Making a connect - an article in Deccan HeraldThe digital revolution has drastically changed the way people consume music. Every era churns out something fresh and innovative. From gramophone records, cassettes and CDs to ‘YouTube’ and ‘Vimeo’, the industry seems to have seen it all. And with the digital revolution only becoming bigger and penetrating to a mass audience, websites streaming concerts live seem to be the next big thing.

Simply put, live streaming is watching any event live, instead of downloading a file and watching it later. Thanks to websites like YouTube, Spotify and ‘Shaale Live’ which help stream continuous data, this phenomenon has been on the rise.

Martin D’Souza, one of the owners of ‘BeamitLive’, a live streaming company, says that he decided to start such a company as it was an innovative idea to reach the masses with content. Apart from concerts, they help stream business conferences, games, talks and various game shows.

“We thought that the levels of interaction on the internet will increase with such a new concept. It is also helpful as people would be eliminating the concept of time, space and travel. Bengaluru is in a phase where people are accepting this idea. Youngsters are taking in to this concept as they find it a cool, fun way of watching shows.”

He says that in one year, live streaming will become popular across circles and cities. “From the venue’s point of view, it also helps the organisers market their product. A venue can pack only so many at one point of time. Live streaming helps more people know about the venue and understand the atmosphere and ambience from a different place so people can always come back.” To large extent, he says that Bengaluru being the IT City and the popularity of smartphones here have helped people become more aware and exposed to this concept.

Jim Ankan Deka, the guitarist of ‘Eastern Fare’, finds this a different way of consuming content and says that it is a good idea if one wants to reach out to the masses. “Organisers are slowly taking this route. Many small, online companies which provide live streaming have asked us if they can live stream our concerts. It’s a good idea if artistes want to promote themselves. For this concept to come about in a big way, I feel music festivals like ‘Sunburn’ and ‘NH7’ can help make this concept popular.”

In terms of Indian classical music, where the main live streaming service provider is ‘Shaale Live’, artiste Prakash Sontakke feels that this is a great phenomenon in a genre where the audience is generally the older generation and can’t travel to experience a concert.

However, currently, musicians look at live streaming as platforms that help in exposure of artistes rather than a viable online revenue model. Vasu Dixit, the frontman of ‘Swarathma’ says, “Live streaming as a revenue model is not yet well established. People are only aware about it in terms of reach. This is why live performances are much better and still popular and music continues to be sold online through ‘iTunes’ or ‘Flipkart’. When live streaming becomes very popular, it has to be thought of from the artist’s perspective.”

Prakash adds, “The culture to pay for a piece of music online is yet to come in. Live streaming has started in small pockets but for it to come about in a massive way, different aspects of music has to be looked into and music has to be defined as a quantum in the ground level. Only then, one can understand the professional model behind it.”