On Jan. 30, Jack White streamed a show live from Madison Square Garden through Pandora music channel. It was a sold out show when performed, which was then made available for 72 hours on White’s channel.
Since live streaming concerts has been happening more, fans are excited to listen to their favorite artists live on a website they already love, but it’s worth ruminating the idea of whether streaming concerts live online can replace actually going to a show. As this becomes a more popular trend, will more fans opt for free, live streamed concerts from the comfort of their own homes over, or cough up the bucks to see their favorite artist in person?
As a music lover and concert-goer, I do not believe live streamed shows will decrease ticket sales. Fans want to see their favorite artist live, and nothing can replicate that like being at the venue itself. However, if going to the live show is impossible, I think live streamed recordings are a great second option.
If it was planned and prepared to record a show for an online experience, you can bet it’s the best quality possible. But do not use that as excuse to not go to the show if you have the option. The first-hand experience trumps the second-hand every time.
Live streaming a concert is not easy; it requires a lot of preparation, but this ensures a good recording. According to Steve Knopper, writer of “Why Live Concert Streaming Has Yet To Take Off,” streaming concerts online is quite expensive. There are a lot of things to factor in, such as producing expenses, copyright issues, and promoters unwilling to support. Online streaming is becoming a new marketing tool to promote artists’ music. Knopper writes, “Vevo, too, puts on roughly 30 live shows a year.” While it is expensive and a bit complicated, live streaming concerts seems to be a growing trend.
An increase in live streaming won’t harm ticket sales, though. As a fan, my experience is not dependent on money as much as it is the experience, and I think most music lovers agree with me. White, for example, is one of the biggest advocates for the experience. Before his shows, a man comes out on stage asking everyone in the audience to turn your phones off, keep them in your pockets, and do not take pictures. To eliminate the temptation, White hires a professional photographer to tour with him who takes pictures during every show that no camera phone can rival. White wants the audience to experience first-hand the music, not through a four inch screen with terrible quality.
If you have the capability to go to the show or listen to it online, you better be going to the show. Absolutely nothing beats the first-hand experience of physically being present at a concert. On the other hand, if going to the show is not an option listening to the concert live on Pandora is exponentially better than YouTube or fan-recorded media. No smart phone is capable enough to record music that it is worth listening to.
It’s evident that the online concert-streaming experience will not ever overshadow the appeal of physically attending a concert. Fans still pine to be in the same room as their favorite artists, and artists can only hope that this mentality will not change any time soon. Live