With the spread of COVID-19 and the implementation of lockdown in various countries, many well-known pop singers such as Camilla Cabello, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Doja Cat had to postpone or cancel their world tour events. Lady Gaga announced the postponement of the Chromatica Ball which was supposed to take place in Summer 2020. According to recent reports, Harry Styles announced on 15th December, that his U.K and European tour dates for February-March 2021 are postponed until further notice.
Moreover, Imagine Dragons took on Twitter to explain their performance postponement of Kultureball 2020, which will now occur on March 2021. Many such singers have resorted to postponing their concerts. While others have resorted to the option of performing through virtual concerts while interacting with their fans, audiences, and listeners from different parts of the world. With people being stuck at home, and having only limited activities to spend their leisure time on, they have resorted to various means of entertainment. Some people have resorted to binge-watching TV shows on Netflix while others have utilized the quarantine time usefully and honed their natural skills. Music lovers have found a way to fill their craving for concerts and music shows through singers who’d perform via live streaming.
What Platforms Were Mostly Used by Performers for Virtual Concerts?
Many performers, singers, actors, poets, and entertainers continued providing their fans with much-needed entertainment amidst a global pandemic. The various streaming platforms performers used for virtual concerts were Youtube, Facebook, Zoom, Twitch, Vimeo, IBM Cloud Video, or Instagram Live. Many live performers, who were once underrated and underappreciated, gained appreciation, fame, and recognition as more individuals resorted to online streaming for entertainment. Various regional and international bands and singers have provided their audience with a live concert experience in the comfort of their homes.
Were Virtual Concerts Popular Before COVID-19 and 2020?
Various statistics and reports show us that live streaming was considered a personal preference amongst people of all age groups even before the implementation of lockdown and the spread of COVID-19. Prior to the concerts shut down in March 2020, international fans who could not attend real live concerts of their favorite singers would live stream videos on their laptops or mobile phones, sitting on the other side of the world. According to a music report compiled by the Nielsen End-of-Year, the viewership of live video music streaming increases gradually by 28.6 % every year. Even before COVID-19, researchers revealed that 63% of people between the age range of 18-34 view content of live-streamings on a regular basis.
Which Singers Participated in the Trend of Virtual Concerts in the 2020 Pandemic?
During COVID-19, a non-profit organization named Can’t Stop the Blues used its virtual platform to raise money for their fans who suffered in the emerging days of the pandemic in 2020. They brought joy, serenity, and escapism in the lives of listeners worldwide as they’d remain isolated in their homes and helped more than 200 artists to pay their bills. Their broadcast ran from 9:00-11:00 (EST) every Thurs-Sun via Facebook and Youtube.
The two different artists they’d feature every night would interact with Blue venue’s fans globally. Since the first week of the COVID-19 shutdown, an acoustic country singer from East Texas named Sunny Sweeney has been live-streaming from her living room to entertain Americano music lovers worldwide who could not attend their favorite music concerts in summer 2020.
On November 13th, she released her live record which was a merge of her studio band stream. Currently, the Texas-based acoustic singer is live streaming shows through her Patreon. Some of her recordings can also be found in her virtual and interactive fan clubs.
Moreover, people whose career is not related to music at all but possess some talent in music have utilized their singing skills to entertain themselves and their viewers worldwide through songs and talks. One such example is Wendy Colonna who is a Texas-based entrepreneur, musician, and creative coach, who has been performing safe in-person and live events too. Another one of the best live streaming shows was “Harlem After Dark” performed by Allan Harries on a weekly basis. Every Tuesday, Harries would perform at 7:30 EDT for an hour, sometimes by himself, sometimes with special guests.
The effect of COVID-19 in the music industry has been visible. However, the question arises, what will be the overall impact of virtual concerts and live streaming music on the industry post-COVID-19?
Statistics show exponential growth in live-streaming services globally by 99% between April 2019 and April 2020. Whereas, by 2027, the industry of live streaming is expected to possess a value of 184.27 billion USD.
Between March to August 2020, live streaming events escalated by 300%, according to statistics by unscreen. An increased 3x-5x search of live streaming platforms before and after the COVID-19 outbreak shows the substantial impact of live streaming platforms and music on the audience of various age groups.
Similar to the rise in the various COVID-19 trends in 2020, the trends of virtual concerts are not expected to minimize any time soon. In fact, with more people realizing the benefits of live streaming, they will continue purchasing tickets for virtual concerts of their favorite singers and performers, to experience the adrenaline rush of a concert in the comfort of their homes.
The aforementioned statistics and facts are enough to prove the substantial impact of live streaming on the music industry and how rapidly it is expected to evolve since its upheaval in 2020, there is no denying the fact that live streaming could actually end up being the future of the music industry.
What Can We Expect from the Music Industry in the Upcoming Years?
The music industry is not how it was like twenty years ago. With the evolvement of technological developments, various aspects of our lives have changed, including the music industry. Just like every other industry in this world, the trends of the music industry are uncertain. It is uncertain that the music industry will remain the same ten years from now. Technology is the new normal, for work, for dating, and for concerts too. The changes we can expect from the music industry within the next few years are uncertain because just like every other industry in the world, it will keep evolving. The newer discoveries are made, the more our lifestyles are changed. Our preferences constantly change, with the evolvement of our lifestyle and everyday routines. And the more our preferences change, the more evolvement shall occur in various industries globally. And the music industry is no exception to that. In short, 2020 will forever be known as the year when virtual concerts skyrocketed and became a distinctively unique experience for music lovers globally.