Remote performances and remote audiences
Of course, technology hasn’t been without remote alternatives. Even before the lockdown effect, we already saw concerts being held on gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. From the music world alone, Billboard counts over 100 live events from a broad spectrum of technology conferences to major concerts that have been canceled or postponed, and many of these looked for alternatives.
Some global brands and independent events chose to take to the virtual space, using live digital broadcast and/or virtual reality elements to improvise.
Billie Eilish’s own livestream performance is a medium that thousands of other music artists and entertainment performers have started to do for months now. We’ve seen virtual DJ concerts being done for charity like the crypto-backed The Giving Block has organized several times this year.
So these events have filled the gap so far. They’ve at least made it possible for people to still get entertained from their own homes, enjoying sports, music and theater all from the comfort of their own homes.
Yet there have been several shortfalls identified by these technologies.
From a results perspective, livestreaming events are looking at mixed fortunes, David Guetta’s United at Home Concert in May counted in 9.4 million views… but more independent tech startups like The Giving Block did not seem to get much traction from their efforts. Simply put, people just weren’t streaming in.
And perhaps this has a lot to do with the gap in terms of the interaction and engagement element on these virtual events, where the presence of people are generally missing.
As we said above, performers like Eilish wouldn’t be able to hear her audience. In Fortnite concerts, you only see yourself represented by an Avatar, and the performance is pre-recorded — meaning to say, there’s almost no way for a performer to react to the crowd impulse as they would in a real concert.
Part of that problem lies with the technology that focuses on Virtual Reality (VR), which does little to expand on or enhance existing realities. And this is why we believe that solutions like OVR Live are going to change this situation, by improving the way performers interact with their audience and vice versa!