Livestreaming continues to evolve throughout 2020 with artists bunkered down at home. Driift, a new livestream concert producer and promoter out of the U.K., is giving a lift to European indie acts looking to perform for their fans and participate in something close to a normal touring economy.
Founded by ATC Management’s Ric Salmon and Brian Message, with further investment from Beggars Group, Driift launched with a quartet of ticketed global livestreams from iconic London venues.
Up first was Laura Marling on June 6, with a performance taped at Union Chapel earning $90,000 from 6,284 tickets sold according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. Lianne La Havas followed on July 15 at The Roundhouse with a $91,000 gross and 6,186 tickets sold.
Nick Cave performed on June 23 from Alexandra Palace to 35,337 fans for a $711,000 gross and Dermot Kennedy played a show from the Natural History Museum on July 30 to 30,276 fans and a $511,000 gross.
While there was a wide range in results in terms of total global headcount and revenue for each stream, they line up neatly when compared to each act’s recent touring history.
For Kennedy, Marling, and La Havas, their global livestream grosses were between 3.5-4.5x the average gross from their most recent tours, while the livestream attendance tally was 6-8.5x the average count. And taking into account the difference between streaming a concert at home compared to the in-person live music experience, tickets were about 50% of each artist’s usual price across the board.
Kennedy’s half-million-dollar gross was maximized with the help of VIP and platinum options that included a limited edition signed 7-inch single and a zoom meet & greet.
These livestream grosses and attendance counts make for the biggest engagements of all three artists’ careers, among those reported to Billboard Boxscore. Kennedy’s one stream sold 30,276 tickets, nearly topping the 32,000 tickets he sold from eight reported live shows throughout 2019-20.
The transition from live concert to live stream is a bit trickier to pin down for Nick Cave. His stream had the strongest raw numbers of Driift’s roster so far, selling more than 35,000 tickets, a number that could fill a U.S. baseball stadium. But comparisons become difficult to make when considering that his recent tour history alternates between a solo “conversations” tour and “full-band” concerts billed to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Still his $711,000 livestream gross nearly doubles the average $373,000 from the 2018-19 band tour that sprawled arenas around the world.
Driift was able to geo-lock each livestream, re-broadcasting them at different times in territories around the world. While Marling played two separate live shows for the U.K./Europe and then for the U.S., the other three opted to air the original taped performance for Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and the Americas, corresponding appropriately for each area’s separate time zone. A full territory-by-territory breakdown was not made available but a rep for Driift noted that about one third of all ticket buyers came from the U.S.
Upcoming streams from Driift include Biffy Clyro on Aug. 15, Sleaford Mods on Sept. 12, and more to be announced soon.