Former WME exec Marc Geiger to invest in independent venues

Marc Geiger was the music boss at talent agency WME, before leaving earlier this year. Now he’s setting up to invest in a network of independent music venues across the US. Geiger has founded a company called SaveLive and raised $75m to invest in venues and small clubs, taking 51% ownership of them in the […]

BMG to buy majority stake in German live firm Undercover

As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic grows in many countries, now’s a very difficult time to be involved in live music. However, it may also be seen as an opportunity by companies looking to make acquisitions in live. BMG, for example, is getting into live music for the first time, with an agreement […]

US gets new #SaveLiveEventsNow campaign to support live music

We’ve written about the #SaveOurStages campaign in the US to support independent music venues, launched by their representative body NIVA. Now there’s another campaign, #SaveLiveEventsNow, which expands the remit to larger venues and the people who work on concerts and festivals using them. It’s backed by a who’s who of the industry: the RIAA, Recording Academy, Live Nation, […]

Lyte tests ticket reservation tool for return of physical gigs

A lot of physical concerts have been cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s been heartening how many fans have held onto their tickets for the ones that have been postponed – even those delayed for a year or more. Now ticketing firm Lyte has developed a tool that capitalises on this loyalty in a different […]

UK’s Musicians’ Union delivers new warning over Covid-19

With the UK bracing itself for a ‘second spike’ of Covid-19 cases in the autumn and winter, things aren’t looking good for the return of physical live concerts. Now the Musicians’ Union has published the results of its latest survey, warning about the potential consequences. “A third (34%) of musicians are considering abandoning the industry completely, […]

Saving independent venues: ‘It is a challenge for the entire industry’

The whole music industry should be throwing its weight behind independent venues’ struggle to survive, according to Ana Rodriguez, co-chair of international managers body the IMMF. Speaking at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference today, she called on fans and industry entities alike to support local venues. “The most important thing about them is […]

Spotify adds livestreams to its in-app concert listings

Spotify has been showing artists’ upcoming tour dates on their profiles for years, although data on how effective those listings are at selling tickets is scarce. With the live industry still shut down in many parts of the world due to Covid-19, the streaming service is taking the logical step of adding listings for livestream […]

Why the Covid-19 struggles of small venues are a big problem

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been writing about campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic to save independent music venues. These spaces may seem a world away from the big concert halls, arenas and stadiums of the live music industry, but Midia Research has published one of the better explanations of why they matter. “Without this […]

Survey: 30% of musicians are planning weekly livestreams

Bandsintown has been one of the companies around live music that has pivoted during Covid-19 – in its case, turning its site and app into places for fans to discover livestreams by artists, as well as launching its own live channel on Twitch. Now the company has published a report based on a survey of […]

Save Our Stages Act aims to help independent US venues

Even as Covid-19 lockdowns ease and physical concerts tentatively start to return, independent music venues are still facing a battle to survive. The level of support they’ve been getting from governments varies widely around the world, but in the US there are new moves afoot to help those venues (plus promoters and festivals) to stay […]

How to successfully livestream a music event

  *Learn more about Music and Livestreaming: reaching fans AND making money   Another day, another livestream. Well, probably another thousand of them. A year ago, livestreams were defined by their rarity, now they are defined by their ubiquity. So how to stand out in a market that has suddenly become very busy? We speak […]

Metallica preps drive-in gig with $115 ‘per vehicle’ tickets

$115 to see Metallica? We know concerts are in short supply, but this is outrageo… Oh wait. Metallica’s upcoming concert does cost $115 for a ticket, but that ticket covers a vehicle with up to six people: potentially just over $19 per head, which is actually rather good value. The band are the latest artist to […]

Pandora kicks off a new series of concert livestreams

Streaming service Pandora is getting into the livestreaming game with a series of performances branded Pandora Live. The first one takes place next week (28 July) with country star Kane Brown, with the promise of more “across country, Latin, R&B, pop, and rock” to follow this year. Besides streaming performances live, Pandora said that there’ll be […]

Music Ally Report :: Q2 2020 Edition

Our main feature explores the evolution of live music, as we look towards a time when concerts are able to resume safely. What have we learned from the livestreaming boom during the Covid-19 lockdown, and what are the prospects for ‘hybrid’ online/offline concerts in the coming months? We’ve also got a feature recapping two thought-provoking […]

Underoath launch three-part series of livestream concerts

Metalcore band Underoath are the latest artist to do something more involved with livestreaming. Underoath: Observatory is a series of three concerts, each of which will see the band playing one of their albums in full, from a venue in Florida. Tickets for each show cost $15, while a three-show ticket bundle is $45. However, each […]

Live concerts are opening up again in Japan and Germany

It’s important that the industry (us included) starts to move away from talking about the ‘live concerts shutdown’ as a global trend, now that a growing number of countries are tentatively opening up their live industries again. In Japan, for example, the government has further relaxed its restrictions on mass gatherings. Having previously capped indoor events […]

Liam Payne set to launch ticketed livestreams on Veeps

Veeps! Another new livestreaming startup for artists? Actually, no, this one’s been around since 2017, and was founded by Benji and Joel Madden from rock band Good Charlotte. It’s a platform for ticketed livestreams, and the latest artist to sign up is a biggie: former One Direction star Liam Payne. He’s going to be launching […]

Sandbox Issue 256: PRIMAL STREAM 📱🎧 Making lockdown concerts work

Lead: Livestreams have moved to try and fill the massive hole left by the total cancellation of tours and festivals around the world. As more acts do them, however, it becomes incrementally harder to stand out and draw in big enough audiences to make them worthwhile. We speak to those building a whole new gig economy here […]

Covid-19: US music industry ‘missed out on nearly 900m streams’

Research firm Nielsen Music/MRC Data has published the ‘fifth wave’ of its ongoing study of Covid-19’s impact on the music and entertainment industries, based on surveys in the US up to the week of 10-14 June. Among the findings: audio and video music streams have recovered from their initial decline in the early weeks of […]

British music industry unites for #LetTheMusicPlay campaign

For every social-media hashtag campaign that takes off, many more wither and die without anyone noticing. So hats off to the British music industry for avoiding the latter fate with its #LetTheMusicPlay campaign this week across Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. Artists, industry folk and fans alike were sharing their memories of live music, and the campaign undoubtedly […]

Covid-19 tipped to spark €4.5bn loss for French music industry

In June, we reported on a claim by French industry body SNEP that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic could deliver a €235m blow to recorded music revenues in France this year. But that’s just a fraction of the anticipated losses, it turns out. Another industry body, TPLM (Tous Pour La Musique) which represents all aspects of the French […]

Grid app aims to help events return with social distancing

Concerts are returning in some countries as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease, but with a variety of social distancing measures. Grid is a new app that’s positioning itself as helping: not just music concerts, but other kinds of hospitality and events businesses too. The app can be used for mobile ticketing and checking in to events; to […]

Vivendi survey examines post-lockdown entertainment plans

Vivendi’s Brand Marketing division has been talking about its latest study: a survey of more than 7,200 people about their entertainment habits during the Covid-19 lockdown – and their plans once it eases. There’s another encouraging data point about digital subscription services (including, but not exclusively, music): according to Pollstar, 60% said they used more paid […]

Virtual reality concerts startup Wave raises $30m funding

It’s been a difficult couple of years for many virtual reality startups, with VR headset sales slower than expected, and in some cases funding drying up as investors lost their appetite for immersive content. There have been success stories though: musical VR game Beat Saber has sold more than 2m copies, with Facebook acquiring its developer last […]

Tomorrowland goes virtual with Around The World festival

Yesterday, we covered the news that the team behind Shangri-La at Glastonbury are running Lost Horizon, a ticketed VR event, next month. We can add Belgian dance festival Tomorrowland’s Around The World event to this growing list of virtual replacements for the hole blown in this year’s summer festival season. It takes place on 25-26 July, although […]

90% of independent US venues fear they’ll shut permanently

We’ve been reporting recently on the #saveourvenues campaign in the UK, which identified 556 venues that were in danger of permanent closure as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. Last we heard, its fundraising had enabled 140 of them to be taken off its ‘critical’ list, which was a positive step. There’s a similar campaign underway […]

Team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La launches virtual festival

If you’ve ever lost yourself in the Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La zone, you’ll understand why for many people this year, the festival’s cancellation is carrying an extra tinge of sadness. However, the team behind Shangri-La is hoping to plug the gap with a virtual-reality event called Lost Horizon on 3-4 July. They’re working with VR startups Sansar and […]

Australia and Germany’s plans to rebuild live music business

The easing of lockdown restrictions on music concerts has begun in some countries, but others are still looking ahead and making plans for what’s needed when this happens in the future. Australian live-industry body Live Performance Australia published its AU$345m plan to rebuild the ‘restart’ of the live performances industry – not just music, but theatres, arts […]

London set to get ‘first socially distanced immersive event’

Livestreams are plugging some of the gap left by the shutdown of live concerts, but people are already looking ahead to what those physical gigs might be like as the lockdown eases. One Night Records is the latest idea. Opening in October at “a secret London Bridge location” in London, it’ll be a musical installation “designed as […]

Tools. Lockdown Livestreaming

When lockdown started, artists around the world swiftly jumped onto platforms like Instagram and Twitch, in order to livestream from their homes. But, with social distancing restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, and no real sense of when live music could return, the idea that livestreams could help to partially offset the enormous losses […]

Goldman Sachs: ‘Global music revenue will drop by 25% in 2020’

Nobody can know exactly what the overall financial impact of Covid-19 will be on the music industry in 2020, but that isn’t stopping analysts from guessing. Goldman Sachs made its prediction last week, and it’s a sobering one. “Global music revenue will drop by 25% in 2020 on our estimates, largely due to the widespread […]

What can we learn from Covid-19’s impact on China’s music industry?

The Chinese music industry saw 16% growth in its recorded music revenues in 2019 according to the IFPI, but it was also the first country to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Does that make it a canary in the coalmine for the global music industry, in terms of learning lessons from the coronavirus impact, […]

Eventbrite thinks that smaller concerts will return sooner

Ticketing firm Eventbrite has published its quarterly shareholder letter accompanying its financial results. Unsurprisingly it focuses heavily on the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the live industry. In Q1, its revenues fell by 40% year-on-year to $49.1m, leading to a net loss of $146.5m compared to $10m a year ago. “First quarter net loss […]

Travis McCready and Marc Rebillet set for socially-distanced gigs

There’s plenty of uncertainty around when live concerts will resume in different parts of the world, but don’t forget the related question of what they’ll be like. Specifically: how will music concerts comply with whatever social distancing rules remain, as the lockdown eases. We’re getting some early hints in the US. Artist Travis McCready will […]

#NextStageChallenge attracts applicants from 39 countries

We reported on the #NextStageChallenge last month: it’s an initiative that’s trying to round up developers for a hackathon and accelerator to tackle some of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for musicians. Music Ally is one of the companies collaborating on the challenge. We’ve now got an update on participation: 425 applicants from […]

Taylor Swift cancels all her live performances in 2020

There are some tough conversations going on behind the scenes at the moment about when the live music scene might get back to any semblance of normality. If you’re still hoping for this autumn, Taylor Swift’s announcement that she’s cancelling all remaining concerts for 2020 isn’t good news. “Health organizations and governments around the world […]

Scott Cohen: Covid-19 could be live industry’s ‘Napster moment’

Warner Music Group’s chief innovation officer for recorded music, Scott Cohen, thinks that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic could be a ‘Napster moment’ for the live music industry. Cohen was speaking in a ‘From Holograms to the Holodeck’ online panel last night convened by the Social Broadcasting Company. “With this Covid-19 disruption, is this doing to […]

Pollstar says 2020 global live revenues would have been $12.2bn

In the 1980s and 1990s, Bullseye was a popular darts-based British TV game show, complete with a ‘look at what you could have won’ element where losing contestants were shown the grand prize they’d just failed to win. It’s hard not to be reminded of that by Pollstar’s announcement on Friday of its estimate for what global live-music […]

Side Door expands to include ticketing for livestream concerts

There are plenty of ways for artists to perform concerts at home and livestream them during the current period of social distancing and self-isolation, but not quite so many ways to charge fans to watch. One recently-launched option is a startup called Side Door. Its core business is (or rather: will be, once the lockdown […]

Glastonbury Festival and Eurovision both cancelled for 2020

Spring and summer music events getting cancelled is now expected, rather than a surprise, but for Europeans yesterday still managed to deliver something of a hammer blow with the cancellation of the 2020 editions of both the Glastonbury Festival and the Eurovision Song Contest. By now, neither is news, so the aspect we’ll pull out […]

UK music industry concerned for venues closing for coronavirus

The COVID-19 situation is certainly fast-moving. Yesterday afternoon, various UK music bodies criticised the British government heavily for advising people not to go to public venues including pubs, clubs and concert venues without actually ordering those places to close – the concern being that this would not enable them to claim on their insurance policies. “The […]

Live music affected by latest coronavirus event restrictions

Having said last week that we’re going to try not to stoke your anxiety over the novel-coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak with long, scary stories, this morning we can’t ignore the latest developments and their implications for our industry. You may have already seen the reports that Universal Music Group boss Sir Lucian Grainge has been hospitalised […]

Cocooning, downgrading… what will Coronavirus mean for music?

The short term impact of the novel-Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in the US at least, is this: no big tours. AEG and Live Nation both announced yesterday that they are postponing all arena tours scheduled for March, having set up a task force together with talent agencies CAA, WME, Paradigm and UTA to figure out a collective […]

Ultra Music Festival may be postponed due to coronavirus

It’s very early to start making doom-laden predictions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak laying waste to 2020’s festivals season. But certainly those that are earlier in the calendar are facing tough questions about whether to go ahead or not. Newspaper the Miami Herald reported yesterday that the Ultra Music Festival, due to be held later this […]

Dance artists get live boost with Resident Advisor Spotify deal

Spotify has a new partner to point its listeners in the direction of local music concerts: Resident Advisor. The electronic-music brand’s event listings will now be incorporated into Spotify, ensuring that the streaming service has a bigger database of concerts from independent dance acts playing in local venues. As with its other live-music partnerships, Spotify […]

Dave to top the bill at Apple Music’s first ‘Agenda’ UK concert

Artist Dave was the star of the Brit Awards earlier this week, with his new verse for his song ‘Black’ calling Prime Minister Boris Johnson a racist; drawing attention to the differing media coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex (aka Kate and Meghan); calling for more conservation and less deforestation; and slamming […]

Music, gender representation and the ‘pipeline problem’

The lack of women nominated in some of the key mixed-gender categories at last night’s Brit Awards was a talking point even within the awards itself. Now Vick Bain, the former CEO of songwriters body BASCA (now the Ivors Academy) has published some thoughts on the issue of diversity in music awards ceremonies and festival lineups that […]

Beatstravellers wants to blend travel and live music

The latest startup to mix music and tourism is London-based Beatstravellers. “A social marketplace creating unique vacation options in the travel and music market,” is how the company describes itself on investor database AngelList. It wants to add a tourism strand when people travel to a festival, to help music fans see a bit more of the surrounding […]

Zero Carbon Roadie helps touring artists with their carbon footprints

A growing number of artists are making their views known in the debate about how best to tackle the climate emergency. One of the thorniest issues for our industry, however, is touring. Ocean conservation organisation Project Zero has a new tool that might help. It’s called Zero Carbon Roadie, and it’s a ‘carbon calculator’ specifically for touring […]

LiveXLive financials raise doubts over ‘going concern’ status

US live-music and streaming firm LiveXLive has published its latest financial results, including a warning about the company’s financial viability over the next 12 months. LiveXLive generated $9.7m of revenues in the final quarter of 2019, up by 8.2% year-on-year. However, operating expenses of $17.6m nudged the company into its latest quarterly net loss – $8.8m – while […]

Google’s Area 120 launches live-music data tool with Pollstar

We’ve written about Google’s experimental division Area 120 before: for example when it launched a project called Fundo to explore crowdfunding for social stars, or when it made a co-viewing app for YouTube called Uptime. But Area 120’s latest project is of direct relevance to the music industry. It’s called ‘Demand’, and it’s a partnership with live-music brand […]

UK watchdog threatens StubHub with court action over website

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has long been a thorn in the side of secondary ticketing firm Viagogo. Now it’s also training its sights on StubHub, the company that Viagogo is in the process of buying for $4.05bn. The CMA has told StubHub that it may face court action unless it makes some key changes to […]

Tools: RoadNation Empowers Creators and Fans to Build Tours Together

When it comes to touring, independent artists and their teams often face significant revenue risks. RoadNation aims to help mitigate this risk and drive more fan engagement through a direct artist-to-fan platform that sees artists funding their tours upfront through exclusive products while the fans get input into where their favourite artists will play.  Artists […]

LiveXLive says that it now has 820k paying subscribers

Live music-streaming firm LiveXLive has published some end-of-year figures showing its growth. The company, which also owns streaming service Slacker Radio, says it ended the year with 820,000 paid subscribers, having added 140,000 in the last year, while its total average monthly active users were 1.2 million at the end of 2019. The company livestreamed 28 music […]

Sofar Sounds explains its business model after criticism

Live-music firm Sofar Sounds has been facing some criticism in recent months around how it pays artists and its volunteers alike. Now the company is responding in some depth, with a blog post explaining “how money works at a Sofar show”. Its publication comes ahead of some changes to the company’s model set for February, including to artist compensation […]

RoadNation is latest platform to help acts de-risk tours

Touting (scalping) is an ongoing problem for mega-acts, where demand far outstrips supply. The inverse, of course, is the case for smaller acts – where tours can lose them money and small venues are often sparsely attended. RoadNation is the latest platform aiming to help, by developing what it is terming a “direct to fan” touring […]

Tegan and Sara battle touts with ‘rush seating’ at their gigs

Tegan and Sara are excellent, so news of them playing to a half-empty venue is disheartening. But doubly so because it wasn’t the result of poor ticket sales: according to Billboard, the sparsely-attended gig on 30 September in San Diego was because touts had snaffled most of the tickets. The duo have fought back, however, by […]

Primavera Sound goes ticketless as Dice expands to Spain

Spanish live firm Primavera Sound is going to take its events ticketless, including its flagship festival in Barcelona. The company is doing it via an exclusive multi-year partnership with ticketing startup Dice, which will be powering mobile tickets for the company’s events. Dice reckons this will make Primavera Sound in Barcelona the world’s ‘biggest mobile-only […]

Billboard launches new live charts with Bandsintown

Who ordered a new chart? Anyone? Bueller? Hold up – this one is slightly different. After Rolling Stone put the Billboard charts in its crosshairs with the launch of a daily chart in July, some began to wonder if we’d hit Peak Charts for singles and albums. Thankfully the latest chart from Billboard is based around Bandsintown […]

Ticketing exchange Lyte announces a $15m funding round

Here’s a new buzzphrase for the live-music industry: ‘post-primary ticketing’. What’s that? According to ticketing firm Lyte, it’s “private label ticketing services offered to fans by the most iconic sports and entertainment brands… a platform that addresses the customer needs ignored by the traditional secondary market, and it does so in a way that is […]

UK music industry issues touring warning over ‘no deal’ Brexit

We try not to get too political here at Music Ally, given our broad church of readers, but at the time of writing the prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit with the UK crashing out of the European Union at the end of October looks more likely than ever. That prospect is seriously worrying the British […]

Ticketing startup Dice expands to Italy, with FKA twigs

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with ticketing startup Dice – in March, when the company launched in the US. Now it’s expanding again, this time to Italy. Dice’s app is now live there, complete with an exclusive deal to sell tickets for FKA Twigs’ next Milan concert in November. Dice also says […]

Report predicts live-music ticket sales will top $25bn in 2023

Research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently updated its Global Entertainment & Media Outlook report, which makes all manner of predictions for the next five years. Among them the growth in sales of tickets for live-music events. The prediction is that global ticket sales will grow from just over $22bn in 2019 to more than $25bn in 2023. […]

More artists join campaign against facial-recognition at gigs

There have been two main stories about the intersection of facial-recognition technology and live music. One was Live Nation’s investment in and pilots-partnership with a startup called Blink Identity, with its technology for identifying concertgoers as they walk past its scanners, without the need for them to show tickets. The other was a controversy around the use of […]

LiveXLive revenues grew in Q2 but its losses widened slightly

US digital music company LiveXLive has published its latest financial results, which show that its revenues grew by 25.1% year-on-year to $9.5m in the second quarter of 2019. However, the company’s net losses also widened slightly, from $10.8m a year ago to just under $11m last quarter. LiveXLive’s cost of sales, at $9m, accounts for nearly […]

LiveXLive reports $9.2m of revenues but a $9.7m loss in Q1

Music firm LiveXLive, which focuses on streaming concerts as well as its Slacker audio-streaming service, has published its latest quarterly financial results. The company’s revenues grew by 29% year-on-year to $9.2m in the first quarter of 2019, although its net loss grew too: from $9.5m in Q1 2018 to $9.7m last quarter. LiveXLive also says that […]

Ticketmaster launches ‘SafeTix’ feature for digital tickets

Ticketmaster has unveiled a new feature for its digital-ticketing technology, called SafeTix. It’s about tying every ticket to the buyer’s smartphone via “an encrypted barcode that automatically refreshes every few seconds”, as well as NFC technology (if supported by their phone) that means they can ‘tap in’ when entering venues. “For fans, SafeTix will provide the […]

Galas over gigs? The future for foreign bands playing in China

It’s getting more expensive for foreign artists to play live in China, thanks to new tax regulations on overseas performers and ticket sales. That’s bad news at a time when ever-more western artists are eyeing China with intent, thanks to the boom in legal music-streaming services owned by companies like Tencent and NetEase. Now Chinese […]

Instrumental signs data partnership with Coda for talent spotting and development

Instrumental – which describes itself as a “data science-driven talent discovery business” – has partnered with live agency Coda to offer data on and insights into the fastest-growing acts that are self-releasing as well those on major or indie labels. Instrumental will create bespoke tools for Coda that will track acts across a variety of […]

Report on UK live market has lessons for other countries too

The UK’s Commons Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published its report on the future for the UK’s live-music industry, suggesting that despite a “boom” in concert and festival attendance, there are “stark challenges” for the market. While the report is focused on this one particular country, we think there are plenty […]

Stage is the latest startup planning live concerts in VR

Things have gone a little quiet around music and virtual-reality technology in recent months, don’t you think? There are still startups developing the technology with apps and services up and running, but the hype around VR possibly being The Next Big Innovation for live music has certainly died down. Perhaps partly as the interest in […]

New organisation takes aim at ticket-touting across Europe

Europe has a new campaigning group taking aim at inflated ticket-reselling. It’s called the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT for short) and has been founded by a group of promoters who’ve worked with artists including Adele, Björk, Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Iron Maiden, the Rolling Stones and Radiohead among other artists. The new body […]

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