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Livestreams & Virtual Concerts: A new age of Live Music

Blog from Playbox Technology UK Ltd

Wed 26, 08 2020

Who would have thought that virtual concerts would become the norm in 2020?

As the world adjusts to steadily lifting quarantines and social distancing measures, we wanted to take a look back at some of the initiatives that musicians and general purveyors of sound took to bring us joy and keep us entertained during testing times. Recent events have forced many industries out of their comfort zones. We have been left constantly amazed at some of the examples of innovation, flexibility and resilience displayed by industries that had to adapt – or potentially face long-lasting economic consequences.

Virtual Concerts: no ticket required?

The very nature of the pandemic means that thousands of people crowded together in an isolated location could quite easily spell disaster. Unfortunately, this is the most popular (and obvious) format of gigs and concerts. With tour postponements and gig cancellations disappointing fans across the world, music artists have been left to seek other ways to engage with fans and make up for lost time. A popular solution is utilising live streaming services to stream casual, informal performances directly to unlimited amounts of fans. These remote concerts are often labelled as ‘intimate’, and feature artists like John Legend and Pink performing within their home settings. Accessible streaming platforms like Facebook & Instagram Live make such impromptu performances possible with little more than a smartphone and an acoustic guitar. True, it lacks the raw atmosphere and buzz of a packed hometown arena, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Throw in a lively stream chat and you’ve got a unique experience to share with like-minded fans and communities.

The majority of the live streamed performances of the past few months have maintained a not-for-profit, charitable ethos. Kind-hearted donations for health care workers and disadvantaged communities across the globe are the focus, and incredible amounts have been raised through kindness and solidarity. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have hosted the majority of such events. It makes sense – the mainstream appeal and worldwide reach offered by these giants ensures that millions can easily tune in, engage and donate. Global Citizen hosted ‘One World: Together at Home’ via YouTube Live, which soared to well over $120M in donations for COVID-19 response funds and charities. YouTube Live enables secure donation transactions for fundraisers through YouTube Giving. YouTube Giving exists as an extension to the ‘Super Chats’ of the past, where audiences would tip independent streamers to receive shoutouts and directly communicate with their favourite content creators. YouTube Giving is a fantastic extension of an age-old streaming platform feature, and has great potential for the future of charitable live streaming.

Now, the format has been taken one step further with the announcement of Global Goal: Unite for Our Future. It’s an online festival that will be remotely produced, televised and streamed to a worldwide audience, aiming to shine a light on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on marginalised communities. It’s a great cause and will feature a mixture of performances and appearances from the likes of Coldplay, Miley Cyrus and Dwayne Johnson. It’s groundbreaking new territory for live music, and will surely have a profound effect on how the music industry handles performances and tours from here on out. Will we eventually see socially-distanced concerts, or will livestream music events take centre stage for now?

At PlayBox Technology, we work hand-in-hand with independent streamers and large streaming organisations alike to provide reliable, industry-leading streaming automation solutions at an affordable rate. Put simply, AirBox MEGA ICX and our cloud-based platform, Cosmos, provide 20,000+ content creators across the world with the power and flexibility to get high-quality, professional streams delivered directly to their target audiences. If you’d like to see what we could do for you, or just fancy a chat about our streaming and playout software solutions, feel free to get in touch!

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