, we can expect to see a wonderful range of innovations as the live concert experience merges with the digital world.