Is it possible to press the pause button for offline performances and perform online performances to

  "customize online performances"?

  Entering March, with the repeated outbreak of the domestic new crown epidemic, many offline performances have been suspended: China Children's Art has cancelled this weekend's performances, China National Theatre has cancelled recent performances, China Philharmonic Orchestra has changed some of its recent performances, etc.

  While pressing the pause button for offline performances, some online performances are in full swing: on the evening of February 22, singer Li Jian's "Old Friends and New Concert" appeared on 6 hot searches, and the number of broadcasts on a single platform more than 30 million.

The topic of online concerts and cloud performances has once again attracted attention.

  On the one hand, with the repeated outbreak of the epidemic, live performances have not been able to return to normal, and the performance industry continues to be impacted; on the other hand, after online performances have entered the paid stage from the initial free of charge, a new format of "version customization" has emerged - such as The Xicheng Boys’ once-swiped concert is said to be customized for Chinese fans; for example, the China Opera and Dance Theater has made the 2021 annual assessment of actors into a program called “Dancing in Spring”, which has been on-demand online for a long time.

  Can online performance customization work?

  status quo

  Cloud 'model' prevails from free to paid

  Beginning in February 2020, due to the cancellation or postponement of many performances due to the epidemic, the cloud "model" has gradually become popular, and online performances such as "Cloud Theater", "Cloud Performance" and "Cloud Art" have attracted much attention.

In an interview with a reporter from Beijing Youth Daily, Pan Yan, secretary-general of the China Performance Industry Association, introduced that in the first half of 2020, when the epidemic was the worst, performances were almost completely stagnant, including state-owned and private performance groups trying to perform online. There were not too many performances at that time. Considering the business model, we just use it as a platform to communicate with the audience, expanding the communication online and enriching the cultural life of the masses during the epidemic.

  From free to paid, all kinds of online performances are available, and the scene design, sound, and stage art are constantly being upgraded and updated.

  Many Hong Kong and Taiwan singers who are difficult to carry out tours choose to sing online. For example, Wu Qingfeng, Nicholas Tse, and Zhang Huimei will all bring online performances of different forms and different perceptions in 2021. The number of reservations for the three online concerts exceeds 130,000. The audience is far more than offline.

At the same time, the concert has been continuously upgraded in terms of scene design, sound, staging and style. On February 22, singer Li Jian's "Old Friends and New Appreciation Concert" was linked to cross talk actor Yue Yunpeng, writer Yu Hua, and pianist Lang. Lang, it's a viewing point shared by close friends privately, but it is open to 30 million audiences. It is compatible with concerts, new song conferences, and friends gatherings, bringing a unique sensory experience to the audience. Some netizens think that this show goes straight to the cloud. Show "Ceiling".

  With the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, online performances have begun to try paid viewing.

Ouyang Nana's live concert in August last year charged 6 yuan; Zhang Huimei's online concert in August last year cost 30 yuan, and the final online audience was at least 20,000, and the income was conservatively estimated to be no less than 600,000 yuan .

  But at the same time, Pan Yan, secretary-general of the China Performance Industry Association, believes that the business model of online performances has not really taken shape yet, "because a performance is a cost, if it is only performed online, there is no offline performance. Income, and the price of online tickets cannot be too high, unless it is a top project, or a project with a star and a relatively large market appeal, even if the online performance sells tickets, it will be difficult to recover the cost.”

  Zhang Yiming, general manager of Beijing Huale Extraordinary Culture Communication Co., Ltd., said in an interview with a reporter from Beijing Youth Daily that many online concerts are currently free for viewers, and the biggest income comes from business sponsorship.

Even if tickets are paid, revenue is a relatively small percentage.

  In addition to pop music, some high art performances are also trying to pay for viewing.

"At present, some state-owned academies insist on exploring online performances. For example, the well-known play "Dragon and Phoenix" by the National Peking Opera Company has been broadcast live online for two consecutive years during the Spring Festival, and has gained a lot of attention. The habit of audiences to pay for online performances needs to be slowly cultivated "Pan Yan introduced that the National Peking Opera Company, together with more than a dozen Peking Opera troupes within the country, launched online performances during the epidemic for free, but the peripheral products were very popular, such as Facebook and other opera derivatives that were piled in the warehouse before. The products are almost sold out. "Although there is no particularly formed business model yet, in the exploration of online performances, we have more direct communication with the audience, and the performance agencies can more directly understand the preferences and cultural content of online audiences. need."


  Expand your impact from replication to customization

  With the gradual recovery of offline performances, online projects have declined.

However, some performance agencies believe that in the future, online performances are an extension of the industry chain of live performances, and they are continuing to explore.

Online performances are no longer simply duplicating offline content, but are becoming more and more customized. Although they have not yet brought about a substantial increase in revenue, they have expanded their influence and increased users.

  Pan Yan introduced that starting from 2021, a new feature has emerged in online performances, namely "customization of online versions".

The so-called "customization" refers to the fact that online performances can be made into performances that are completely different from offline performances with the help of technological means; in addition, there are performances specially customized for online performances. arrive.

For example, the concert held by Xicheng Boys in December last year launched a promotional spot specially tailored for Chinese fans, and eventually more than 20 million fans watched.

In terms of elegant art, "The China Opera and Dance Theater has made the 2021 annual assessment of actors into a program of "Dancing in Spring". This program has only two offline shows, but there is a special customized version online, which is not only multi-camera recording It also uses VR and other technologies, and has long been placed on online pay-for-demand." Pan Yan believes that online customized versions may become the future direction of online performance development.

  Pan Yan believes that with the continuous development of technology, the forms of online performances will be more diverse and have more possibilities. For example, the previous The9 "City of Virtual Reality" concert and Zhang Liangying's concert, etc., were realized by XR live broadcast technology. The perfect fusion of the virtual scene on the stage and the real world, the visual effects and interactive experience that can be achieved are different from ordinary online performances, and it is also a new breakthrough.


  Difficult to allocate costs, less interaction

  Xiaofei, general manager of Beijing Yuyue Culture Records, recalled that the best online concert clip he had ever seen was the meeting of Tomorrowland, a large electronic music festival in Belgium, with electronic music fans around the world.

This music festival has achieved stunning results in terms of sound effects, scenes and filming techniques.

  It is undeniable that the shortcomings of online performance projects are very obvious.

Zhang Yiming, general manager of Beijing Huale Extraordinary Culture Communication Co., Ltd., analyzed that the biggest shortcoming of online concerts is the degree of engagement and interactivity.

At this point, online has natural limitations, no matter how innovative it is, it is hard to feel better than the scene.

  "Customers have no on-site experience and can only watch through the screen. What is the difference between an online concert and watching a concert replay or watching a concert DVD? So the customer's experience is not good enough. It can’t be compared offline.” Zhang Yiming said that no matter how profitable an online performance is, from the perspective of performers and artists, this is not a sustainable good business, “There is only one performance and no live audience. It is impossible to form multiple tours. The premise of making a concert profit is to form a large-scale tour. Only in this way can the cost be shared and the income can be expanded.”

  Xiaofei analyzed that online performances are only attractive if they are free or with reduced ticket fees, and the cost of doing a concert online will never be lower than offline, "So I'm still not optimistic about high-priced online tickets. In my opinion, the performance is more of a fan channel, and a way to keep warm when the artist is limited due to the epidemic. Online performances will only be popular for a period of time, and eventually return to the essence of things. It's an immersive experience inside a closed venue, inside a sound wall."

  Pan Yan said that the investment in a large-scale concert is completely different from that of ordinary theater performances, and actors and performers will be very cautious.

Therefore, it is relatively more difficult for large-scale concerts to fully resume under the circumstances of uncertain factors such as the epidemic.

Under the circumstance that offline concerts have not fully resumed, trying online should definitely be supported and encouraged.

"In the future, there may be some singers who do not necessarily perform offline performances, but only perform online. Of course, in the long run, online cannot completely replace offline performances, because the most attractive thing about performances is that they are on-site, every performance All are unique."

  Zhang Yiming suggested that in the future, online projects can be made into different content and made into small programs like Easter eggs, such as showing the backstage situation and behind-the-scenes footage. Parallel development with offline performances.

  Text/coordinator by reporter Shou Penghuan/Liu Jianghua