Music venue Pustervik predicts permanent live streaming
“I think that what we are seeing with live streaming these days is a permanent turning point for the music industry. For sold out shows in the future, I guess the new normal will be to offer pay-per-view live streaming tickets instead of just announcing that the show has sold out,“ said Daniel Levin of the highly recognised live venue Pustervik in Göthenburg.
According to Daniel Levin, managing director of the Swedish live venue Pustervik, the Corona crisis – as bad as it may be – will also have some lasting positive effects on the live market.
“Right now we are struggling, like every organiser in Sweden and throughout the world at this time,” he said. “At the end of March we had the benefit of organising a live streamed support concert promoted and broadcast by our local newspaper Göteborgsposten, and the money raised from that concert is the main reason we are still up and running. We have tried to do some smaller concerts with acoustic sets to maintain some activity at the venue, but we felt that the risk surrounding these events was too high. So right now we are only open for the public as a pub with a maximum capacity of 50 people.”
For a popular live venue with a capacity of 900 and around 300 concerts each year, such a reduced capacity does not create much activity or raise much money.
Streaming is more than just a passing trend
“Besides our own live streamed concert in March we have also allowed a few bands to use our stage and facilities for live streamed concerts, supporting the artists,” Mr Levin stated. “These events have made us realise that live streamed events are more than just a passing trend. We do believe that there is a market for pay-per-view live streamed concerts both now and in the long run, and for this reason we have now signed up with TicketCo TV.”
Pustervik is a well known concert venue both in Sweden and within the music industry, and an obvious stop for international artists doing the concert trail in Europe. They are hosting a mixture of Swedish and international acts, with a profile that includes both metal and Americana.
Challenging for new artists
“What most of our bands have in common is a dedicated follower base, and for pay-per-view live streaming concerts I think this will benefit us. The threshold to view a live streamed concert is low, but to actually pay for a live streaming ticket takes quite some dedication. As digital consumers each and every one of us have a vast amount of free and subscription based digital content to choose from, and it takes determination to deselect all of this in favour of a paid digital event,” Mr Levin explained.
“This means that the format is very challenging for new artists, or for artists with public awareness more than public affection. Paid live streaming concerts are for those with devoted fans, and that is just the type of artists that are visiting Pustervik in normal times. It will be very exciting to see if these theories will turn out right,” he added.
Adapting to the situation
Sweden have chosen a more liberal approach to the COVID-19 crisis than the rest of Europe, but still there are strict limitations. At Pustervik they are uncertain on when they are allowed to re-open, and as a concert venue with a standing, beer consuming audience they are prepared to be among those last in line.
“We have a slight hope for the autumn, but I don’t think it is very realistic. I think the present situation may last throughout the year, and that will of course create serious problems for us. The Swedish government are doing their utmost within their limitations to ease the burden for everyone who are doing business in Sweden, and of course we are applying for all support available. But we can’t rely on this alone. We need to adapt to the situation and grasp the possibilities that are out there, and pay-per-view live streaming through TicketCo TV is a possibility we will try,” said Mr Levin.
“If it turns out the way I think it will it will also be a permanent offering from Pustervik,” he concluded.