Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t Billie Eilish? Ticketed livestreams, we mean. Eilish announced plans yesterday for ‘Where Do We Go? The Livestream‘ on 24 October, broadcasting from Los Angeles at 3pm PT. Fans paying $30 for a ticket will be able to watch live and stream the concert on-demand for up to 24 hours afterwards, with an exclusive line of merchandise for sale too.
According to Billboard, the partner for the show is Maestro, the startup that’s been building an increasingly-impressive roster of artist partners for paid livestreams. We wrote about its work with Erykah Badu on her ‘Apocalypse, Live from Badubotron‘ quarantine concert series earlier this year, and it also helped Melissa Etheridge build a $50k-a-month business from her Etheridge TV broadcasts. Katy Perry and Tim McGraw are two of its other recent clients.
We’ll be keen to see what Eilish has planned for her concert. She’s a star of the magnitude that simply performing with an interesting backdrop may be $30 well spent for many fans. But when we talked to Maestro’s CEO Ari Evans in August for our Sandbox report, he had plenty to say about how artists can go further.
“Creators need to embrace the fact that the internet is not a one-way broadcast medium,” he told us. “Think about how you design your content and storytelling with segments that bring the audience into the experience. Shout out fans by name when you can – it makes their week. Create the intimacy that breeds deeper fan relationships.”
The creative challenges around doing this with artists that would be filling arenas and stadiums in the physical world are fascinating, especially as there’s still doubt about whether such tours will even be viable for much of 2021. There has already been plenty of innovation from the K-Pop world here, from BTS’s Bang Bang Con (and upcoming Map of the Soul: ON:E) to SuperM’s Beyond Live concert.
We’ve seen The Weeknd tap virtual-reality production tech from Wave to play to more than 2m fans on TikTok; while ATC Management helped Dermot Kennedy and Nick Cave to sell 30k and 35k tickets respectively for their performances in storied venues (the Natural History Museum and Alexandra Palace). These and many more online events are helping the industry to nail down some standards: like how shows by different levels of artists should be priced, and how merch can work alongside them.
But it’s still wonderfully open-season on the creativity around the staging of these performances, and the interactivity (if any) between artists and fans around them. Billie Eilish’s event will be another high-profile livestream to learn from, so we hope she and the production team have some good surprises up their sleeves.