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The 5th Generation Entertainment report highlights how 5G internet will enhance fan engagement before, during and after an event and "revolutionise" live entertainment
By Anna Grace on 19 Feb 2020
Research from mobile operator O2 has shown that 5G, or super high-speed mobile internet, could be set to boost the live entertainment industry by as much as £2.3 billion in the next ten years.
In the wake of the launch of O2’s 5G mobile internet in October 2019, and the concomitant partnership with music-focused virtual reality platform MelodyVR, the company commissioned consultancy Ovum to conduct the 5th Generation Entertainment report.
Up to 100 times faster than 4G internet and with the capacity for 1 million users per square kilometre (as opposed to 4,000 with 4G), the rollout of 5G presents many opportunities for the live industry, as will be discussed in detail at the 5G workshop at the International Live Music Conference in March.
The report findings show how 5G will improve fan experience and engagement through the enhancement of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), live streaming and smart ticketing.
Fans unable to attend a show will be able to purchase a high-quality livestream and watch in VR or AR. Viewers will also be able to personalise the experience, opting to focus on specific elements of a live event, enabling brands to target advertising. O2 is also looking into the possibility of broadcasting live through high-definition cameras on British television network ITV.
Pre-show opportunities include AR-assisted shopping that allows fans to virtually try on merchandise and order for collection at the show. Similar advance ordering systems can also apply to food and drink purchases, with real-time analytics allowing fans to find the quietest bar, easily navigate around venues and meet up with friends.
“5G will revolutionise live entertainment”
Event organisers may also capitalise on the superfast network to send personalised highlight reels directly to fans’ devices after the show.
“Through our sponsorships with England Rugby, The O2 Arena and 20 iconic O2 Academy venues, we aim to engage fans with relevant, useful and exciting experiences before, during and after a live event,” comments O2’s head of sponsorship Gareth Griffiths, who will present ILMC’s 5G workshop along with AEG Europe’s David Jones, O2/Telefónica UK’s Brendan O’Reilly and production manager Chris Vaughan on 5 March.
“The low-latency and superfast connectivity of 5G, underpinned by fan insights, bold branding and customer benefits, enables us to tailor these experiences to the diverse audiences we see at our venues in real-time.
“Whether for an England Rugby fan at Twickenham, a Kano fan at O2 Victoria Warehouse Manchester or an Elton John fan at The O2, 5G will revolutionise live entertainment.”
David Jones, senior vice president of IT at AEG, owner of the O2 Arena, adds that 5G is set to particularly enhance the use of augmented reality and virtual reality technology.
“The O2 is at the forefront of O2’s 5G rollout in the UK, and I’m eager to see how the creative people who produce the hundreds of events each year at The O2 will embrace 5G and the technologies it enables, and use it to deliver fun and engaging experiences for fans,” says Jones.
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