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Backstreet Boys livestream pulls in 45m viewers

A free livestream performance by the Backstreet Boys attracted a record-breaking 45 million viewers in China via Tencent’s WeChat app.

Broadcast last Friday (24 June), the two-hour show was recorded at Rock Lititz Studio, Pennsylvania, US. Sponsored by Lincoln and produced by 24/7 Productions, it reached 10m viewers within its first half hour and was the highest-attended livestream concert on the platform by an international artist.

The show incorporated a special guest appearance from Westlife, broadcast from Smock Alley in Dublin. Directed by Chris Howe and produced by online event promoter Driift, it enabled the two bands to duet on the Backstreet Boys’ hit I Want It That Way and Westlife’s My Love.

“Achieving this level of engagement in China is unprecedented for international artists”

It marked the second time Howe and Driift have collaborated with Westlife and their management for a WeChat livestream. The Irish group’s previous show, which took place in December 2021, attracted 28m viewers. On both occasions, the performances were filmed specifically for viewing and consumption on mobile devices.

“It’s been a real joy to work with Westlife again as part of such an extraordinarily successful collaboration,” says Sasha Duncan, Driift’s head of production. “Achieving this level of engagement in China is unprecedented for international artists, and also highlights the versatility of the livestream format.

“Whether it’s a high-end cinematic production or a performance like this, tailored for viewing on mobile devices, we’re proving it’s possible to forge a genuine connection with online audiences.”

 


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28m tune in to Westlife livestream in China

An exclusive livestream performance by Westlife, broadcast by Tencent’s Weixin across China, pulled in almost 28 million viewers.

Produced by Driift and filmed at London’s Bush Hall by acclaimed director Chris Howe, the 17 December event was both Westlife’s first ever livestream and the first by an international artist in China to be delivered by WeChat channels.

WeChat is the international version of Weixin, China’s largest social media platform with over 1.2 billion users.

WeChat channels can be a connector of cultures

“WeChat channels can be a connector of cultures by leveraging on WeChat’s open platform and the creators’ ecosystem,” says WeChat’s head of marketing Juliet Zhu, whose team has planned a series of activities in addition to the concert, which will see more international artists engage with WeChat/Weixin channels.

The 100-minute stream included an exclusive cover by Westlife, in Mandarin, of The Road to Ordinary by Chinese singer Pu Shu. The show was followed by an extended Q&A with the Irish group, who answered questions from their Chinese fanbase.

Westlife have built a significant following in the region, having first toured China in 2006 and returned to play arena shows in Beijing and Shanghai in 2019. The quartet are due to tour the UK in 2022, with a headline date at London’s 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium scheduled for 6 August, promoted by Live Nation.

 


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