Why virtual music concerts are here to stay
For one, the simple most straight forward answer is that we are still deep in the trenches of a raging and unforgiving pandemic. In less deflating and frightening news, virtual music concerts are here to stay because we have now created new habits and grown accustomed to many new ways of doing and experiencing things, virtual music concerts being one of them.
If you are one of those people still unrepentant about the thrill of a live-in concert music experience, picture this – a luxuriously catered evening, hosted in the comfort of your home and in the company of 5 or more of your closest friends. You are streaming a Twenty One Pilots virtual concert on a quality 28” 4K UHD monitor bought off the weekly Best Buy deal of the day at a price that is hard to beat with savings upto $50.
There is a long list of pros as to why virtual music concerts might be favoured for a long time, dare I say, long after the pandemic is over. Yes, you might miss the unique sense of excitement that accompanies buying a concert ticket and looking forward to seeing Drake at the O2 but the comfort and convenience of jamming to your favourite artist performing live in the comfort of your own home can also be top tier.
Normalizing virtual concerts might have taken a longer time and a lot more convincing in a pre-corona virus era but now it features prominently as part of our new normal.
So far, we have had a number of impressive and well organised virtual concerts with some of the more popular and successful experiments being the YouTube concerts. In November, YouTube curated, produced and executed a full blown ‘A Day in The Live’ of Wizkid concert which saw millions of fans from all over the world tune in. Wizkid performed most of the tracks off his new album, ‘Made in Lagos’ and a few other tracks from his dated albums.
It was a huge success and it demonstrated the dynamism of artists and creators in the music industry to make a good thing out of a challenging situation. Similar but less extravagantly performed concerts have also been produced such as DJ Marshmello’s concert. Virtual music concerts have given artists an avenue to earn decently during the pandemic and any artist will tell you that concerts and tours are really where the money is.
The proceeds from audio streaming tracks have never been how artists make a living or sustain their celebrity lifestyle so the revenue that comes from a livestream show fills the gap that was created when COVID-19 hit. In addition, a number of artists have also taken the premium route by charging the equivalent of an admission fee starting from as low as $15 for their online performances.
As a temporary replacement for live concerts and tours, industry experts have weighed in that it is possible from here on out to have arrangements that cater for both a livestream pay-per-view option and the traditional live-in concert performances. There is an undeniable appetite for virtual music concerts and it will continue to grow during the pandemic. Take for example, the genius that is the Verzuz battles hosted on Instagram which are also a type of virtual music concerts in itself. Revenue figures are also an encouraging indicator where top artists are reportedly earning as much as $1 million per Livestream show, then there is more money to be made.
At the moment, it might be premature to say that virtual music concerts are here to stay because we are still in the middle of a global pandemic that demands that we continue to keep each other safe while also devising ingenious ways to keep ourselves entertained. Irrespective of the verdict, we can all agree that virtual music concerts have a thing about them and we are not mad about that.