Over the course of six months, the live music landscape has adapted to COVID-related restrictions, limiting in-person gatherings that once drove the touring industry. And while artists have been diversifying their methods of direct-to-fan engagement, fans are now responding with increased interest, opening their wallets as their favorite artists continue to open their homes.
In addition to socially distanced concerts and drive-in events, livestreams exploded in popularity, hitting a high of 3,173 new events added to Bandsintown the week of April 29. The total number of livestream listings on Bandsintown.com recently surpassed the 50,000 mark, currently averaging 1,250-1,500 new events each week.
One way that Bandsintown tracks consumer interest in live events is ticket clicks for paid livestreams and IRL (in-real-life) events and “Notify Me” and “Watch Live” clicks for free livestreams.
Over the course of the last three months (July 1-Sept. 30), engagement with IRL events has remained steady (up 4%, comparing engagement from the month of September to that of July) and interactions with free livestreams has declined (down 26%). In the same tracking period, ticket clicks on paid livestreams has risen by 577%.
In July, ticket clicks on paid livestreams accounted for 3.3% of all activity on Bandsintown, at just 70,136 clicks, compared to 1.54 million on IRL events and 485,000 on free livestreams. That percentage leapt to 12.6% in August and then to 19.5% in September, stretching July’s 70,000 count to 475,057 ticket clicks.
Zooming in on free livestreams vs. paid livestreams (removing IRL events from the equation), ticket clicks on paid events were just 14% of the engagement from free streams in July on Bandsintown. Fast forward two months, and paid livestreams have overtaken free livestreams, over-indexing by 33%.
This phenomenon is taking hold stateside more so than across the pond. While paid livestreams have grown to account for 23% of domestic engagement on Bandsintown, they have just 7% of all interactions in Europe. Conversely, while IRL events have dipped to 60% of Bandsintown’s overall fan engagement in America, they still hold 85% of European fans’ interactions. This is likely due to improved COVID conditions in Europe, allowing for more traditional in-person concerts.
This surge is encouraging for artists looking to monetize livestreams, which, until recently, had thrived solely on a free model. The sharp increase in ticket clicks relative to the steady number of total events on Bandsintown indicates that fans are willing to pay now more than ever throughout the pandemic.