THE SCOOP | Research shows artists believe live streaming is vital



A new study from Middlesex University has revealed a glimpse of how performers feel about concerts broadcast live.

The study involved around 1,500 professional musicians and fans. They asked each participant to complete a survey designed to gain insight into the experience of the events broadcast live. Interviews were also conducted with musicians, concert organizers and venues. At 29%, classical music was the largest survey cohort. Jazz represented 19%. The other genres (folk, pop, rock, blues and electronic music) accounted for a total of 52%.

The results showed that musicians are remarkably optimistic when it comes to live streaming.

“Our research underscored how important it is for audience members to be able to communicate and feel connected with each other and with the musicians who perform,” said co-author Sam Leak, popular music speaker at Middlesex. “As an artist, this discovery interests me not only because it has an impact on my practice of live broadcasting, but also because it could well improve the experience of my audience in physical places. “

The five key points to remember were:

  • Live streaming makes live music accessible
  • Emotional engagement matters
  • The public is ready to pay
  • Musicians are not satisfied with the income
  • Live streaming is here to stay

The survey also included an overview of specific trends.

With technical know-how being a concern, musicians tended to go for what they knew with Facebook and YouTube as two favorite platforms.


Opinions seemed divided on whether legal knowledge was a barrier to live streaming, especially with the differences between the license requirements for paid and free live streams.

The big downside for musicians and audiences was the lack of interaction. The idea of ​​applause or encouragement using a virtual text emoji just doesn’t have the same effect.

90% of musicians and 92% of fans agreed that live streaming will be an effective tool in the future to reach audiences who cannot or do not want to visit physical locations. More than two-thirds of those polled agreed that live streaming will remain a vital part of the landscape after the pandemic.

71% of musicians strongly agreed that having little or no interaction with the audience was a barrier to live streaming or more live streaming.

One of the most interesting findings is that a total of 71% were disappointed with the amount of money they were making from their feeds.

Despite the disappointment, 72% of live music fans and 74% of musicians agree that performances shown live should be paid for.

Additionally, 62% of fans say the cost of paywalls for live broadcasts is not a hindrance. More than three-quarters (78%) of fans would be willing to pay for a live show from an artist who offers other live-streamed content for free.

There was also a psychological issue that informed decisions regarding payment for live broadcasts. Despite an equal amount of effort, time and resources spent on producing a livestream, 93% of attendees and 80% of musicians agreed that tickets for live shows should cost less than tickets for live performances in a physical location.

Donations were the most popular form of payment.


According to Artistic Director and Executive John Gilhooly of Wigmore Hall in London, he sees live streaming as a way to attract new high net worth donors from around the world. The events broadcast live at Wigmore generated approximately $ 1.7 million (CAD) in income from donations at the online events.

The question, however, requires an answer. What if they were charging for these events rather than presenting them as a way to get donations? Would they have done more? Now is the time to find out.

The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and included the King’s College London, the Musicians’ Union, the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and the Music Venue Trust.

Read the full report here.


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Michael vincent
Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see everything)
Michael vincent
Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see everything)


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