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Recovery Economics Music, Games, Live Streams and the Future of Concerts

Report by Mark Mulligan, Karol Severin and Keith Jopling
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The 20,000 Foot View: In April 2020 Travis Scott’s Fortnite event pulled in        million players. While this was happening, the global artist community was scrambling to plug the income and engagement gap caused by        cessation of live music, by turning to live streaming. The music industry had just got turned on its head and the solution was to throw everything at the wall to see what stuck. But there is a much bigger opportunity here that goes far beyond lockdown era. This is more than the future of games and music, it is in fact an alternative future for live music. It is the ultimate lockdown legacy.

Key Insights

  • Live music used to meet the human needs of belonging and esteem; post-lockdown it will also need to meet the more fundamental human need of safety
  •        will likely be a mid- to long-term part of life, so the traditional live sector will face a ‘cost of confidence’ as portions of artists and fans alike will initially stay away
  • Lockdown came too early for the live streaming concert sector; it is under-developed, under-monetised, under-licensed, under-professionalised
  • Virtual concerts (live streaming and generative virtual performances) will become an important component of the live music sector as it builds out of lockdown
  • The industry needs to come together to create a universal, extensible discovery layer for virtual concerts else risk it becoming fragmented across company siloes like streaming TV
  • A new virtual concert value chain is emerging that traditional live companies are not – yet – embedded in
  • Four key distribution models will emerge: basic; platform; integrated platform; full stack
  • The big tech platforms will favour free events to drive scale for advertisers but the sector needs a clearly defined freemium model with scarcity key to super premium tiers
  • Big tech platforms will play the role of stadiums and arenas while off-portal destinations like artist apps will host smaller, scarcer, super premium events
  • Games represent a major near-term opportunity with long-term potential which can be realised by matching artist fan bases with specific games titles

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Accenture, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple Glass, Ben Howard, Beyonce, Call of Duty,        Dillon Francis, Diplo, Disciple Media, Epic Games, Facebook, Facebook Live, FIFA, Flohio, Fortnite, GigRev, Grand Theft Auto, Hovercast, Instagram Live, Koffee, Live Nation, Maestro, Magic Leap, Marshmello, Marvel, Marvel Avengers, Melody VR, Minecraft, Next VR, Oculus Venues, Patreon, Periscope, Slowthai, StageIt, Star Wars, Steve Akoki, StreamYard, Super Mario, Taylor Swift, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment, Travis Scott, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube Live

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