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10 reasons why online concerts are a must – for musicians and performing artists

Online concerts are not a real alternative to live concerts, however a very useful supplementation to a modern artist’s portfolio. In short: If you don’t do online concerts you leave recognition, reach and money on the table!

We arrived at a world full of live streams. Today, Periscope, Youtube and Facebook make it easy for everybody to set up a live stream.

If you look at the specialized market for online concerts, two american online concert platforms stand out: Concert Window und Stageit

With Concert Window and StageIt creatives can conduct online performances and earn money by doing so. Moreover, special features support online interaction between artist and audience. Both platforms can be used internationally, no matter where you are located.

Before I discuss available platforms in my next blog post, let’s have a look at the disadvantages and advantages of online concerts in general, compared to ‚real‘ live concerts.

Disadvantages of online concerts

  1. Online concerts touch only two of our sensory organs: Eyes and ears. Senses of touch and smell are not stimulated. That’s why important factors of live experiences are missing at online events: The smell of the location, beer, sweat of the performers and the audience, the sound in your stomach (e.g. base drum) and being in a crowd.
  2. Additionally, the aura of the artist is not as much perceptible as it would be at a ‘real’ live gig. In short, the emotional zone is less addressed.
  3. Socializing is missing, if you realize that online concerts are mostly watched by a single person via computer or smartphone. This means, you don’t get to know new people and the joy of togetherness is not as strong.
  4. At online concerts the audience might not be very focused. People are much easier distracted compared to being in a club. Factors of distraction are TV, flatmates and everything online, that is only a few mouse clicks away (e.g. Facebook).
  5. A bad sound quality can shy away people after listening a few minutes. This might even have an effect on their willingness to attend future online concerts.
  6. From an artist perspective online concerts can present a technical hurdle. A lot of artists are reasonably concerned about the sound quality that reaches the audience at ‘the other side’.
  7. Moreover, the musician needs getting used to sing, perform and getting in the ‘flow’, without the audience in the room. This can effect the performance.

Advantages of online concerts

  1. There are no spatial boundaries. A concert hall can only hold so many people. However, an online concert has the potential for a theoretically unlimited audience.
  2. The geographical position of the show becomes irrelevant. An artist in Cologne can reach a world-wide audience. He can play for and grow a global fanbase.
    Nationally this also is of advantage. If a musician from e.g. Cologne has followers in several German cities, his fans in Munich can also follow is live concert in Cologne via the internet.
  3. By removing these factors, there are no limits for ticket sales anymore. This means for the artist: Unlimited income, at least theoretically.
  4. In addition to that, online concerts mean economy of time, cost savings and coziness. This on both sides. The artist and the fan can experience the performance from a location of their choice. The fan is welcome to watch it from his couch. The artist can perform from his home or from his familiar rehearsal- or recording-studio-environment. Artists will save travel time and costs very likely, too.
  5. A big chunk of organisational work is eliminated. Online concerts are less complex. You don’t need to contact and convince venues and promoters. You also don’t need to discuss contracts. The online concert platform is open to anybody and the contract is defined by the platform operator anyway.
  6. The musician is free to define ticket type and pricing. Online concert platforms usually allow both, free and payable tickets. Moreover, the artist can choose a ‘pay x or more’ model which means that the ticket buyer can pay as much as he wants above a minimum level. The minimum level again can be chosen by the performer.
  7. Another argument for online concerts is the enhancement of the artist-fan-relationship. This is important because the relationship between artist and fan can have a huge impact on the economic situation of an artist (see blogpost Superfans). The potential to deepen the relationship can even be higher if compared to a ‘normal’ live concert. Reasons are:
    • Platforms such as Concert Window and Stageit offer a dialogue function, (chat function). This allows the audience to comment while enjoying the performance. The artist then can reply orally or by also using the chat function. This is often done during the breaks of the show ore between songs. This way a nice dialogue can develop which is personal (1-on-1) and public at the same time, because all attendees can follow it.
    • Artists can use the online dialogue to encourage getting tips and earn extra money.  They can announce specials, offer Fan Experiences (e.g. Skype Sessions), merchandise etc.
      This functionality again is offered / supported by the online concert platform.
    • Another advantage lies in the fact that the listener is already online and further actions to the benefit of the artist are only a few mouse clicks away. Examples are Facebook Likes, followers on Twitter or Youtube or leaving an email address at the artists webpage to receive the newsletter. For all that it’s important that the artist leads the audience to take action and actively calls the audience to support.
  8. There are no costs involved for the artist to conduct an online concert. However, providers keep a share from the revenue (tickets + tips). Currently Concert Window takes a flat 30% and Stageit keeps between 17% – 37% depending on different factors.
    If the artist chooses the concert to be free, the artist respectively does not have to pay the platform. Hence, from an economical point of view an online-concert is completely risk-free for the performer.
  9. The number of people attending online concerts are not so much affected by weather, season or their physical condition.
  10. Online concerts are a good instrument to convince people to attend a ‘real’ live concert in the future. The barrier to attend an online concert in order to ‘get to know’ the artist is comparatively low. People don’t need to leave the house and travel to a venue. That’s why online concerts can work as a trailblazer to increase attendance for next live gigs.

In one of the next blogposts I will take a look at different online concert platforms and explain how to conduct an online concert.

What arguments did I forget to mention? Feedback and comments are highly appreciated!