Since concert venues of all sizes shut down around the globe in mid-March, artists have been adjusting in order to stay engaged with their fans, remain artistically inspired and simply stay busy. Much of that energy has resulted in a flood of livestreams across digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as companies like Twitch, StageIt and Null.
While artists have spread across the internet to host these virtual concerts and gatherings, Bandsintown continues to centralize this information, just as they do for live concerts. Since March 25, they have tracked over 8,000 livestreams. And in just a few weeks, trends are emerging amidst a flurry of activity.
In the first week of tracking, between March 25-31, 1,987 livestream listings were created on the Bandsintown website. The following week (April 1-7) saw a surge of 21% to 2,413 new events, before dipping by 5% to 2,300 new livestreams (April 8-14). This minor decline is more indicative of a steadying than livestreaming having peaked. Two days into week four, 480 new livestreams were created, the highest daily count since Bandsintown began tracking livestreams on their site.
Unsurprisingly, activity is significantly down on Saturdays and Sundays, with most new livestreams being announced and created during the middle of the week.
At a total of 8,244 music livestreams by 3,830 acts, artists have played an average of 2.15 livestreams each over the course of 26 days. That’s an average bi-weekly pace for artists looking to maintain a face-to-face connection with fans. With the ability to reach the entire world in one livestream, rather than performing to a select group in one city per night, repeat livestreams are often based on unique set lists, themed performances, or mixtures of Q&A and other fan engagement.
The population of artists hosting livestreams veers dramatically toward smaller acts. Almost 77% of livestreams are by artists with 10,000 or fewer Bandsintown trackers (fans can become a “tracker” of their favorite artists on bandsintown.com by searching for any given act) and another 20% are by artists with 10,000-249,000 trackers.
Only 3.8%, or a total of 311 livestreams, have been hosted by artists with 250,001 or more trackers, the threshold for eligibility on the Bandsintown + Billboard Top Artists Indexes.
As more clear information becomes available regarding the reopening of the traditional concert business, more “top artists” may start using livestreams to fill the gap, particularly those who have been forced to postpone tours or those who have released new albums without the ability to properly promote them on the road.