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MSK Guide takes a closer look at the pros and cons of these online shows, which came to stay

More than a year has passed since COVID-19 knocked on our doors. The reality is that we still have a long way to get rid of this pandemic to willingly retake the activities that were common in our lives before this outbreak.

Enjoying live performances of our favorite artists is one of those pleasures we have had to postpone, although the endeavor of online concerts has come to soften those nostalgias and their good results point to their permanence in time, even after the pandemic.

Even though this is a growing experience, MSK Guide wanted to approach some of the strengths and weaknesses of this type of show, to contribute to the collective learning towards a better outcome.

The use of digital platforms allows, definitely, a greater reach, since anyone can attend our events without worrying about the location and also because the musical proposal can be reached from everywhere.

Any person with an internet connection can get to our broadcast without the need of a ticket or moving to a given location. At the time you want, and from the comfort of your house, the concert will be available, because after the live transmission the product remains in the digital platforms.

Production costs are reduced compared to a face-to-face event; in addition, most streaming platforms are free of charge and the use of this service does not require prior reservation.

Due to the features of online platforms which allow this type of shows, it is possible to know details about the viewers, their age ranges, gender, geographical origin and other data that can help us with the strategies inherent to social networks and the digital scenario in general.

There are several mechanisms to make profits out of this kind of shows. According to El País newspaper, 90 percent of streamed concerts in March 2020 were free of charge, while currently 82 percent of them are paid.

However, the first disadvantage from this topic is derived; it is not easy for the audience to pay the “ticket” to a concert they do not actually attend. In addition, for Cuba, many payment platforms are blocked, due to restrictions imposed by the United States.

This is a new area, but it is obvious that any public presentation –digital spaces included–, requires ha-ving all authorship rights over the material. Furthermore, there are difficulties in controlling the use of the audiovisual, because once it is fully available on the network, it can be downloaded and even illegally marketed; whereas it loses commercial value for the legitimate owner.

During the presentation, there may be network connectivity problems, both in broadcasting and reception, particularly in the Cuban case where signal quality and access costs make participation difficult. On the other hand, there is a tendency to underestimate the quality of the image demanded by this type of show.

Usually the audience is in locations out of the view of the organizers, so they can be distracted and even change activities without being noticed by the planners.

Despite these handicaps, experience shows that the music industry is moving towards a business model that mix both digital and face-to-face performances, thus the suggestion of MSK Guide is to take advantage of the interaction possibilities offered by these platforms.

For this kind of presentations, it is advisable to seek the help of an expert in order to plan the strategies to be followed. However, if you cannot find one, at least have an observer to monitor the participants´ reactions, not only to solve possible technical problems, but also to include in your transmission some of the elements requested by the audience.

One of the advantages of live performances is the spontaneity, the momentum that arises from the magical bond between the artists and the audience: Include that to your online shows.