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US Music Festivals and Live Streaming: “The 23%”

Few industries in the US reach as many people as music festivals. In fact, 1 in 10 Americans attend at least one festival every year. That means that 32 million people attend at least one of the 800 festivals spread across the country, and many attend multiple events. The under-40 crowd is willing to go to greater lengths than ever to see a litany of their favorite artists in one place, traveling 903 miles on average to go to a festival. With VIP ticket prices for major festivals in the thousands, general admission can be as high as $400-$500.

So how do music festivals and live streaming relate?

Social media is quite possibly the biggest driver behind the rapid growth of US music festivals. Events like Coachella, Burning Man, and Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) each generate millions of tweets. One may not realize how much of this social media buzz is created by people who are not physically in attendance. In a study of 20 million social media conversations, Eventbrite found that 23% of these posts were made by fans who weren’t physically at the show, meaning an additional 4.6 million people tuned in remotely via livestreams (Youtube, Twitch, etc). This is a particularly noteworthy number, simply considering the potential to monetize that large group of dedicated fans.

Consider EDC, for instance, the largest festival in the US with an estimated 150,000 attendees per day. Over the event’s 3 days, EDC’s overall attendance number is somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 people. To put that in perspective, the largest music festival in the country is still 9x smaller than the 4.6 million people who tune into festivals via livestreams. This is an untapped audience that festivals can market and sell to. In fact, many of these viewers may even become attendees in the future.

So how do you attract the additional 23% to tune into your live broadcast? How do you convert this 23% into ROI through traditional means like ad-revenue? Can you convince them to visit and make purchases from your webstore? I will summarize the main points below.

  1. Create a dedicated landing page with event registration, and don’t forget to drop a conversion pixel on it.
  2. Leverage existing audience and content marketing materials to promote upcoming events.
  3. Use distribution to extend reach.
  4. Measure audience attention.
  5. Analyze your conversions.