Jay Chou, Faye Wong and Cui Jian joined "Cloud Singing" one after another, and the clicks of over 100 million are heart-pounding

  New technologies for online concerts bring new opportunities

  Our reporter Han Xuan

  Last weekend, the two concerts of Jay Chou's "The Strongest on the Surface" and "Magic Tianlun" were re-screened online and received nearly 100 million hits. For a time, the circle of friends and Weibo were all screened.

This Friday, Luo Dayou's first video online concert and Stefanie Sun's Douyin online singing and chatting session will appear again.

Since the epidemic, celebrities such as Faye Wong, Mayday, Eason Chan, and Cui Jian have appeared in concerts online one after another, which has become a deep memory for netizens during the special period.

As an online concert booming during the epidemic, what is its unique operation method?

Why do many celebrities choose to let viewers watch it for free?

What new attempts are there in the business model?

This is an issue that the entire industry is exploring.

  Online concerts frequently break the circle

  Jay Chou's two concerts can be said to be the peak of online concerts since the epidemic.

In fact, these two performances were not live broadcast online, but the re-screening of Jay Chou's concert a few years ago, but this did not weaken its influence at all, and the cumulative number of viewers approached 100 million.

  When Jay Chou sang songs such as "Blue and White Porcelain" and "Rainbow", the audience at the concert held a chorus with light sticks. Now the netizens in front of the screen are also singing along, and they have also posted photos and videos of themselves singing along to the Internet. A chorus of sounds formed again inside and outside the screen.

More netizens expressed their nostalgia for offline concerts on social platforms, and posted the ticket stubs, light sticks and other souvenirs of the year.

"A wave of memories to kill! I hope the epidemic is over, and I still have to watch Jay Chou!" The two days on the Internet were full of fans' obsession with idols, and also full of netizens' expectations for the resumption of offline performances, which jointly contributed to this event. "All People Watch".

  In terms of online concerts since the epidemic, there are not many re-screenings, and more are live broadcasts, or broadcast online after recording.

After the epidemic began in 2020, online concerts initially entered the audience's attention in the form of "playing and singing in the bedroom". Singers and artists recorded and broadcasted in limited space and conditions to cheer for the people of the country.

The most impressive is the "Believe in the Future" online charity performance hosted by Weibo, Netease Cloud Music, Damai, etc. Faye Wong and Chang Shilei sang "The World", and their healing voices warmed many people.

The number of online viewers for the first live broadcast of "Believe in the Future" reached 104 million, and the cumulative number of online viewers for the four performances reached 440 million, which is unimaginable for offline performances.

  With the improvement of the epidemic situation, musicians began to broadcast live or record high-standard performances in professional venues and broadcast them online.

NetEase Cloud Music launched the "Light Up Live Action", jointly planning online paid performances with LiveHouse and musicians, and paid the income to the musicians to help them resume work and production.

Later, many singers also moved the album's debut ceremony online. Li Jian sang the works from the new album at the 600-year-old Zhizhu Temple in Beijing. His humorous conversations with Yu Hua and Yue Yunpeng were even more popular. .

  In the past two years, many "superstar"-level musicians have held online performances. Every time they appear, they will cause shocks in the entire network and attract the attention of the whole people.

The online performance on Mayday in the summer of 2020 will allow the entire network to swipe the blue electronic ticket stubs; Eason Chan's two charity concerts will accompany fans to watch the sunrise and sunset; not long ago, the online concert of rock veteran Cui Jian, 46 million People relive their rock and roll feelings; now, Jay Chou's concert has been re-screened, and the number of hits has reached a new level.

  Why are superstar concerts free?

  If superstars such as Jay Chou, Mayday, and Cui Jian hold offline concerts, it is bound to be hard to get a ticket, but these few online concerts, they have a common choice: free!

  The business model of Cui Jian's concert and Jay Chou's concert re-screening is very typical.

The former is sponsored by famous car companies, the latter is launched by Tencent Music Entertainment Group, and Tencent Music also happens to be the copyright owner of Jay Chou's online music playback.

For online music platforms, whoever owns the copyright has the power to "show off muscles".

In addition to Tencent's blessing, the logo of a beverage manufacturer has always appeared on the screen of the re-screening, showing a strong sense of presence as a sponsor.

  "The platform realizes the copyrights it owns and asks sponsors to pay for it. For sponsors, this is a good opportunity for promotion." In the opinion of music critic Lu Shiwei, there is no interaction between the two platforms. The audience needs to pay more. "The brand side is interested in Jay Chou's influence, but free will allow the promotion of the brand to reach more people."

  For the audience, a performance is only classified as "free" or "not free", but for practitioners, the online performance must be supported by sufficient business logic behind it, and there must be a continuous and stable business model in order to continue.

Barley's "parallel wheat field" explores business models in another form.

When Damai moved the traditional brand "Tianmo Music Festival" to live online, he chose a new way of playing. Not only did the music festival have a brand name, but musicians such as ETA Ita and the landlord's cat just finished their stage performances. I walked into the Taobao live broadcast room and used the call function provided by the brand to communicate with fans.

  Damai relies on the strong merchant resources of Ali Department behind it to realize the connection between entertainment consumption scenarios and the e-commerce system. The platform, merchants and fans can get what they need. The product link can appear in the real-time screen of the concert, and fans can go directly to e-commerce. Platforms become consumers.

Obviously, for the organizers, they prefer to attract audiences to this new consumption scene, not just stop the demand in the link of performance ticket sales.

  Lu Shiwei said that free online performance does not necessarily mean loss of money, but also depends on the fundamental purpose of holding the performance, "Just like when a singer releases an album and plays songs, they usually do not charge money for activities and announcements. It's a publicity period."

For projects that are cooperating with brand owners, just like traditional offline concerts, there are also many sponsorships. At the end of some celebrity concerts, the link of the singer reading the sponsor's name can last for several minutes. Many concerts have been able to offset the cost in the sponsorship link. Tickets sold less will not necessarily lose.

  The operating model is still being explored

  Online concerts did not originate after the epidemic, but I have to admit that the epidemic has rapidly promoted its development. For this new thing, whether its business model is unique or not, there is no conclusion in the industry.

  In the view of Lu Zhongqiang, the founder of March Culture, the current online concert market is a "winner takes all" situation. First-line artists and well-known platforms and brands achieve a win-win situation, but ordinary musicians may find it difficult to perform online. Gain influence and enough income.

Since the epidemic, Lu Zhongqiang has only cooperated with the platform for one online concert, which is "Fireworks and Folks on the Road YUN Music Festival", and musicians such as Wan Xiaoli, Ma Tiao, Zhang Weiwei, Zhang Gazhen and other musicians appeared online.

  "At that time, the platform paid the money and gave a basic fee, and the artist team solved the technical problems such as recording." Lu Zhongqiang admitted that when the offline performance was blocked, the musicians first faced the problem of survival, and the foundation provided by the platform The cost can be as high as not to lose money, but this is somewhat of a stopgap measure.

Regarding the business model of online performances, he admits that there are possibilities for diversification, "but I think the most stable income method is online ticket sales and online peripheral product sales."

  Lu Zhongqiang, who was born as a musician, has a very high pursuit of the quality of music and the sense of presence. If there is no audience in an online live performance, the singer will pretend that there is an audience below. "I feel very painful." Because of this Due to this pursuit and consideration, Lu Zhongqiang is more optimistic about music documentaries, or videos recorded during live performances with audiences in the past, "Those live shows with audiences will look more natural to me, or the early music MVs, I personally prefer. He also saw many peers trying it out, and the development of new technologies made him look forward to it. “For example, VR concerts, new technologies can better enrich the user experience.”

  With the explosion of concepts such as "metaverse", the capital market has already moved.

As early as June 2020, VR performance service provider Wave completed a $30 million financing led by Maveron.

At the end of the same year, Wave and Tencent Music Entertainment Group reached a strategic cooperation to enter the virtual concert.

In November 2021, Justin Bieber teamed up with Wave to bring the Metaverse Concert.

Although there is a lot of room for improvement in the image and actions of virtual people, the industry generally believes that virtual concerts are still a blue ocean.

  One is the operation of capital, and the other is the persistence of musicians. No matter where the online concert goes, its development points to the same direction: attracting audiences with new gameplay, and using high technology to get closer to the real offline experience.

After all, many fans will sigh from the bottom of their hearts while watching the idol's online concert: "When the epidemic is over, we will see you on the spot!"