Virtual Concerts—The Post-COVID Future of the Music Industry

Virtual Concerts—The Post-COVID Future of the Music Industry

Wondering whether you’ll see more online concerts post-COVID? We have the answers!

Much like most other industries, the music industry also saw a hefty blow from the pandemic. Be it BTS, the Weeknd, Harry Styles or Bon Jovi, a lot of major artists have had to cancel their concerts throughout 2020. To make up for these canceled live interactions with fans, artists shifted to the Internet. 

To make up for the loss of interaction with fans, artists and their management agencies have begun conducting online concerts. One of the most successful examples of an online concert was BTS’s two-day online concert “2021 Muster Sowozoo”, which amassed 1.33 million paid views across 195 countries. Such massive success of an online concert comes with it the question of whether this will be a passing fad, or whether we will see more of these as time goes by?

Let’s take a look at some of the features of these online concerts to understand how they are shaping the future of the music industry post-COVID.

Virtual recreations of artists at concerts

Online concerts have opened up avenues for computer-generated imagery (CGI) integration into the concert experience. Again, BTS emerged as a pioneer here. While one of the band’s members, Suga, was taking a break due to a physical injury, the group performed their hit “Life Goes On” during the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2020 (which was conducted virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions). 

While the band performed most of the song as six members, during Suga’s part, a hologram of the artist joined in. This hologram was made through a 360-degree recording of the artist, which was then built into a three-dimensional avatar. This technology could also possibly be used to help give artists much-needed breaks and yet keep the show going.

Concerts in the metaverse

Just like everyone else, the music industry has begun using the metaverse to its advantage as well. Singer Lil Nax X held his virtual concert on the metaverse game Roblox. The show attracted more than 30 million viewers. Unlike a typical virtual concert wherein fans are just spectators, the concert within the Roblox metaverse allowed fans to throw snowballs around and even dance with Lil Nas X. 

Besides Lil Nas X, other artists have also been using the metaverse as a space for more interactive concerts. Singer Tai Verdes also conducted a Roblox concert in November 2021. The metaverse is a completely new venue for artists to not only perform but also interact with their fans “face-to-face”. 

Brand ownership of content

Another key feature of virtual concerts is that they allow brands to get past ‌sponsorship middlemen and own the published content. In the era of in-person concerts, brands had to work with middlemen to sponsor concerts. With the help of branded live event content platforms, like First Tube Media, brands can now directly work with artists to create exclusive content. Not only does it help the brand garner attention, but it also helps artists earn substantial money from virtual concerts, as the middlemen are now out of the picture. 

These features have painted a positive picture of the future of online concerts. They offer artists the ability to perform from anywhere in the world and in any condition. They also give fans the ability to see their favorite artists, even if the artists don’t have a performance in their city or country. Furthermore, online concerts are opening up venues for artists and the music industry as a whole to experiment and keep up with new trends, like the metaverse. 

The less commercial versions of virtual concerts (aka the more intimate concerts done in a more casual setting) also give ‌fans a more unique or unfiltered view of the artists. So, will we see more online concerts even after the pandemic ends? We believe the answer is a resounding yes! With the high viewership of virtual concerts, like that of BTS, it’s safe to say that online concerts might be a mainstay. 

Header image courtesy of Unsplash

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Kamya Pandey
Kamya is a writer at Jumpstart. She is obsessed with podcasts, films, everything horror-related, and art.

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