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How live streaming can help indie acts go global

More and more independent Aussie acts are realising that live streaming their concerts online are an easy way to expand their brand globally and source a new revenue stream.

Add a chatbox and links to their social media, and the relationship with their audience intensifies.
 
The fear among musicians is live streaming will cannibalise attendances at their gigs. It’s an understandable assumption.  But a study by New York Magazine reported that 67% of those who experienced a virtual concert would pay for a ticket for a similar event in person. 45% would pay extra to see a favourite band, speaker, or sports team. 87% would watch a concert online if they got more behind-the-scenes content.
 
It could mean that, like Aussie indie labels, acts could make more money from outside Australia. Aussies are increasingly getting used to picking up virtual festivals from overseas like Coachella and Ultra, and events including the MTV awards and Grammys without needing to travel to the US. Nielsen Music reported that live video music stream viewership in the US is increasing at a rate of 28.6% year-over-year, while the volume of music streams grew 101.9%.
 
Coachella drew an additional nine million virtual audience members in April this year, in addition to the 125,000 who were there in person. A few years ago, when Tamworth Country Music Festival trialled live streaming, 11,000 watched its Golden Guitar music awards online – double the capacity of the venue where the awards were held.
 
Acts can also get others to stream their gigs. Last Friday saw the launch of a virtual gig streaming platform Netgig in Adelaide. It focuses on emerging indie acts, who can sell virtual tickets for $10 – $20. Fans can rent the show for 48 hours and watch it limitlessly, or buy it for a slightly higher fee. The first show streamed with high definition audio and visual was from music venue Fowlers Live, and featured SA acts Imogen Brave, Audio Reign (previewing their new album), Jack Buchanan, Paula Standing, Damon Sparkes and Nuseum.
 
Not only are they getting global exposure (not to mention building a following in regional SA and other parts of Australia for future touring purposes) but Netgig founder Joe Mac says that his platform will pay indie acts 500 times more than Spotify.  He told one newspaper, “For example: 10,000 plays on Spotify would result in a $60 artist payment, while 10,000 viewers on NETGIGS would result in a $30,000 artist payment. This is on top of the music licensing payments that also go to the songwriters.”
 
Mac, an IT entrepreneur who built the website himself, adds that 90% of revenue generated from virtual ticket sales will go directly to artists and music licensing fees.