Starting in March 2020, touring artists and venues lost up to 80% of their income due to COVID restrictions and the global fight against the virus. While livestreaming offered some reprieve, 18 months of lockdowns had everyone rushing to get back out on the road and into physical events. Unfortunately, the new Omicron variant might negatively impact these plans for many artists, venues and promoters.
For example, concert mega-promoter Live Nation took an 8% hit to their stock on Friday, on new of the omicron variant.
Even if venues and festivals don’t cancel shows, the lower attendance – best case scenarios – might make touring less profitable for artists. But cancellations are likely given the media onslaught around the variant.
At Sala.Live, we believe venues, promoters and festivals need to embrace social live-streaming even more today than earlier in 2021. Those who sell physical event tickets should also be in the business of selling virtual tickets as part of the same transaction. Even if offered for free, the livestream component can make a fan feel better about spending during uncertain times. Any promoter can create a Sala.Live event in minutes, and even start accepting payments from day one.
Because of this, it isn’t enough to just point a camera at the stage and call it a day. We’re advocating for these businesses to invest into creating high-quality, immersive experiences where the audience can “attend” even if via webcam from their home or from their mobile device wherever they are. A livestream becomes a part of the ticket offering (remember when you got the digital copy of an album when you bought a CD?) and creates a safety net and a whole new revenue stream.
Putting the production burden on the artist won’t help the industry and will create fan frustration. If every artist does their own thing, fans won’t be able to keep up. We need promoters and venues to own their own concert live stream infrastructure to maximize their artist investment across the board.