Adapting is the name of the game. With theaters and concert halls closed again in many global locations to stop the spread of COVID-19, artists are instead turning to the internet, streaming concerts to allow fans to enjoy their music in a new way. These live performances, which may once have been free, are now vying to become a new revenue stream for the struggling industry.
From Dua Lipa, Gorillaz and Jessie J to Liam Gallagher, Major Lazer and Metallica, all kinds of acts are getting in on the game, organizing exclusive performances that music fans can watch live from the comfort of their homes. Many artists already tested the water during spring’s lockdowns, although without investing too much in the production of these makeshift livestream performances. Music fans may still remember a laid-back John Legend tinkling the ivories in a bathrobe, or Alessia Cara embarking on an acoustic set in her bathroom for the MTV “Unplugged at Home” series.
After a few weeks of random and impromptu performances, these virtual gigs upped their game and started being streamed from more prestigious locations, such as London’s Alexandra Palace, The Roxy club in Los Angeles and even the V&A Museum. Add high-quality lighting, multiple and varied camera angles, sometimes even special effects, and these once free concerts suddenly morphed into exclusive pay-per-view events.
The cost of technology
Ticket prices vary, although they’re often around the US$15 mark. While Dua Lipa promises to take fans on a “kaleidoscope, rocket-filled, journey through time” to discover her latest album for $15-20, Billie Eilish charged up to $30 for livestream tickets to her global virtual concert, “Where