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Research project looks into economics of live streams

A research project by two British universities has been awarded funding to investigate the monetisation of livestreaming concerts.

The outcome of the project, by Middlesex University and King’s College London, is a report for artists featuring guidelines on all aspects of livestreaming concerts, which will be published in April this year. Project partners include the Musicians’ Union, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Music Venue Trust and jazz promoter Serious.

As part of the research, a survey investigating participants’ experiences and expectations of livestreamed concerts has been set up. The survey is aimed at both musicians and concertgoers, and participants do not need to have watched or performed in a live stream to fill in the survey. The survey will be live until 24 February 2021 and can be accessed via this link.

The research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19. The aim of the project is to enable musicians to use monetised live streams as an additional income source to make up for loss of earnings during, and following, on from Covid-19 related lockdowns and restrictions. Further information can be found on the project website, livestreamingmusic.uk.

The project is led by Julia Haferkorn, senior lecturer at Middlesex University and former artistic director of the British Composer Awards. Other team members are Middlesex lecturer and jazz pianist, Sam Leak, and King’s College academic and classical guitarist, Brian Kavanagh.

“We want to better understand the logic of the economics that define online streaming models”

Haferkorn says: “The vast majority of musicians have been hit very hard financially by the pandemic. We are hoping that our report will make it easier for musicians to use monetised live streams as an additional income source.”

“The internet is the Wild West when it comes to monetising music,” comments Leak. “With this project I hope we will be able to provide the facts and figures necessary to help musicians to operate in this new and potentially intimidating performance format.”

“We want to better understand the logic of the economics that define online streaming models. This includes questions such as how musicians are generating income from online events, and [whether] this income compensating is for loss of earnings during Covid-19,” adds Brian Kavanagh.

“By engaging professional musicians, we intend to identify the potential barriers they face as they attempt to reimagine relationships with audiences in an online world in which it is hugely challenging to recreate the atmosphere of a live concert”.

More about the project can be found on the The project is led by .


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