The Rise of Online Streaming

Chae Hutchison


With the cancelling of festivals, closure of nightclubs and restrictions locking us indoors, we have been left unable to continue our regular evening antics. What would you give to experience two-stepping your way along a sticky dancefloor, 5 drinks deep and bouncing around as the DJ plays a mix you won’t forget for a week? 

Due to the closures, restrictions and banning of live music in Scotland, musicians in particular have been significantly impacted from this rule. This has stopped the majority of musicians from being able to perform, which in return has made them unemployed. Unfortunately, it is widely recognized that the live music sector has been overlooked and that there is a severe lack of funding in the music industry. It could be argued that without funding available and support, nightclubs would go extinct, without an effective strategy to keep them afloat.

Since the nightclubs have closed and live performances have been banned, artists have turned to digital methods. By moving to live streaming and streaming live content, they have been able to remain connected with their audience. Live streams have challenged artists and changed how we as an audience interact and how we consume live performances.

Overall, we both know that live streams are nowhere near the same as being there and in the moment. However, artists, events and nightclubs have offered a solution that does not necessarily combat the problem, but brings back some normality into society. They have challenged traditional avenues, introduced and embraced new approaches in order to stay creative and remain connected with their audiences. 

Even though we can listen to music through Spotify, Apple and Soundcloud, there is just something that is a bit more personal about a live stream. What makes it personal is the level of real-time interaction that brings audiences together to experience the same thing at the same time. It creates the sense of community that we associate with being at a live event, and shows how impactful visuals can be alongside sound. Musicians, DJ’s and artists have popularised live streaming and made it appealing to their target audience by utilising streaming services to capture engaging content to share with their audiences. If that wasn’t enough, it also opens up many opportunities for funding and allows room for cross-over streams, where separate streams can join together.

As the Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to prove successful, we are beginning to have restrictions somewhat eased. With the easing of restrictions, live music is now not prohibited to be played in bars and outdoor spaces, when consuming alcohol on a premise. The question is, will the return of live music be the end of virtual events? Evidence suggests that livestreaming will continue in the future as it offers those who are unable to attend events the opportunity to be present. Live streaming also offers artists to show their content to a wider range of audiences in different points to gain a further reach. This allows artists to multiply their audiences and effectively remain within a budget that is affordable. 

Online streaming is set to become the fastest growing industry since the Covid-19 outbreak and is expected to worth more than 70 billion dollars by the end of 2021. It has become so popular that it is outgrowing video on demand, which suggests that there is no slowing down of people using live streaming services, regardless of restrictions easing.

Although, dancefloors are still bare and empty, it won’t be long before we can enjoy being shoulder to shoulder in a sweaty nightclub again. But for now, you can continue to support musicians, night life and festivals by streaming previous live streams and upcoming live streams.