The coronavirus pandemic has led to a video streaming surge and cord cutting acceleration that could affect long-lasting change in consumer viewership behavior. Rob Holmes, vice president of programming at Roku, said consumers were already looking for more value in video products before the virus and that current economic uncertainties and other factors have now heightened that demand.
Thanks to a combination of promotional deals, family plans, telco bundles and international pricing, the average amount paid by Spotify Premium subscribers worldwide fell below $5 per month for the first time in history in Q1; that’s less than half the platform’s typical $9.99-per-month subscription in the US.
According to the company, its PPV platform “will drive a new revenue-sharing model for both artists and LiveXLive via digital ticket sales, fan tipping, digital meet and greets, merchandise sales and sponsorship.” LiveXLive’s first pay-per-view event will be the 11E1even Group-produced virtual concert series Live From Out There, featuring more than 45 live performances starting on Friday, May 15 and continuing for four weeks until June 7.
South by Southwest, the film festival held in Austin, Texas, will show seven competition projects from its virtual cinema program on Oculus TV from May 22 to May 31. SXSW was canceled by local government officials just a week before it was set to kick off in in March. However, 39 shorts, features and episodic programs were streamed on Amazon Prime Video between April 27 and May 6.
As international theaters lay out plans to return to business — leading independent cinema chain VUE just unveiled a proposal to reopen its British cinemas by July 4, following similar moves by theaters across selected territories in continental Europe — many are questioning the logic of theatrical windowing, arguing the shift to online or all-platform releases is inevitable.
The early arrival of “Hamilton” on Disney Plus was welcome news to audiences, who will now get the chance to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical about the ten-dollar founding father while pent up at home. Movie theater owners, whose businesses have been almost entirely shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, might be decidedly less enthused.
What has become abundantly clear in the past quarter is that the coming recession, which was inevitable but surely exacerbated by the coronavirus, will force a Darwinian winnowing out of the weak and add more muscle to those that are strong. That also represents a speeding up of the media consolidation trend that was well underway.
With some states preparing to reopen movie theaters but few new releases on the books for months, Hollywood studios are offering exhibitors popular films including “Jaws” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to entice wary audiences back to cinemas. For such older titles, studios are planning to take as little as 30% of ticket revenue, according to people familiar with the matter, a discount from the typical 50-50 split on new films.
Nobody said hosting America’s first socially-distanced concert was going to be easy. But for country-rock artist Travis McCready of Bishop Gunn, apparently it’s worth it. The show, slated for this Friday, May 15th at TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas, will only be sold at 20% capacity so that people can keep their distance from one another. As a result, the normal venue capacity of 1,100 will be chopped to 229.
The UK’s Musicians’ Union and The Ivors Academy have teamed up for a campaign called ‘Keep Music Alive’ which the two organisations say “aims to ‘fix streaming’ and calls for industry stakeholders to come together to agree an equitable, sustainable and transparent model for royalty distribution in the streaming era”.