We are in strange times. Things have changed. The old order is out and the new order is in. Our lives have become considerably different in recent months and it doesn’t seem they will return to ‘normal’ anytime soon. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a large impact on all of our lives and that includes how we interact with social media. Live streaming, that was already on the rise, has gained significant traction in the last few months as we social distance and remain quarantined in our homes. We cannot go out to see our favourite band, orchestra, or dance troupe. All over the world theatres are closed and festivals of all kinds have been cancelled or postponed. As a society we crave entertainment and artists will always seek a platform to show their wares. In our current situation this platform can only be virtual. Many popular social media platforms offer live streaming: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Periscope. https://dustinstout.com/live-streaming-social-media/
Is this move to a virtual arena the new normal?
Many artists have moved to live streaming over the past few months. Musicians are hosting virtual concerts, actors and authors are reading books, comedians are performing stand up, poets reciting poems, dancers dancing etc. We now have a large catalogue of art available for free at the click of a button. Some people include crowdsourcing tools such as GoFundMe or Patreon on their Facebook page or as a link in their bio on Instagram. That is merely a suggested donation not a cover charge or ticket price. By consequence, is live streaming devaluing art or is it just a means to an end in a time where there is no other option for public consumption? Will live streaming change the face of the arts scene forever or bridge a gap for the time being?
Before the Coronavirus live streaming was used an advertising tool, to promote a live show, an album release or book launch. In these strange times the live stream is the event. Live streaming has been said to help increase the artists online presence but does it compensate the artist fairly for their work? https://www.musicradar.com/news/stream-out-loud-how-the-music-industry-is-adapting-to-the-new-normal
There are other, lesser known live streaming sites around that charge per view. Stageit is a good example. They charge about $15 a show and have a tip jar as well if one is so inclined. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-04-20/musicians-turn-to-streaming-concerts-amid-coronavirus This type of site is moving in the right direction as far as compensation goes but they lack the built-in audience of Facebook or Instagram.
Live steaming is probably not going to go away anytime soon. Clearly there is room for both live art and live streaming but the question is, will the popularity of live streaming continue in a post-pandemic world and will it have a lasting impact on how we value, experience and consume art?
Can our consumer based society return to a system where we pay fairly for live entertainment or will free live streaming change the game?
I guess only time will tell…
Facebook: Our artistic landscape is changing. Is live streaming the new normal? https://bit.ly/3d2SJtB
Twitter: Is live music dead? Is live streaming the new normal? #livestream #coronaconcert #newnormal https://bit.ly/3d2SJtB