Will the concerts & events industry fit the ‘New Normal’?
Futurists and experts have commented that a pandemic can have psychological impacts on humans, which will cause a radical change in behavior. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros, in his latest interview, said, "The world cannot go back to the way things were. There must be a new normal – a world that is healthier, safer, and better prepared". This current situation makes it imperative for every industry to think innovatively and make themselves fit in the new normal.
Keeping these things in mind, when we look closely at the media and entertainment industry, the first thing we think is of the movies and series whose releases will now be pushed ahead for an undetermined time. Also, when the dust would settle over the COVID 19 situation, the work will not start at full speed as it would have earlier. Thousands of people are already losing their jobs, and the situation is only going to worsen.
But it's not just the movies and series that are getting impacted. In the pre-COVID world, millions of fans would wait for their favorite solo artists, bands, musicians, and standup comedians to come to their city and perform. Even when things get better, will people go to theatres? Will there be concerts, shows, and events? Thinking of thousands of people at a concert or event, enjoying performances by their favorite artists is a scary thought for most currently. In the foreseeable future, there would be no place for such concerts /events /gigs. The world needs to accustom itself to new alternatives for such activities.
Content creators have made our favorite movies, series just a click away through our OTT apps. Cable companies are also monetizing their old content to hold their consumer base, which is reducing drastically every day. In contrast, the number of subscribers for OTT apps is ever increasing. But what everyone seems to be missing is how to capture the millions of fan base that each of these global artists have? This idea could turn out as a new revenue-generating lead if executed and distributed well.
We surely miss our artists, be it our favorite bands, singers, standup comedians, musicians, etc. who are no longer live! Currently, many artists are going live on their Instagram and Facebook accounts to talk to their fans and play their requests. But imagine if your favorite artists would come up with a wholly planned live concert on the best platforms with just a click away!
The world has already witnessed a successful 8-hour live virtual concert recently. One world: Together at Home global concert showcased some of the biggest pop stars in the world. Organized by WHO and 'Global Citizen,' the show included a six-hour pre-show available to stream online. The two-hour main event aired both online and on television and was distributed across all the big platforms raising around $128m.
'Beyond Live,' a streaming service created by SM entertainment and Naver, is a new way to watch concerts virtually. So far, there are four concerts announced for the series. Currently, many attempts are being made, but nothing is capturing a larger audience, attracting artists, or solving a long term problem. There is still a lot of potential that can be tapped into. Content creators and aggregators need to ponder over this concept of streaming live concerts on various platforms as a new normal.
A lot of strategy and smart distribution network needs to be worked out to target the fan base and get their favorite stars back but on a virtual stage. The one who can make it happen and give the audience the best customer experience right from their living room will be the winner. With technological advancements across the globe, what we miss is just the click of an idea. Everything else is achievable.
So will this industry fit in the new normal? Only time will tell.
About The Author
Sumit is a result-oriented strategist who has over the years built globally diverse, high performing teams for customers both via in-house capabilities and partners. He is the Business Head of Cable, Media & Entertainment vertical at Tech Mahindra.