By Eleanor Gregory
Will the Live Music industry survive Covid-19?
The year 2020 was set to be the most revenue generating year the live music industry has ever seen prior to COVID-19, but because of this the industry has experienced a catastrophic blow (Winterburn, 2020). An industry worth over £1.1 Billion in the UK is set to lose £900 Million by the end of 2020 if the pandemic continues to disrupt the sector, a 75% drop in revenue. The pandemic outbreak came at a difficult time for the UK live music sector, with many event operators preparing for the summer festival season. The industry is exceptionally seasonal in the United Kingdom with 29% of British adults attending a concert or festival in July 2019 (Mintel, 2020). On the contrary, Social Distancing and the cancellation of large gatherings has accelerated the trend of live streaming, as there is still a vast consumer demand for entertainment. COVID has made digital transformation obligatory for all businesses and for all sectors (Fletcher & Griffiths, 2020).
It has become an opportunity to boost revenues by building new business models, for example new ticketing structures distinguishing between livestream and ‘on-demand catch up’ (Mintel, 2020). Some of the most renowned artists in the world have begun to offer virtual concerts for their fans during lockdown, such as Coldplay’s Chris Martin who reached over 300,000 viewers on Instagram’s live platform. A beneficial element of the virtual concerts and live streaming events is not being limited to a capacity of a venue, therefore increasing consumer reach. The digital age allows us a sense of online community that’s being fully utilized by musicians (Cox, 2020).
The white paper explores where the UK Live Music industry is, with regards to digital maturity in the depth of a global pandemic. There will be an insight on how the live music sector gather and use data and explore the roles people play in driving the industry forward- in terms of workforce, leaders and fans. As a conclusion, I will offer my recommendations about where the Live Music industry should head in order to become more people/ technologically driven, `and more importantly resilient in the face of threats such as a global pandemic.