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UTA study highlights demand for livestreams as US event-goers want vaccine before returning

Fewer than half of Americans plan to return to sports, concerts, cinemas and theme parks before a COVID-19 vaccine, while a UTA study found the demand for livestreamed events would continue after live events return…

United Talent Agency

A leading US talent agency has found that 90 per cent of concertgoers have sought to replace the live music experience while under “safer at home” restrictions in the time of COVID-19.

United Talent Agency’s (UTA) IQ data and analytics division teamed up with consumer research platform SightX to produce the 56-page study that surveyed nearly 1,100 respondents on ‘Media and Entertainment in the Time of Coronavirus.’

A quarter of respondents have already attended a virtual concert, movie night or watch party, fitness class, masterclass or university course and/or a virtual event or conference. Just under 30 per cent of those have paid to access a livestream.

More than half, 55 per cent, of live music fans say they are streaming catalogue content from their favourites, while 48 per cent of those say they have watched footage of old concerts and other performances.

Around seven in 10 respondents who have already participated in a livestream concert said they plan to continue doing so after COVID-19 distancing measures are lifted and live music events return.

UTA said in the study: “Our focus on entertainment and media is reflective of UTA’s core mission in support of artists, performers, creators, influencers, and consumer brands of every stripe, and to inform our agents, clients, partners, and the entertainment industry at large.

“But we also sought to put numbers and facts behind what we believe inherently: that entertainment content emerges as a critical beacon in dark times. It is indeed an ‘essential service’ when factoring the mental and emotional toll that social isolation has taken on nearly every American.”

The study also found that fewer than half of concert-goers say they plan to go to a concert or music festival of any size within the first month of regulations being lifted.

The agency said: “This hunger for live music, coupled with hesitation regarding future concert-going, sets the stage for accelerated innovation in live music.

“Prior to COVID-19, the appetite for virtual concerts was limited. Now, optimising the virtual experience may be critical to the future of live music. Music tech companies have quickly begun to legitimise the livestream business through ticketing and offering community-based features that hope to replicate the shared experience of attending a live event.”

Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released this week has indicated fewer than half of Americans plan to return to sports, concerts, cinemas and theme parks before a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

It found that four in 10 respondents said they would return to stadia and concert venues again if they reopened before a vaccine was available, while another four in 10 said they were willing to wait for a vaccine before returning.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 4,429 American adults from April 15 to 21, asking about their previous attendance at sports events and live concerts and their interest in attending if they reopened before a coronavirus vaccine is available.

Less than 20 per cent said they would attend professional sporting events when they reopen to the public, while 26 per cent said they would rather wait until there is a vaccine.

About 60 per cent of fans agreed that professional sports leagues, such as Major League Baseball and the NBA basketball league, should hold games with no in-person fans, while 33 per cent disagreed.

Meanwhile, 32 per cent said they would wait for a vaccine before going back to cinemas, theatres or concerts and 55% of Americans said those events should not resume before a vaccine is available.

Gaelic Athletic Association

Ireland’s Gaelic sports body the GAA has announced it will offer partial refunds or discounts for next year’s season ticket holders if the 2020 inter-county season cannot be completed due to COVID-19.

The announcement comes after the governing body was criticised for changing the terms and conditions of season tickets to indicate no refunds would be given in the event that competitions were cancelled due to a pandemic or similar “circumstances outside of the control of the GAA”.

The statement from the GAA insists it was simply “seeking to provide greater clarity” rather than attempting to “step back from its obligations”.

The body said it was still hopeful of completing the 2020 season over the course of the current year, but would issue refunds based on the number of unplayed games if this was not possible.

GAA said: “The re-commencement of all GAA fixtures are fully dependent on Government directives and HSE and WHO best practice health office. Once we have more information available regarding the resumption or otherwise of GAA fixtures we will be in contact with all Season Ticket holders.”