A Market for Hybrid Concerts

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This post is also available in: Español

I believe that there is a market for Hybrid Concerts, where an artist performs in front of a (socially distanced and/or fully vaccinated) live audience and via streaming simultaneously.

The Case for Hybrid Concerts

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new way of working and new ways of getting together.
Many people, myself included, now work remotely full-time.

The technology is also there for new ways for artists to reach their audience. Hybrid concerts are a great solution that we got to try out during this pandemic.

Well, we mostly tried out streaming concerts without any audience. This past holiday season we had many of those. Some had technology issues, mostly related to bandwidth; ask Marc Anthony! But those were early adopter issues that can be preventable.

I’m sure you probably have seen announcements by one of your favorite artists of a tour they will be doing. But your city is not on the tour list. Perhaps it rarely is. Or even if it is, you may not want to go in person. But a reasonably priced stream of the concert, which you can watch on your big screen TV at home (or projector on the patio) would be a very welcome option.

There are some that may argue against the idea. It will cannibalize concert ticket sales, or people might not want to see the same concert many times, so the streaming audience might not show up.

We’ve heard most of these arguments before. And the fact is that what I’m proposing is not a new concept. The concept has been around for decades!!! And it’s proven to work.

Entertainment in TV

Hybrid Concert by Australian orchestra
The Australian Symphony uses Hybrid Concerts to generate more revenue.

Other types of entertainment have been on TV for years. For example, the Austin Music Festival I believe is transmitted live. But many other concerts have been transmitted live on TV without impacting one-bit ticket sales.

Sports are another example, as they have been transmitted on TV for years. Two points here; first, the TV producers do pay the team for the rights of transmitting the event, but only because they know they’ll recover their money with a profit from viewership. PPV Boxing, UFC, WWF events have also benefited from PPV for years.

Streaming could be just another way of doing the same thing. People still go to the live events in their city if they can, despite the availability to see it free on TV. Why, because of the experience to see an event live. Streaming will always be the second-best alternative.

Some Artists are Doing Hybrid Concerts

An artist on a tour could decide to stream selected in-person concerts. He could do it based on time zone, or location (perhaps there’s a venue where streaming would be more appealing) or simply the first and last concerts, varying the content by a small percentage. The artist will be in front of more of his fans, which will increase his music streams or sales, and he/she could even choose to sell the same concert t-shirts during the streaming broadcast.

Some lesser-known artists are already doing this, and it seems like it’s working for them.

Check out this LINK for a list of hybrid concerts.

I believe it’s just a matter of time before all artists jump on the hybrid concert bandwagon.

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