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Facebook launches live events app Venue

Facebook’s new product experimentation team (NPE) has launched a new live event-focused app, Venue, a second screen for fans and expert commentators to discuss events in real time.

The release of Venue comes days after Facebook announced Collab, a short-form music video app that allows users to overlay as many as three recordings at a time to create remote musical collaborations.



Described as “the companion app to live events”, Venue acts as an interactive second screen for fans to comment on live events and engage with others watching.

Expert commentators such as journalists, artists, athletes or aspiring “fan-analysts” will host an in-app “venue” for any given event, providing commentary, posting interactive questions and polls and initiating short chats around specific moments.

Fans can join multiple “venues” to get different perspectives on the same event.

Facebook has launched a new live event-focused app, Venue, a second screen for fans and expert commentators to discuss events in real time

Notifications are sent out when a new “moment” is created, a short-lived digital opportunity for fan engagement at particularly interesting or memorable points in an event.

The idea, according to Facebook, is to facilitate a more efficient division of attention between the event and online commentary, as fans can “stop scrolling or searching to find the exact moment everyone is reacting to”.

Initially focusing on sporting events, Venue has partnered with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (Nascar), making its debut alongside the Supermarket Heroes 500 race on Sunday (31 May).

Venue is available on iOS and Android in the United States. As with all NPE apps, Venue is experimental and subject to change.

Facebook, along with Instagram, is among social media platforms to increase opportunities for artists to monetise live streams during lockdown, allowing acts to charge for access to online performances and enhancing its tipping tool.


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Instagram allows monetisation of live streams

Instagram has introduced two new features to remunerate creators for their live streams, bringing its increasingly popular IGTV video service into line with parent company Facebook’s Live platform.

In a blog post yesterday (27 May), the company announced a new way for fans to support streamers: Badges, a cosmetic item which, for a one-off charge, will be displayed next to the viewer’s name for the duration of the stream, allowing them to stand out in the comments.

The purchase of a badge will also unlock certain special features, “such as placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart” reaction, according to Instagram.

The introduction of the badge system – which resembles other methods of ‘tipping’ such as Twitch’s cheers and YouNow’s bars – follows Facebook’s announcement last month it is to allow events organisers to charge for access to live streams.

Speaking to the Verge, Instagram COO Justin Osofsky said the badges will initially be priced at either US$0.99, $1.99 and $4.99, with Instagram initially taking no cut of badge revenue (later, a rev-share model will be introduced).

The ad split will be based on an “industry standard” of 55% in favour of creators

In addition to badges, the blog post also reveals that as of next week (commencing 1 June), IGTV will for the first time have advertising – revenue from which will be shared with creators.

“IGTV ads will initially appear when people click to watch IGTV videos from previews in their feed,” the company explains. “The video ads will be built for mobile and up to 15 seconds long. We’ll test various experiences within IGTV ads throughout the year – such as the ability to skip an ad – to make sure the final result works well for people, creators and advertisers.”

According to Osofsky, the split will be based on an “industry standard” of 55% in favour of creators.

However, the “small alpha test” will “not be available for music content at this time”, Facebook – which has no licence in place for livestreaming music – later clarified.

Along with the likes of Twitch, YouTube and more specialist platforms such as StageIt, Facebook Live and IGTV are one of a number of livestreaming services being utilised by the live music industry during the global pause on concert touring.

 


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Samsung debuts first ‘vertical stage’

Consumer electronics giant Samsung has debuted an Instagram-friendly ‘vertical’ stage, described as the world’s first, at its Samsung KX venue in King’s Cross, north London.

On Tuesday (3 September), Mabel inaugurated the new three-storey, 9m (30’)-high stage in front of a crowd of 2,000, with the British-Swedish singer performing alongside her dancers on one level, and her band on the other two.

Samsung says the creation of the stage was spurred by research that shows 94% of smartphone users take photos and videos vertically, and that 79% of people find vertical content to be “more engaging”. The vertical stage, then, is “optimised for the crowd to capture and share instantly across social media”.

“This experience was designed to give fans the ultimate performance tailored specifically for instant sharing”

Samsung KX’s Tanya Weller says: “We are thrilled to deliver a world-first music event for our guests at Samsung KX; this experience was designed to give fans the ultimate performance tailored specifically for instant sharing.

“We pride ourselves on creating innovations that defy barriers, and tonight’s vertical stage performance […] showcased how, if we work together, we can do just that. We’re excited to see how Samsung can integrate into their visions of a better future by providing a destination for the latest in local culture and innovation, powered by Samsung technology.”

You think discussions over festival bills can get heated? Try telling an agent their act is playing on the bottom storey of a virtual stage…

 


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Bandsintown launches Instagram tool

Popular concert discovery service Bandsintown has launched a new Instagram tool which will allow artists to promote concerts and sell tickets directly through the photo-sharing app.

The new Events Landing page will allow Bandsintown’s some 450,000 registered artists to promote themselves via the Instagram Stories function, therefore converting “links into ticket sales”. By swiping up on an artist’s story, fans will be able to access tickets, pre-sales and further information about events. The new integration will also allow artists to monitor their social media analytics – things like clicks, conversations and RSVPs – via the Bandsintown Manager platform.

Converting “links into ticket sales”

Using social media to promote events and sell tickets is becoming increasingly popular. In 2016, Live Nation began selling tickets through Snapchat and in the same year, Instagram debuted their Events channel, providing users with tailored suggestions of videos and pictures from concerts. In May this year, Instagram teamed up with Eventbrite to streamline ticket-buying with the creation of the ‘get tickets’ button for business profiles.

More information on how the new integration works can be found on the Bandsintown artist website.

 


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Instagram is gig-goers’ favourite social app

Instagram is American concertgoers’ social network of choice, with 83% of those active on social media at shows making use of the photo-sharing app – more than any other platform.

That’s according to new research by Nielsen, which also found found Instagram users are more likely to attend live music events – particularly shows with live DJs – with 39% of Instagrammers saying they’ve attended a concert with one main headliner (compared to 23% of the US general public) and 24% a music festival (compared to 11% of the general public).

(A study by MIDiA Research in June found 76% of US concertgoers post on social media while at the gig.)

In addition to taking photos and videos, music fans on Instagram (IG) are also more likely to use their smartphones for “various activities while attending live events”, such as buying music, visiting the artist’s website and ringing friends to let them hear the show.

In September Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said the promotion giant is tapping into IG users to drive the sale of tickets. “[Instagram is] one of the best converters for us,” he explained. “If you’ve already liked Rihanna on Instagram and you’re following her, we use that data feed.”

An infographic showing Nielsen’s findings is below:

Instagram Nielsen Music Study

 


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Instagram debuts Events feature for concert video

Instagram is taking the fight to chief rival Snapchat with the launch of a new ‘Events’ channel, which collects user-created photos and video clips captured from live events – including “concerts, sporting events and more” – tailored towards individual app users.

The new functionality is similar to Snapchat’s ‘Live Stories’ feature, which has won the support of AEG Live and Live Nation, both of which have signed agreements to promote their festivals via the popular video-sharing service.

Events – currently available only in the US – uses an algorithm to curate media from live events based on users’ preferences and habits, “so you can feel like you’re in the front row”, says the launch blurb.

It’s likely the similarity to Snapchat’s Live Stories isn’t purely coincidental: Earlier this month Instagram CEO Kevin Systro, demonstrating the app’s new ‘Stories’ feature for TechCrunch, said Snapchat “deserve[s] all the credit” for its genesis. Stories let users create a collection of photos and videos which disappear after being live for 24 hours.

According to AdWeek, Instagram has 400 million active users; Snapchat is believed to have around 150m.

 


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