Virtual entertainment events have been around since the nineties and have really exploded since the Covid pandemic. “Virtual events are online events that involve people interacting in a virtual environment, rather than a physical location.” Virtual entertainment events have exploded in the music industry over the last year as artists tried to stay engaged with their fans. Artists, like the rest of us, have had to learn to live and adapt in a covid world. As the pandemic recedes, virtual events continue to be part of the post pandemic entertainment scene. This may also be driven by the expansion of virtual reality to entertainment events.
Virtual Entertainment Events are Now a Fixture of the Music Business
I believe everyone in the music industry will employ virtual events and see it as a positive way to engage with their fans. Online entertainment events will be live streamed by those artists who want to see success in their music careers. A musician doing a live stream of himself doing an acoustic set will be able to reach a variety of viewers from across the globe. Creating new fans that previous artists could not begin to comprehend. These live streams reach every nook and cranny in the world. Virtual streamed events also give the everyday fan an insight about the artist’s personality and puts a face to their music. A live streamed performance would show a venue or a fan what to expect from the artist. I see a future where a live stream will be a part of performance or booking contracts. A venue and an artist can both profit from the promotion of events with online streaming platforms. If a venue or artist live streamed their event across multiple social media platforms it would garner more engagement for the venue and artist.
There are several different ways an artist can engage fans using streaming events. The approach an artist can use to develop and engage fans depends on their fame and the size of the current fan base.
This pandemic has hit new artists hard since they don’t have a large fan base. One of the ways of promoting themselves has been through virtual streaming video sites like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
A very key factor to their success is using the right algorithm and a key ingredient for virtual events are called hashtags. Hashtags are defined as “a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, to identify digital content on a specific topic.” Using five to eight hashtags after a short video or picture to digitally identify the content and relate it to other quality content is a good approach.
New artists are using this by covering songs of past and current artists and adding hashtags that are related to their virtual event such as genre, song title, mood, city, etc.
We are seeing this approach with well-known artists as well. The only difference is they have a fan base to keep their video view count pumping. They have the benefit of already having the following needed to get good engagement with their content.
Staying current is vital to an artist’s success. That means continually posting original content online. Doing so will only help them grow their fan base and engagement. if you use the proper hashtags to your virtual entertainment events it will lead to users sharing the virtual events to several other platforms. Interacting with those viewing your live streaming events is a key strategy to developing a larger fan base. The artists’ fans already feel as if they know them through their music. Engaging with the fans will help artists better understand them and makes the artist more human to the audience. These interactions help the artist know what fans want for content during future events.
In the coming years technology will allow for more immersive experiences right from our living rooms. Upcoming technology improvements will offer amazing potential for the future of virtual events. Fans will be able to attend music festivals, concerts, studio sessions, one on one acoustic sets, using virtual reality technology, all from the comfort of their living rooms. Virtual reality will make you feel that you are at the event that is 1,000 miles away from wherever you are. It gives new and old artists a whole new dimension in the world of ever-changing music. In the next ten years I believe we will see the use of virtual reality events from become more cost effective allowing the technology to be used by up-and-coming artists as well as entertainment stars.
So how can the industry leverage virtual reality to develop virtual event concepts that drive up the wow factor for their attendees? There are a lot of different ways you can use virtual or even extended reality. You can create promotional video content, or a creative music video that puts you in a world where the fans have never been. This will also give fans a way to see the artists in a new light. There are now theaters modified to provide virtual reality concerts where viewers can select their perspective in the concert hall. While virtual events will never replace the experience of a live concert, they can be the next best thing and add some serious value in how we can make live steam or television. They can be a great way to develop excitement in fans in ways never anticipated by artists.
Virtual entertainment events will forever be a staple in the music industry. They are an undeniable fixture after all the changes we have seen over the last year. From new artists learning using them for successful self-promotion to mainstream artists staying current with the times and technology. It is a new challenge for everyone involved in the music industry. With advancements in virtual reality, we will need to be able to adapt more than ever. As a good friend of mine says “Everyone getting on, get on; everyone getting off, get off; because this train is not stopping.”
TSE Entertainment provides resources to its artists to help them learn best practices for promoting themselves using social media and streaming platforms.