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Glastonbury goes global with ticketed livestream

Glastonbury will host an exclusive global livestream from its Worthy Farm festival site on 22 May, in lieu of the flagship event which was called off for a second consecutive year.

Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Haim, Idles, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice and DJ Honey Dijon will perform across the site’s landmarks – including the Pyramid Field and the Stone Circle – for the event, dubbed Live at Worthy Farm. There will also be a number of unannounced surprise performances.

The uninterrupted five-hour production will be shot by acclaimed Grammy-nominated director Paul Dugdale and co-promoted and produced by Driift, the pioneering UK livestream business which has hosted livestreams for Laura Marling, Nick Cave, Andrea Bocelli and Kylie Minogue.

“For one night only people all over the world will be able to join us on this journey through [Worthy Farm] together”

The performances will be interspersed by a spoken word narrative, written and delivered by special guests.

“After two Glastonbury cancellations, it brings us great pleasure to announce our first online livestream, which will present live music performances filmed across Worthy Farm at landmarks including the Pyramid and, for the first time ever, the Stone Circle,” says Glastonbury organiser, Emily Eavis.

“It will feature a rolling cast of artists and performers who have all given us enormous support by agreeing to take part in this event, showing the farm as you have never seen it. There will also be some very special guest appearances and collaborations. We are hoping this will bring a bit of Glastonbury to your homes and that for one night only people all over the world will be able to join us on this journey through the farm together!”

Live at Worthy Farm will support Glastonbury’s three main charitable partners, Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid, as well as helping to secure next year’s edition.

Stagehand, the live production hardship fund that has been providing financial support to crew members throughout the pandemic, will receive the proceeds from a limited edition line-up poster for the event.

The online event will be broadcast in full across four separate time zones, with staggered livestreams.  Tickets are on sale now at worthyfarm.live for £20/€23/US$27.50/A$35.

Live at Worthy Farm

 


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D2C platform Townsend captures live streams on record

Townsend Music, the leading direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform, has been providing its artist clients with a new revenue stream during the pandemic by capturing their livestreamed shows on record.

The platform, which hosts over 1,000 artist D2C stores, has been converting its clients’ livestream recordings into one-off, collectable vinyl to be sold exclusively through the stores.

In December, British rock band The Darkness delivered a livestreamed concert from Indigo at the O2, London, in conjunction with Townsend, Live Here Now, AEG and Dice.

The ticketed performance, which took place under the banner of ‘Streaming of A White Christmas’, was transformed into a brand new live album, presented as a deluxe triple ‘sparkle green’ heavy vinyl with booklets and a deluxe double CD for £40 and £20 respectively – generating not one, but two income streams for the band.

“These campaigns have been a huge success and they’ve provided the artists with decent revenue streams and strong data”

Similarly, Townsend packaged Embrace’s greatest hits concert, livestreamed from their own studio during the pandemic, into a triple-coloured vinyl dubbed ‘Best Of Live From The Cellar Of Dreams’ which was informed by a fan-powered setlist.

“These campaigns have been a huge success and really enjoyable to put together. They’ve provided the artists with decent revenue streams and strong data capture,” says Bruce McKenzie, sales director at Townsend Music.

“It’s also been great to pay over some of the money to the band’s crew who are such an important part of the team who have been hit the hardest during lockdown.”

The company has also organised other exclusive D2C live albums using archive material from artists including Supergrass, James, Shed Seven and Bryan Ferry.

 


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UK orgs react to new PRS tariff for small live streams

Key organisations from the UK’s music industry have criticised PRS for Music for its new “ill-conceived” licence for small-scale livestreamed gigs, following last year’s backlash about the proposed tariff for larger livestreamed events.

The UK performance rights organisation has today launched a new licensing portal for music creators, venues and promoters wanting to stage livestream small-scale events, which will impose a flat fee equating to a minimum 9% tariff on events generating less than £500.

The blanket rate for a show that generates less than £250 is £22.50, and £45 for an event that generates between £250 and £500.

The move follows the last year’s proposal that larger livestream events should be subject to a tariff of between 8% and 17% of gross revenues, compared to 4.2% charged at normal in-person live shows.

This prompted Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) to send a joint letter – countersigned by more than 50 artist managers – to PRS for Music CEO Andrea Martin last month urging her to reconsider the move.

“[PRS] need to commit to a full and transparent industry-wide consultation before issuing invoices to cash-strapped artists”

PRS says it will not be actively pursuing licences for livestreamed events that took place prior to the launch of the new portal, which would have qualified for the fixed fee licence.

Commenting on the new licence for small-scale livestreamed concerts, David Martin, CEO at FAC, and Annabella Coldrick, chief executive at MMF, say: “All of us want songwriters and composers to be paid fairly and efficiently for the use of their work, but this is not the way to go about it. Once again, we would urge PRS for Music to stop acting unilaterally.

“They need to urgently listen to the growing concerns of artists and their representatives during the pandemic, implement a waiver for performer-writers to opt-out of such fees, and commit to a full and transparent industry-wide consultation before issuing invoices to cash-strapped artists.”

“Unilaterally announcing ill-conceived new tariffs in a crisis is not such a discussion”

Mark Davyd, CEO at Music Venue Trust, added: “The live music industry, including grassroots music venues, artists and promoters, is in crisis mode and pulling together. The team at MVT have been in regular correspondence with PRS for Music throughout this crisis on how we can work together to ensure everyone emerges from this crisis and we can get back to work. At no time during those conversations has anybody suggested that a new tariff for streaming would be created. We have not been consulted on this, advised of it, or even notified of it prior to a press release being issued.

“The principal beneficiaries of paid streaming during this crisis have been artists. The beneficiaries of charitable streaming, online broadcasts by artists to raise money for causes, have included venues, crew, artists, and the wider community, including healthcare workers, food banks and homeless charities.

“It is unclear from this press statement whether PRS for Music wishes to clampdown on artists paying themselves or on artists supporting charities, but we would strongly suggest that neither should have been advanced to the stage of an announcement of a Tariff without understanding the most basic economics of what streaming is actually doing during this crisis.

“We remain available to discuss the realities of streaming during this crisis with PRS for Music if they wish to have an informed discussion on it. Unilaterally announcing ill-conceived new tariffs in a crisis is not such a discussion.”

“[PRS] is continuing to work to agree a range of licensing options for larger events, including a proposed discount”

Andrea Martin, CEO, PRS for Music, says: “We recognise the importance of providing simple licensing solutions wherever possible and the licensing portal for small-scale online events is an example of this. We are continuing to work hard to agree a range of licensing options for providers of larger events, including a proposed discounted rate during the pandemic.

“This is a part of the market which has seen exponential growth and is itself constantly evolving, meeting the expectations for worldwide blanket licences is alone no small feat, but we are committed to finding solutions which ensure members can be paid fairly when their works are performed.”

John Truelove, writer director, PRS Members’ Council, says: “Composers and songwriters have faced monumental challenges this past year. So, the huge surge in the online live concert market beyond anyone’s expectations, is positive news all round. It is great that so many artists are performing online concerts to stay connected with fans, to earn a living, and to promote new releases.

“Anyone wanting to hold small online ticketed gigs can now get a PRS licence in a simple and straightforward way. This will create even more opportunities for artists, musicians and writers to thrive together while ensuring that songwriters and composers are being properly paid when their music is performed.”

PRS is proposing to apply temporary discounted rates on livestream licensing for bigger events until the live sector can reopen – though these are yet to be determined.

 


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Canada’s Kinaxis to fund venues for livestream series

Ottawa-based supply chain software company, Kinaxis, and Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) are partnering on a livestream concert series to support performers and venues hit hard by Covid-19.

The 30-concert series, entitled Kinaxis InConcert, will be funded via a C$250,000 sponsorship from Kinaxis and facilitated through an application process wherein live music venues can apply for financial help to produce a livestreamed show.

Venues can apply for up to a maximum of $6000 to help to cover the costs associated with the production of a livestreamed concert and may also be awarded costs associated with artist fees and staff/production crew.

Promoters and festivals must apply in partnership with a live music venue, or indicate which venue they plan to rent for the stream. Concerts can be programmed from January to June 2021 and applications are open now until 28 February 2021.

“We are grateful to Kinaxis for setting an example of the kind of private-sector support that Canada’s live music community desperately needs,” says CLMA president and CEO, Erin Benjamin.

“Kinaxis are setting an example of the kind of private-sector support that our live music community desperately needs”

“Kinaxis InConcert is a reason to come together to celebrate our artists, support our venues and connect to music fans. It is much needed good news for an industry that has suffered unprecedented economic hardship.”

John Sicard, CEO of Kinaxis, says: “The Kinaxis culture is anchored on the simple words ‘people matter here’. This extends to the communities where we live, work and play.

“Sadly, the people supporting our music industry, and especially the artists themselves, have been tremendously affected by the restrictions resulting from Covid-19, and that means we miss out on the joy they create through their live performances.”

According to the organisers, Canadian venues are closing their doors at an alarming rate, leaving countless Canadians who benefit culturally and financially from this sector in a precarious situation.

A recent study conducted by Nordicity, found that each venue that closes costs an average of $575,000 in annual GDP contributions, and $148,000 in provincial and federal taxes.

 


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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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Beatport to host 24+ hour festival for mental health

Beatport, the online music store for electronic music, is hosting a 24+ hour virtual music festival in support of mental health, featuring DJ sets alongside talks, panels and workshops led by experts in the field.

#YouAreNotAlone will feature sets from DJs including Adam Beyer, Boys Noize and Yousef, livestreamed on Beatport’s Twitch channel this Saturday (7 November) at 7 pm PT.

The event is in collaboration with non-profit mental health organisation When the Music Stops and wellness tech company Silentmode, whose founder Bradley Young will host discussions on mental health and the power of music as a preventative solution.

Also appearing at the festival is Breathonics composer and sleep coach, Tom Middleton; psychotherapist Dr Aida Vazin; leading breathwork expert Stuart Sandeman; artists and mental health advocates Ceri and Rebekah; DJ Sacha Robotti and others.

“Mental health has been one of the most talked-about topics in our industry for years and should continue to be destigmatised”

“These are trying times for our industry. Now more than ever taking care of ourselves, our minds, our wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others, is truly vital,” says Beatport’s CEO, Robb McDaniels.

“Mental health has been one of the most talked-about topics in our industry for years, and this is a global topic that should continue to be discussed and destigmatised. Everyone at Beatport takes this topic very seriously and will continue to bring visibility to it.”

Alongside the DJ sets and panels, participants can also attend a Breathonics Live Session with breathwork expert Stuart Sandeman or chill out in the Breathonics room, which will feature a loop of sleep tracks curated by Silentmode.

“With loneliness, depression, and suicide on the rise, Beatport is becoming a leader in normalising these conversations. When The Music Stops is honoured to collaborate on such a powerful initiative. These issues affect all races and all religions. Together we can make an impact and let people know ‘You Are Not Alone’,” says Joshua Donaldson, founder of When The Music Stops.

 


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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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Facebook cracks down on unlicensed livestreaming

Facebook is cracking down on livestreamed shows that include recorded music with new terms of service, preventing artists from using the platform for “commercial or non-personal” purposes, unless they have obtained the relevant licences.

The updated music guidelines state that users “may not use videos on our products [which include Instagram] to create a music listening experience […] This includes [Facebook] Live,” and stipulates that such content should be posted for the enjoyment of friends and family only.

The terms also say that any videos not adhering to the guidelines will be blocked and the offending page, profile or group may be deleted. The updated guidelines will come into effect from 1 October.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the music industry has seen a boom in livestreamed concerts which, in turn, has raised questions about copyright infringement issues around the use of recorded music.

Recently, Gregor Pryor of law firm Reed Smith told IQ how artists can effectively – and legally – engage and monetise the online format.

“Considering the rules and regulations involved will be essential to prevent any platform-imposed penalties”

Pryor recommends that artists check each platform’s terms and conditions and monetisation policies, and remember that they are responsible for all rights and clearances necessary to perform their music.

“Considering the rules and regulations involved and, where applicable, seeking advice to ensure compliance with these, will be essential to prevent any regulator- or platform-imposed penalties affecting the artist’s ability to livestream,” he says.

Elsewhere, IQ spoke to some of the pioneers who are establishing live streaming as a crucial new outlet for creativity and, potentially, a lasting revenue stream for artists and their teams. Read the first part of the series, which includes LiveFrom, Streamyard and Wookey Technologies’ Sansar, here.

The livestreaming boom has also seen major music streaming services jump on the bandwagon. Recently, Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal has spent US$7 million on tokens issued by the company behind Sensorium Galaxy, a new VR “social metaspace” in which users can attend alternative-world concerts, nightclubs and festivals through a VR headset.

While, Spotify is developing a feature that will alert fans to an artist’s upcoming virtual events, according to a tweet by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.

 


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International music biz rallies support for Beirut

The international music industry is rallying support to help those affected by last month’s devastating explosion in Beirut with a number of livestream fundraising events.

Electronic Labor Day (ELD) and Beatport ReConnect are joining forces to broadcast 12 hours of live electronic music this Sunday (13 September), with the aim of raising $500,000 to help rebuild the Lebanese capital.

“Beirut is hurting. The events of August 4th have devastated a difficult situation. No ounce of solidarity was missing in the minutes and hours following the tragedy… Let’s put that noble sentiment to good use,” reads a statement from the organisers.

Over 100 international DJs have been enlisted for the cause, including Blond:ish, Danny Howard and Pete Tong.

The For Beirut fundraiser will be streamed on the ELD website from 1:58 pm local time with a minute of silence to mark the time of the blast and 40 days of mourning.

“No ounce of solidarity was missing in the hours following the tragedy. Let’s put that noble sentiment to good use”

Funds will be split between three causes including Beirut Emergency Fund, Impact Lebanon and Bebw’shebbek.

For Beirut follows a fundraiser which took place earlier this week (8 September), organised by Arabic streaming platform Anghami, and Sony Music Entertainment Middle East.

The Sound of Beirut featured two hours’ worth of virtual performances from Arabic and international artists including Craig David, The Chainsmokers and Maya Diab, which were streamed on Anghami.

The donations, which are yet to be announced, will go to Global Aid for Lebanon.

For Beirut will be the second edition of ELD; the first taking place earlier this year to support the nightlife non-managerial personnel who have been deeply impacted by the repercussions of Covid-19.

 


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