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Live streaming on the rise as Bandsintown launches Watch Live feature

Live events, operators and artists are turning to live streaming opportunities as the Covid-19 outbreak continues to keep fans away from live events.

Concert discovery service Bandsintown has launched a new Watch Live feature designed to help artists and fans connect as the number of online concerts expands due to ever-more cancellations.

The free service allows the platform’s 530,000 registered artists to promote their live-streamed shows on different live streaming platforms at no cost to the 55 million Bandsintown registered fans.

Artists will be able to promote on their own Facebook pages, Instagram stories, or other sites surfacing Bandsintown’s events listings such as Amazon’s Alexa or Billboard.com.

Many artists are also using the social discovery platform’s direct-to-fans free messaging platform to stay in touch with fans.

“Artists and fans are already missing the tribal experience that live shows create. We all must do whatever we can to keep that feeling alive as well as help artists in these difficult times,” said Fabrice Sergent, managing partner of Bandsintown.

The firm has also created a new live channel on Twitch, the leading live streaming platform, with its first performance by South African DJ and Producer Black Coffee kicking the channel off today (Friday).

Next week, the Bandsintown Live channel will host a multi-day live music marathon to collect donations for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Sergent added: “Watch Live and a new Bandsintown Live music channel on Twitch are the first of many new initiatives from Bandsintown.”

Twitch has reported increasing viewership numbers following the many event cancellations and social distancing measures due to the coronavirus.

Twitch, which is primarily a platform for gamers, has seen its user numbers rise by 10 per cent as musicians tune in to perform to their fans, according to streaming software company StreamElements, which conducts regular surveys of the streaming landscape with its analytics partner Arsenal.gg.

StreamElements found that in Italy, live-stream viewership grew more than 66 per cent since the first week of February and when the quarantine there began.

Musician Marc Rebillet, who has been live streaming on Twitch since his Australian dates were cancelled, said: “I’m just trying to survive. Twitch has the highest earning potential for live streams.”

The platform supports different tiers of subscriptions and donations allowing indie artists to continue making money during the coronavirus pandemic.

Another company utilising live streaming to support its business is US-based HoldMyTicket, which is providing free tools for artists looking to live stream. The firm hosts the streams and makes money from service charges.

Caitlin Cano, the outfit’s strategic content and marketing manager, told the Santa Fe Reporter: “It’s the same thing we do every time you create an event. [Ticket buyers] will get an email with their e-tickets and a link to the live stream—and there’s no way people can share the link because you need to have the actual e-ticket.”

Image: Bandsintown