At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared that live streaming music events may become the next wave of innovation for the music industry. However over the last two years, sentiment toward live streaming has fluctuated, moving from a bullish, all-in attitude to questioning its viability as a revenue stream once live events began to return. 

Now, as another COVID-19 variant makes gathering in person for live events uncertain, there remains a clear opportunity for the industry to continue experimenting with live streaming and evaluating its role in the future of the music industry. 

To better understand live streaming’s impact on the music business, Eventbrite went straight to the source – our deeply talented Eventbrite Music Council, which is composed of artists, promoters, festivals, and venues to weigh in on where live streaming shines, and where there may be room for continued experimentation. 

Spoiler alert: the council is split on the benefits of live streaming and its future role in the music industry. Read on to find out more.

  1. Artists have struck live streaming gold: In the wake of the pandemic, artists first turned to live streaming to ensure consistent revenue as lockdowns were first introduced across the globe. Now almost two years later, artists plan to double down on live streaming in the future and grow their digital businesses. If you are still considering if live streaming is right for you, consider these benefits highlighted by Eventbrite’s music council: 
      • Expanded reach and ability to connect with a global audience
      • Increased flexibility and creative integrations
      • Greater share of revenue
      • Serves as a legitimate artist development platform for new artists
  2. Promoters are focusing efforts on the return to live events: Eventbrite’s promoters recognized that the pandemic provided an excellent opportunity to test and learn with live streaming, however concluded that nothing can replace an in-person experience. As the music industry continues to rebuild, many promoters still have limited resources and must strategically think about where to allocate them. While promoters have found success with bundling live streaming with other experiences, such as merch, tipping, and virtual meet-and-greets, moving into 2022 they will be laser-focused on returning to live events. Promoters did agree that live streaming will likely continue for special events in partnership with artists. 
  3. Outdoor venues will dominate 2022: As venues and promoters continue to navigate virus variants and changing vaccination and masking requirements, an emphasis is emerging on developing more outdoor events to keep audiences engaged. Municipalities such as San Francisco appear aware of this need and are already experimenting with how to provide funding that encourages this trend. However, as logistics and production continue to be barriers to entry for establishing events in new outdoor spaces, traditional outdoor festivals might already be the big winners in the new year.

From our Eventbrite family to yours, wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.