The Rise Of Virtual Concerts — A New Era of Entertainment
As the live entertainment industry continues to stabilise after a tough couple of years, a new breed of live performances are beginning to take shape, driven by the increasing availability and affordability of immersive technology.
Live shows performed in the digital world, either in the ever-expanding Metaverse or in sandbox-style games like Fortnite, are proving popular with a consumer public that is hungry for new experiences.
Digital shows are streamed by a variety of different platforms. Some are monetised through the channels chosen by the venue hosting performances, while others are streamed through new entrants to the live entertainment industry like YouTube, which has made a big push to enter live streaming.
The 2020 Champions League Final pre-game concert YouTube hosted with DJ Idris Elba was an entirely virtual event, in association with mega house music label Defected Records and Champions League sponsors Heineken. Although a virtual performance was necessary at the time, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the large audience of UEFA’s annual tournament and the general popularity of Idris Elba still showed significant intent by YouTube to continue its push into the live streaming arena. Aired in August 2020, the performance at the time of writing has around 4.5 million views on YouTube.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram all now also support “Go Live” style features like YouTube, with audiences tuning in to a variety of semi-interactive shows. No longer does it seem that static posts are enough to satisfy the desire for an experience on social media platforms.
While these live features allow a level of accessibility for fans around the globe to enjoy shows they might otherwise be unable to attend, they lack much in the way of immersion for the crowd, with the experience limited to conversing with other people in the space via typed chat.
The new breed of immersive digital entertainment is driven by VR and AR technology, with Web3 leading the pack of promising new offerings.
The Metaverse and Virtual Events
While not technically a Metaverse, rapper Travis Scott performed a concert on the video game platform Fortnight. Its outrageous visuals, along with its popularity were seen as a proof of concept for future events as the technology behind Metaverse offerings is becoming a reality.
The ability of virtual concerts for both performers and fans in attendance to offer physics-defying effects is a big step forward for the entertainment industry.
Digital platforms provide a way of bending the laws of physics, allowing event creators to think outside the box when it comes to the experience they offer an audience. However, it is the up-and-coming Metaverse which truly offers a new dimension of experience for audiences.
Driven by virtual reality (VR) technology, there are already dedicated concert halls in the Metaverse. These will mix the accessibility offered by live streaming on social media, and the physics-defying effects of Fortnite concerts with a truly immersive experience for audiences. As VR technology improves and the price points continue to decrease, audiences will feel more connected to these virtual events than ever before.
Concerts are not the only format to have been explored in a virtual sandbox setting, despite the early stages of the platform. Fashion house Gucci produced the Gucci Gardens experience on Roblox that also tied in with their NFT bag offerings (which sold for around 3x the price they would in real life).
It seems as though the early exploration of virtual events during lockdown and their success from both a performer and fan perspective will tie in nicely with the continued adoption of the excitement surrounding the new digital playgrounds referred to as the Metaverse.
The opportunity for event organisers, artists and performers to offer a show outside the realms of possibility in the physical world is one which sits well with fans. For fans, not only can a virtual show be a more impressive and exciting experience than a physical one but as lockdowns demonstrated, attending events virtually also offers increased accessibility and greater fan safety.
It’s an incredibly exciting time for the live events industry, especially after an extremely tough couple of years for fans, artists and event organisers during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the move to blockchain-based technology and the continuing growth of Web3, the possibility of Metaverse style concerts is fairly open-ended, as the creativity of artists and event organisers drives new, more engaging ways of interacting with their fans.
Blockchain also provides a number of innovative opportunities elsewhere in the live events sector. Here at SeatlabNFT, we are using the NEAR Protocol blockchain to create an NFT ticketing platform that rewards loyal fans, creating a more immersive experience via airdropped perks and a tiered token utility.
For artists and event creators, our platform will change the way you think about event ticketing. We’re eliminating ticket fraud and giving unprecedented control over the secondary market through smart contracts that govern price ceilings and royalty splits on secondary sales.
To find out more about how we’re redefining event ticketing, or to see the latest platform updates, keep in touch via the links below.
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