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BTS sell 1.33m tickets for Muster Sowoozoo live stream

BTS 2021 Muster Sowoozoo, the recent two-day virtual concert with K-pop superstars BTS, was attended by 1.33 million unique viewers from 195 countries, livestreaming platform VenewLive has revealed.

Muster Sowoozoo, which celebrated the boy band’s eighth anniversary, comprised two live broadcasts from Seoul, on 13 and 14 June. It is the latest high-profile livestreamed event for the Korean act, following several record-breaking virtual shows in 2020.

Tickets were priced ₩49,500 (US$43.80) for one day or ₩90,000 ($79.60) for both shows, with a special 4K HD/multi-view package (₩59,500/$52.60 per day) available for members of BTS’s official fan club. By IQ’s calculations, that results in a gross of over US$58 million from ticket sales alone; the Indian Express estimates the total gross of more than $71 million including merch sales.

“We were thrilled … with the show’s overwhelming success and turn-out”

In addition to the concerts, which fans with ‘multi-view’ tickets could watch from a variety of vantage points, VenewLive provided a chat feature for fans which was also open to band members. “The chat activity increased dramatically once BTS sent their messages, energising fans who realised that BTS was in the chat as well,” says VenewLive’s CEO John Lee.

In a statement, Lee comments: “We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to showcase BTS’s amazing talent – and even more thrilled with the show’s overwhelming success and turn-out. Once again, VenewLive proved it is the ultimate platform for delivering the world’s best virtual concert experiences. Each BTS concert has pushed the envelope further in terms of what technology and talent can do to elevate the fan experience and this concert was no different.”

VenewLive is partially owned by BTS’s label and management company, Hybe (formerly Big Hit Entertainment).

 


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Universal Music, YG invest in livestreaming service

Universal Music Group (UMG) and K-pop label YG Entertainment have invested in KBYK Live, a livestreaming company backed by BTS’s management company, Big Hit Entertainment.

The investment from YG – home to Korean superstars including Blackpink, Big Bang and iKon – and UMG will go towards expanding KBYK Live’s VenewLive, bringing both companies’ rosters of artists to the platform, which boasts augmented reality (AR), multi-view and 4K streaming capabilities. KBYK Live was established after Big Hit and tech start-up Kiswe partnered last summer.

The technology behind VenewLive was demonstrated at BTS’s record-breaking Bang Bang Con: The Live and Map of the Soul: One in June and October respectively. The former drew in a peak concurrent audience of 756,000, while the latter was viewed by nearly a million people worldwide.

The shows also offered a variety of premium features, delivering a full stage production from multiple angles in 4K resolution, with live chat and synchronised light sticks.

“This past year has shown that the need for reliable and innovative livestreaming has never been greater”

“VenewLive has already livestreamed several large-scale performances last year and provided unique immersive fan concert experiences that can be offered through our cutting-edge technologies, including six-angle multi-views, 4K resolution and various interactive features,” says KBYK Live CEO John Lee. “Our technology will be the basis for enabling fans to feel closer to artists, and help artists express their energy on a digital stage.”

“We are excited about this investment as our company, with many artists competitive on a global stage, has secured a high-quality platform with leading technologies,” adds YG Entertainment COO Sung Jun Choi. “We will continue to do our best to provide more interactive experiences and new services to global fans.”

Boyd Muir, executive vice-president and CFO of Universal Music, says its unspecified investment into KBYK/VenewLive will allow the company to “evolve the opportunities and live streaming experiences for UMG artists and their fans today and into the future”.

“This past year has shown that the need for reliable and innovative livestreaming has never been greater,” he adds. “VenewLive offers some of the most creative and memorable opportunities for today’s artists to globalise their art and performances, tailored to enhance the community and fan experience.”

 


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BTS announce in-game collaboration in MapleStory

K-pop superstars BTS have announced an in-game collaboration in MapleStory, an online role-playing game, developed by South Korean company Wizet.

Launched in 2005 and first released in North America, the 2D multiplayer game has over 13 million registered players while MapleStory M (the mobile version) which launched in 2018, has racked up 16 million global downloads to date.

Leading up to the in-game collaboration in MapleStory and MapleStory M, players will be treated to three behind the scenes videos surrounding the MapleStory and BTS collaboration, with one new video releasing each week beginning on 25 November via MapleStory’s YouTube channel.

The video content will feature BTS sharing their journey growing up with MapleStory and their personal experiences with the game.

The date of BTS’s appearance in the game is yet to be announced.

This isn’t the boyband’s first experience sharing exclusive content via a gaming platform. In September, the group debuted their new choreography video for their single ‘Dynamite’ in Fortnite‘s Party Royale mode, the game’s no-combat social space.

Epic Games’s Fortnite has also played host to musical events including Travis Scott’s Astronomical, which drew more than 12 million players, Marshmello’s 2019 Fortnite concert which drew 10 million, and in-game concerts from Diplo and J Balvin.

Other notable videogame shows this year include Lil Nas X in Roblox, Gorillaz and Beck in Animal Crossing and several festivals in Minecraft, while 2019 saw Korn play AdventureQuest and the Offspring World of Tanks, among others.

 


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Live music to start 2021 with a (virtual) bang

Tomorrowland, Big Hit and Lost Horizon have each announced virtual New Year’s Eve events to close a year of hugely successful livestreamed events.

Belgium EDM giant Tomorrowland has announced New Year’s Eve celebration ‘31.12.2020’, which will see more than 25 DJs perform across 27 time zones to usher in the new year.

The festival will start at 8 pm local time in all zones and will close at 3 am after performances from Armin van Buuren, CamelPhat, Charlotte de Witte, David Guetta, Diplo, Major Lazer, Martin Garrix, Snoop Dogg aka DJ Snoopadelic and more.

The festival will be hosted on Tomorrowland’s website and performances will be streamed from four stages in Naoz, a brand new digital entertainment venue in which “some of the festival’s most iconic themes” will feature.

Tomorrowland held its first-ever digital festival, Tomorrowland Around the World, in July and saw 1 million fans pay to attend – 150% more festivalgoers than usual.

K-pop superstars BTS are also expected to expand on the success of their 2020 virtual events, which have seen them break records and earn millions.

The group’s management Big Hit yesterday announced that artists from its roster would come together under one banner for the first time for a hybrid New Year’s Eve event.

Big Hit announced that artists from its roster would come together under one banner for the first time for NYE

The concert, presented by Weverse, will be livestreamed and limited seating will be available, in accordance with the government Covid-19 restrictions. If restrictions change, preventing the in-person aspect, the event will go fully digital.

Nu’est, Enhypen, Txt and Gfriend have already been confirmed for the event, with more line up announcements expected tomorrow (12 November).

BTS performed on New Year’s Eve last year, headlining Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest in New York’s Times Square alongside Post Malone, Sam Hunt and Alanis Morissette and more.

Lost Horizon, the VR music venue created by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La, will also be hosting a special New Year’s Eve event to end a season of virtual events in December.

The season will take place in VR event platform Sansar and will play host to DJs, underground acts and visual artists, before culminating with ‘Chasing Midnight’, a 24-hour global celebration on New Year’s Eve, taking in 12 time zones and 12 countdowns.

Lost Horizon launched its premiere festival in July, a four-stage event in Sansar featuring artists including Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, which reached 4.36m viewers, according to organisers.

 


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BTS gross an estimated $44m from weekend live streams

K-pop superstars BTS have grossed over $44 million from their ticketed virtual concert weekend, Map of the Soul On:e.

The two-day live stream was broadcast live from Seoul in South Korea on 10 and 11 October and reached 993,000 viewers in 191 regions.

This is a substantial increase from the group’s record-breaking livestream concert in June, Bang Bang Con: The Live show, which was watched from 104 regions.

General admission tickets for Map of the Soul On:e were priced at $81 for a weekend ticket; $90.89 for a weekend ticket plus entry to the online exhibition; and $44.55 upwards for a day ticket.

Production for Map of the Soul On:e is said to have cost eight times more than Bang Bang Con: The Live

For the Bang Bang Con: The Live concert, the group charged between $24 and $32 and grossed an estimated $18m.

Map of the Soul On:e, the world’s first streaming concert that applied both multi-view and 4K/HD, comprised a total of 23 performances across two 150-minute concerts.

Production for the show is said to have cost eight times more than Bang Bang Con: The Live, comprising four stages; technological features such as AR, XR and 4K/HD to bring viewers a more vivid and theatrical concert experience; and multiview live streaming that displays six screens from which fans could select their favourite.

Bang Bang Con: The Live, earned the group a Guinness World Record title for attracting the highest number of viewers for a music concert live stream ever.

A total of 756,000 viewers from over 100 countries tuned in concurrently to watch the online performance on 14 June, which was broadcast live from Seoul, South Korea, featuring a 12-song setlist and allowed fans to switch between six viewing angles.

 


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BTS announce follow-up to biggest live stream to date

This weekend, K-pop superstars BTS will deliver the follow-up to their last virtual concert, Bang Bang Con: The Live, which was the most-attended paid live stream show to date.

The South Korean group’s return to the stage, titled Map of the Soul On:e, will be livestreamed across two days (10 and 11 October) at 11am and 8am BST, respectively.

The concert, which supposedly took a year of preparation, is set to bring brand new performances as well as altered setlists for each day.

While the production, which costs eight times more than Bang Bang Con: The Live, will comprise four stages; technological features such as AR, XR and 4K/HD to bring viewers a more vivid and theatrical concert experience; and multiview live streaming that displays six screens from which fans can select their favourite.

The production, which costs eight times more than Bang Bang Con: The Live, will comprise four stages

Bang Bang Con: The Live, a 100-minute live stream, took place on 14 June and saw more than 750,000 people in 107 countries tune in.

The event peaked at 756,600 peak concurrent viewers – equivalent to 15 shows at a 50,000-capacity stadium, and more than ten times that of fellow Korean band SuperM’s Beyond Live show – all of whom had paid to be there.

Tickets were priced at ₩29,000 (US$24) for members of BTS’s ARMY fan club, and ₩39,000 ($32) for members of the general public, meaning the concert grossed at least ₩21.9 billion, or $18 million, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

Bang Bang Con: The Live was the first time Big Hit has charged for an online-only show, although BTS raised an additional €3.5m from livestreaming their historic Wembley Stadium concerts last summer.

 


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BTS earn GWR for most-viewed concert live stream

Korean boy-band BTS have achieved a Guinness World Records title for attracting the highest number of viewers for a music concert live stream ever with their recent Bang Bang Con: The Live show.

A total of concurrent 756,000 viewers from over 100 countries tuned in to watch the online performance on 14 June, which was broadcast live from Seoul, South Korea, featuring a 12-song setlist and allowed fans to switch between six viewing angles.

All three-quarter of a million viewers paid to watch the show via fan community platform Weverse, with tickets priced at ₩29,000 (€21) for members of BTS’s ARMY fan club, and ₩39,000 (€28) for members of the general public.

According to the Korea JoongAng Daily, the concert grossed at least ₩21.9 billion, or €15.7 million.

The band currently holds multiple Guinness World Records, including being the first K-pop act to reach number one in the US album chart; having the best-selling album in South Korea; reaching one million TikTok followers in the shortest amount of time (three hours and 31 minutes) and the most used Twitter engagements over a 24-hour period, with the band’s #TwitterBestFandom hashtag being tweeted over 60 million times in a day.

https://twitter.com/GWR/status/1285975946059829248


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Living the stream: IQ 90 out now

IQ 90, the latest, fully digital edition of IQ Magazine, focuses on the two biggest issues of the past few months – the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement.

As most people continue to work from home due to the coronavirus crisis, IQ Magazine has moved to digital and will be delivered monthly for the time being, as a response to feedback on the need for more news, analysis and information.

In the midst of the first global pandemic of the 21st century, IQ editor Gordon Masson muses that, perhaps, the decade starting 2020 may be remembered for more noble reasons: the fight to root out and properly tackle systemic racism.

The new issue of the magazine includes analysis and expert commentary on the matter of racism in the music industry, as well as a list of educational resources and relevant organisations to support.

Readers are also reminded of the upcoming IQ Focus panel, Beyond Rhetoric: Race in Live Music, which airs at 4 p.m.BST/5 p.m. CET on Thursday (25 June), which will look at issues of racism within the live business.

IQ 90 focuses on the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement

Although many nations are embarking on tentative reopening plans, live events as we know them have not yet returned and, in a move characteristic of the live industry’s creativity, new kinds of events have started to emerge. IQ 90 takes an in-depth look at Laura Marling’s recent behind-closed-doors concerts to talk about the mechanics, benefits and economics of audience-less gigs.

Other successful shutdown formats analysed in the magazine include BTS’ recent Bang Bang Con: The Live concert, which garnered upwards of 750,000 viewers, making it the most-attended paid virtual concert in history; Lewis Capaldi’s DICE TV home gig and Twitch’s extended-reality broadcast of Dutch DJ duo W&W.

Issue #90 also sees the launch of the Green Guardians Guide, an annual initiative that IQ is developing along with the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) to shine a light on the companies, organisations and individuals working tirelessly to make touring and live entertainment a more sustainable place.

The live market in India is put under the microscope, too, as Adam Woods explains why the country has the greatest potential of any relatively untapped touring market in the world.

The issue also comes filled with some regular features, such as the New Signings page; Unsung Hero section, which looks at Viktor Trifu, technical director of Exit Festival, one of the only major festivals to go ahead this year; and an old favourite, Your Shout, with live event professionals sharing their most bizarre festival moment.

As always, most content from the magazine will appear online in some form over the next few months. However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe now.


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BTS, Big Hit donate $1m to Crew Nation

K-pop stars BTS and its agency/management company Big Hit Entertainment have put US$1 million towards Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund, matching a donation the band made earlier this month to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to statement obtained by Variety, the donation is one of the largest artist donations submitted to the Crew Nation fund so far.

Live Nation set up the Crew Nation fund in April to support touring and venue crews through the coronavirus pandemic. The live entertainment giant pledged $10m to the fund, comprising of an initial $5m donation and a commitment to match tth next $5m donated by artists, fans and employees.

At the start of June, Live Nation announced its Crew Nation Presents concert series in Madrid, which will see €1 from each ticket sold donated to the fund.

“We are aware that a lot of communities need help due to Covid-19, and we wanted to support the music industry crews by making a donation”

“If it weren’t for Covid-19, we would have been happily touring across the world with many of our live concert crews by now,” comment BTS, who recently performed in the most-attended paid live stream in history, peaking at 756,600 concurrent viewers.

“We are aware that a lot of communities need help due to Covid-19, and we wanted to support the music industry crews by making a donation. We hope to meet again on stage very soon.”

Earlier this month, BTS helped raise over $2m for Black Lives Matter, in the week following the music industry’s Black Out Tuesday initiative. The band committed $1m and encouraged fans to collectively match their donation using the #MatchAMillion hashtag, with the fanbase ultimately raising around $1.3m.

The boyband was set to embark on its mammoth Map of the Soul tour in April.

 


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BTS gross $18m+ with biggest-ever paid live stream

Bang Bang Con: The Live, a 100-minute live stream featuring K-pop superstars BTS, was the most-attended paid virtual concert to date, with more than 750,000 people in 107 countries tuning in at 6pm Korean time yesterday (14 June).

The interactive show – co-produced by the band’s agency/management company, Big Hit Entertainment, and US livestreaming firm Kiswe – saw band members performing in various spaces (two concert stages and five rooms), with fans able to switch between six viewing angles, from “video call-like close-ups to full shots that encapsulated the tight choreography”, according to Big Hit.

The event peaked at 756,600 peak concurrent viewers – equivalent to 15 shows at a 50,000-capacity stadium, and more than ten times that of fellow Korean band SuperM’s Beyond Live show – all of whom had paid to be there.

Tickets were priced at ₩29,000 (US$24) for members of BTS’s ARMY fan club, and ₩39,000 ($32) for members of the general public, meaning the concert grossed at least ₩21.9 billion, or $18 million, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

The event peaked at 756,600 peak concurrent viewers

After performing hits including ‘Dope’, ‘Boy With Luv’, ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Like’, and ‘Jamais Vu’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Friends’ from their fourth studio album, Map of the Soul: 7, BTS closed the show by telling fans they’re looking forward to getting on the road again soon.

“We need to meet each other again,” said Suga, with V and Jin adding: “I hope we can perform again soon, because I want to see ARMY with my very own eyes.”

Bang Bang Con: The Live is the first time Big Hit has charged for an online-only show, although BTS raised an additional €3.5m from livestreaming their historic Wembley Stadium concerts last summer.

 


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