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How the Pandemic Has Changed Live Music Streaming

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Learn more about live music streaming and streaming at scale at Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

John Petrocelli: In the pandemic, we've seen an interesting evolution with live content. If you look at it predominantly through the live music industry, that's a $25 billion industry. That's largely on hold, and you've got some of the most creative beings to walk this earth--musicians, artists and songwriters--they're stuck in their living rooms, in their bedrooms, just like all of us. I think there's been a really interesting evolution with the things that they've been doing. Early on in the pandemic, you would see an artist perform on their phone and their living room or their bedroom. And I think the audience was interested in that kind of first wave of experience in that you were seeing somebody that you're a fan of in a very authentic and kind of unique environment. And it was also this connection like, "Hey, I'm sequestered and stuck in the same situation that this artist."

Over time, I think that has significantly changed. I think the audience and the whole industry has now looked at, "How do we elevate the quality of audio video, and even the lighting and so forth." I think there was a Dua Lipa performance last month, where I think the budget was like 1.5 million for this very rich elaborate interactive experience. And not everybody's going to have that kind of a budget to put towards these shows, but I think it's an indicator that the content creator and the viewer and the platform want to take this to a different level. And that also introduces opportunities for monetization, be that pay-per-view or brand-sponsored. And for live content, my team has always evangelized, "You've got to take it beyond surveillance video, or webcam video." If it's Drake or The Weeknd or some iconic content creator, the audience will come in and they're going to check that out. The idea is how do you get them to stay in that moment and kind of extend the watch time. And that's really done through quality audio and quality video, but more so converting that viewer into a participant and creating a collaborative and a participatory broadcast. And that's things like chat, and the chat's gotta be curated. It can't be just filled with nonsense and rhetoric and polarizing commentary. But also the ability for the audience to have the ability maybe to switch the camera feed, polling chat trivia, calls-to-action graphics, overlays, photo walls.

I think the pandemic has really pushed and focused this industry on doing just that. Although there's been a lot of new entrants in terms of companies providing these services, the real evolution of the overall space is how do we now get to a level of quality combined with a level of interactivity. And the great news is there's all kinds of tools more readily available. I think the tech industry, the streaming industry has kind of doubled down on their investment and then moving things forward. And so now there's a myriad of tools that are available at different cost points. You don't have to spend the money that an artist Dua Lipa spent, but there is no greater time in history in this industry to be putting on really compelling experiences.

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