What’s holding back the live music streaming industry?
Thanks to the internet, music marketers and producers can now deliver their content in a format accessible to millions. Back in the day, music came exclusively on a physical carrier. It was a cassette, LP, or CD, until the advent of the internet, which gave rise to digital music. Then, as the internet welcomed increased users, the music industry introduced music streaming and live music streaming – both of which are changing everything.
Consumers now have more control over how and where they consume music. And technological advances spell that musicians should be able to get fairer compensation. ‘Should’ being an important caveat here, though we expect 2022 to bring many positive changes for creators in that area.
The problems with live music streaming
Today, music streaming appears to be the most profitable method for music distribution. The vast majority of users users seem to prefer to patronize streaming platforms. Live music streaming, on the other hand, allows musicians to sell live music or concerts to their fans around the world, but seems to have more early adoption woes than music streaming. Despite these woes, the industry is expected to make great strides in that direction in the new year.
Experts, however, think that artists are not getting the best services from live music streaming. This negates popular opinion that the live music streaming industry, in particular, is the future of music tours and concerts. Obviously, live music streaming complements physical attendance at concerts, allowing musicians to generate more revenues from concerts. Not to mention the dire need for remote performances and live music streaming in the last two years. So, where is the problem?
Technical issues can make you lose your audience in a split second. This can range from a flat microphone battery to internet issues, insufficient bandwidth, glitches with the streaming platform, and every other technical issue that can pop up in a typical live concert. Sometimes, this is beyond the control of anybody, as in the case of network glitches. However, to a large extent, the majority of possible technical problems can be avoided. In short, managing a live streamed performance is difficult and requires a whole team. For most working musicians, the level of difficulty and expense is unsurmountable.
One of the problems probably facing the live music streaming industry is the continuous fluctuations of the value of streams. In March 2021, a global group of musicians protested outside the headquarters of a major music streaming platform. The group garnered mass attention in demanding transparency and changes in how musicians are paid for streaming. Trends like this pose major challenges for businesses that want to fit live music streams into a broader business strategy.
While live music streams can be a perfect opportunity for musicians and concert broadcasters to grow their business and increase revenue generation, the fluctuations in the value offered by streaming platforms can significantly impact any solid plan for scaling. It may be challenging to build consistent marketing and sales funnels, invest in product and service development or target more customers. Even popular artists struggle to make a living from streaming their music and generate most of their income from touring. For the average professional musician, just getting started on a music streaming platform is more than they can afford.
What’s the way forward?
With the effects of a global pandemic and growing adoption of virtual music concerts, live streamed shows are here to stay. Besides, it is the best alternative to reach audiences that are uneager or unable to attend physical events.
To this end, musicians need to partner with live streaming services that offer reliable services. And live streaming service providers need to improve their service delivery to encourage users and provide more opportunities for musicians.