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Driift’s Ric Salmon on what’s next for livestreaming

Livestreaming will play a supporting role in the live industry’s return to touring, according to Driift CEO Ric Salmon.

In an interview with IQ magazine, Salmon said Driift is getting a “steady” level of inquiries for livestream events in 2022.

“Managers and artists are rightly focused on getting their businesses back up and running, and that, of course, means looking at all types of activity,” explains Salmon.

“But the words ‘live stream’ have quickly become part of the common lexicon, and we’re seeing people come to us talking about album campaigns and tours happening in 9-12 months and wanting to do a live stream within that window.

“I think the question has to be: why wouldn’t you add this type of activity to your plans alongside traditional shows, releases, and promo?” he adds.

The UK-based livestreaming company was founded in August 2020 by Salmon and Brian Message and has since sold more than 600,000 tickets for livestreamed gigs with acts including Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Kylie Minogue, Biffy Clyro, Andrea Bocelli, Laura Marling, Dermot Kennedy, Courtney Barnett and Sheryl Crow.

Its previous partners include the UK’s Glastonbury Festival where the company conceptualised, created and produced the ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ event, which featured artists including Coldplay, Haim, Jorja Smith, Idles, Wolf Alice, Michael Kiwanuka, Damon Albarn and The Smile.

“At Driift, we’ve taken a really high level of curation and artistry to the shows we’ve produced and delivered over the last 18 months, and, ultimately, I think that’s what’s driven our momentum and success,” says Salmon.

“”Technology will have a large part to do with ensuring people remain engaged in this new format”

“Technology will have a large part to do with ensuring people remain engaged in this new format, but perhaps more importantly it comes down to artistry and creativity. Frankly, we’ve seen too many shows that just aren’t good enough. These events, these online experiences, can be so much more.”

Off the back of an impressive 18 months, Driift has attracted investment from Paris-based global streaming company Deezer, and launched additional operations in New York in US and Perth in Australia.

Going into 2022, Salmon says that the company is “well setup for whatever the coming years have to throw at us”.

“Broadly speaking, like all of us, I want to see our industry bounce back and thrive. And largely, I believe it will but with a few more bumps in the road. It’s hugely important that businesses, large or small, push themselves, innovate, diversify, and grow. At our group of companies (ATC/Driift), we’re coming out of the last 18 months a more diverse, more exciting, and better-organised business.”

Upcoming shows for Driift include a series live stream with new band The Smile, comprising Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner.

The Smile will play three consecutive live shows within 24 hours on 29 and 30 January at Magazine London which will be broadcast live in real time.


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