Music business faces new streaming opportunities

Dataxis held yesterday a virtual panel called ‘The new concert business and live streaming opportunities’, where new opportunities for music  streaming platforms in South America were discussed. Executives that took part of it were Diego Balan, CEO at Tickethoy and Accesshoy; Sebastian Carlomagno, CEO at MoveConcerts Argentina; Hernan Portugal, CEO at GoMusic LA and Cristian Lucero, Co-founder of Music Tech Association Chile; and was moderated by Alejo Smirnoff, Director of Prensario Musica.

‘At GoMusic we have been developing the business model via streaming on demand, which is our main tool, since two years ago, and we found a market that is not negative to the acquisition of these concerts, but in Latin America the PPV model to watch concerts did not work until March’, said Portugal. ‘The times that we had tried to live stream with a PPV model, it had not given us results, at least for us. But, from our point of view, today it was strengthened and there is an opportunity that ended up transforming our business’, he added. Balan also gave his vision on the live streaming model of concerts, and reported that ‘in early March, when the pandemic was not yet established, we were offering artists the possibility of continuing doing their shows via live streaming or on demand , and still they were not animated and they believed that quickly they would return to the scenes. As this was not the case, we were together with throughout the process, and gave them the opportunity to do their concerts’. The executive described that, initially, they were performed with very low connectivity given the impossibility of being able to transfer a connectivity pack and cameras and, over time, they were professionalized and, according to the protocol of each region, shows can be held.

In Chile, Lucero explained that there is good connectivity despite the pandemic. ‘In March, as the quarantine was about to start, shows and festivals began to be announced and had to be canceled. Music streaming consumption was not so popular for Chileans, and now we are all looking for new solutions’, reported the executive. In this regard, Portugal explained that ‘the model changed and an additional option was added, and we see that there is an opportunity, both for us, who are producing, and for artists’. The executive reported that streaming will be an additional option even after the quarantine ends.

‘This is a path that is just beginning,” reported Carlomagno. ‘The pandemic has accelerated situations that were going to happen at some point, but we must be prepared to give good answers, because the success of this model will determine whether the user has a good experience, and whether the artist feels that the user is living a good experience. If this path is getting stronger, it is something that has come to stay’, he reported. In addition, he added that, up to now, they have noticed a good acceptance by audiences, and feel that artists are cheering up. ‘The great challenge for all of us is to make sure that the user experience is complete, to guarantee a post-pandemic continuity’, he added.

Regarding the role of technology in these new experiences, Portugal stated that at GoMusic they are ‘about to launch a virtual reality application, and we have been producing 360° content for two years now. We put together our CDN, which can distribute up to 8K content. It will be difficult, because we have many technological limitations for virtual reality. Technologically it can be achieved from a CDN, from a multicam, from applications to generate interactivity, but, from our experience, we still need to grow the infrastructure in Latin America’. Carlomagno pointed out that another challenge to achieve is that the user is willing to pay for content.

‘From Music Tech Association Chile, we have been working for two years in a music observatory, which will be a platform in a year from now, in which musicians in Chile and Latin America can learn about the world of the figures in the music industry, and we want to integrate the interaction. There is a streak that we have not yet taken advantage of, as gamers and influencers have done’, he said.

Regarding the price to pay for a live streaming show,  Balan assured that ‘there were many cases in different events that we held, that worked with multiple prices, offering the same experience, but giving various options, to contribute to charitable causes. In addition, we worked with dynamic prices that were changed over the days, as well as implementing access to meet & greets, where, after the show, public accesses to be with the artist in a private zoom for 50 or 60 people. There are several issues to take into account with prices, and we add experiences related to the price that public paid for’. Carlomagno reported that there was a good perception about the price, but it will be well identified when a large number of people consuming the product is seen. In relation to brands and sponsors in concerts via streaming, the executive said that the pandemic opened an area that was not very active before, such as sponsorship for live shows. ‘Anyway, although there were some brand activities, we have to see how brands are in the post-pandemic and be behind those that grew during this period’, he said.

‘In our business model, our only option was to invest in our own CDN to create it and adapt it to our business model. Today, social networks do not add nothing to us, but they do have several features that allow us to accelerate the growth model of other projects’, said Portugal. In turn, Balan reported that social networks ‘educated their audiences to consume the artist’s experiences. For us, it is essential that the platform from which live streaming is done is not a social network, because monetization, security and IP and session control are needed, that a social network does not provide, but that technology can be provided by ourselves. According to Lucero, ‘we have gone through all the stages, but having your own structure requires a very high investment. Until now, we are privileging streaming via social networks like YouTube, which guarantees us a certain fidelity and a certain stability’, he said. Likewise, Carlomagno reported that they decided to make their own development. ‘If a company is willing to provide a service, it has to guarantee its safety and good quality. If the investment goes through its own network or a third-party network, it must be invested to guarantee that the artist and the public feel that the experience has value’, he said. Balan, however, assured that they have had the possibility of streaming previous moments of concerts on social networks, which led to last-minute sales for concerts. Portugal, in turn, said that, in their experience, it was successful to have the concert available on demand, once the concert ended. ‘That content was more profitable for us to monetize in the following days, instead of when we made the live streaming’, he said.

Balan stated that ‘live events create a lot of engagement with whoever is watching them. The connection that takes place with the artist allows us to recreate what will happen in face-to-face events. Our idea is focused on generating the closest experience to public, regarding the closeness with the artist, and this happens much more when it is a live streaming,  than when it is VOD’. Portugal, in turn, stated that ‘we are targeting a very similar to Netflix distribution. But live streaming allows several features that give added value to the experience’. Carlomagno, in this regard, reported that live and VOD ‘are different experiences, and each of them has its value. There are artists who are more encouraged to live performs, and others to unpublished productions; and at the same time there is stuff that can be on demand with added content as a backstage, and that is also valued’, he said.

Regarding the future of music shows, Portugal stated that they are working on ‘a network that aims to bring together 10 to 15 movie theaters between Latin America and Europe 100% via streaming, and gives us a great opportunity. The first of these rooms will take place in Barcelona, ​​and the second in Buenos Aires or Madrid. We are betting exclusively on that and that, when the user enters,  have access to rooms with different weekly offers, and a catalog with different artists in different cities, on the same network’. Balan, in turn, said that the model ‘will start to grow when face-to-face and virtual realities begin to coexist in the future’. Carlomagno, for his part, stated that ‘if the model is installed in a good way, it will be together with limited spaces and when we restart going events in full capacity. But it is key that the experience is adequate’. In addition, he reported that ‘streaming is going to be attached to live shows. Starting from this situation, all artists are looking for this type of experiences, but this path is in stages’. Portugal said that the model must be much more economically accessible, and more massive. ‘I feel that other types of formats will be developed to collaborate with monetization,” he said, adding that in GoMusic there is a project to create a cryptocurrency for the user to pay artists.