How the Pandemic Has Affected Live Music Streaming

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Read the complete transcript of this video:

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: So the music industry in particular really had to scramble to find ways to remain commercially viable with pay-per-view and hybrid event packages. Larry, can you talk about some of your experiences or insights, particularly with live music events?

Larry Gale: Certainly. In the last year we've certainly seen everyone discover the power of taking one physical event that might only reach, say, 300 people ... If you asked anyone who knows about Boiler Room that, at its height, had 187 million people following it every month, taking very small events, but putting it across social media. And the thing that I love is the word 'democratisation,' and I've always tried to use that and actually have it at the core of what I do. It's just helping other people trying to reach the same sort of end goal when they have to navigate around like things like music licensing. I'm connected to people who work in music venues all over the world, and a lot of them came to me saying, 'How do I do this?' And you send them a kit list of what they need and they can't afford any of it because no one's coming to their venue to buy any drinks. And then even if they did book an artist, can they even afford to actually license the content for where they're streaming it to? We're seeing big developments, particularly on Twitch the moment. Twitch is very keen to be a platform for songwriters. And so they're coming on leaps and bounds in terms of how they approach copyright and licensing. It's still very much the wild west. If you're not a DIY content creator, if you are a brand, you need to go into that murky world and have those conversations with your music labels.

In terms of pay-per-view, we've certainly seen a lot more appetite for that in Europe that we never had before COVID. In America and Europe, no one really ever really cared about pay-per-view for music. I think I can say that with confidence. So that's a good thing, because it's a way to directly monetize music content and actually pay artists. So I'm a fan of it. I think the spotlight is on DICE at the moment. They received over $100 million of funding. They've been very public about it, and they've just bought my former employer--they just bought Boiler Room. I don't know what for, so please don't ask me, but it's a very interesting time because if you look at DICE, they have the links in the chain. They own venues. They have a great platform that allows them to interface directly with their customers on a mobile app as well as online. So they own that big ticketing block, but they can also license that out to other people who just want to use that ticketing element. And then they also have stakes in content as well. So they are really wonderful to watch in terms of how to traverse this world. I could talk all day about this.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Andrew, your thoughts--you mentioned you worked with musicians?

Andrew McCargar: As a DoP, I produced a series of LightStream concerts, and also through 3Q, our platform hosts have hosted several concerts during the pandemic. I was just being quiet because I think Larry is the expert here, but I can only repeat what he said. It really has the feeling that this is a time in transition and that's been my experience too. Some musicians get it, they see the opportunity, they see that suddenly there are different or new ways of reaching people and new ways of even just interacting with with their existing fans. Unfortunately I've also worked with some musicians and actually one award ceremony where it was very obvious they were doing the livestream just because they had to, and they were waiting to do it in person again, and it's a missed opportunity. I think it'll be very interesting. I'm curious what Larry and Ian think about this, but I think it'll probably take another couple of years before it settles down and we find out from where that particular industry is headed.

Ian Nock: Prior to lockdown, we had Patreon out there as a great way of monetizing content, especially if it's a smaller content provider of content producer or a musician or whatever. And that has just grown apace during the whole time of lockdown with COVID. And I think people would realize that will continue, just because we we're growing out of COVID, at the end we're still gonna have those approaches that are gonna need to be built on because it's a great way of engaging with your fans with that sort of SVOD-like deal,which Patreon can provide where you pay per month. And that's actually going to be very interesting, producing that content every month. And that really is a growth of small-scale SVOD almost.

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