December 21, 2021
Key Insights on Live Events From 2021
The Kiswe team reviews some of the important lessons learned on powering live events.
As the Kiswe team begins to wrap up 2021, we’re taking a step back to review some of the important milestones and valuable insights that we’ve gathered from powering live events. This year, we were fortunate to partner with influential acts like BTS, AJR and SEVENTEEN, along with charities like BlinkNow to deliver interactive live events to millions of people using our cloud technology. Here are just some of the lessons learned that can be useful to brands, bands and businesses as they seek to scale their live events and connect with global audiences.
1) Building a reliable infrastructure to scale and handle audiences of any size is crucial
In an online concert with BTS, Kiswe had over 756,000 viewers tuned in at the same time. Scott Miller, VP of Engineering at Kiswe, explained in a recent case study with PubNub how large-scale events like these can create a lot of traffic quickly. Thus, being able to reliably deliver a live stream without any latency is key to providing a seamless experience and make at-home fans feel like they’re at the venue. “The key to overcoming the pioneering tax is accountability,” stated Kiswe CEO Mike Schabel in an op-ed with Billboard. Just as physical events have limitations, technology companies in the evolving live streaming space need to be able to define expectations and set requirements early to avoid any mishaps.
2) Adding seamless ways to buy merch enhances the concert experience
According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, artists generally gain about 80% of their revenue from tours and merch sales, making it crucial to capture opportunities from in-person events where possible. Allowing fans to buy custom merch brings some of the joy of offline experiences and provides a path for artists and labels to add incremental revenue during shows. During AJR’s “One Spectacular Night" livestream, the band made the show memorable by offering limited merch bundles that could only be purchased during the event. Additionally, virtual stickers allowed fans to express themselves in the chat beyond just text-based conversations.
3) Live chats and interactions prove to be a compelling way for fans at home to engage with their favorite artists
From interactive concerts to live fundraisers, Kiswe’s cloud video engine powered over 1 billion interactions this past year which included chats, “likes'' and polls from audiences in over 200 countries and regions. This important milestone showcases how audiences at home can contribute to a live event in a meaningful way and have their voice be heard from afar. Event organizers are also able to provide an effective way to measure and assess engagement from audiences outside of an arena or venue.
4) Building safe online experiences and communities requires working with the brand and fans
Online platforms need to be secure enough to keep communities safe, but flexible enough to let artists dictate how they want to connect with their fans. By working in conjunction with partners to build out our platform, Kiswe was able to give artists the tools they needed to make their own decisions. For instance, artists could specify banned words from chats or moderate user-generated content on the fly such as live reaction videos that are sent back to the main view.
5) Accessibility and inclusivity for global fans are key
BTS’ online concerts have the power to reach fans in 200 countries and regions. That means having real-time captioning is necessary to speak to global audiences. With Kiswe’s global concerts, we separated chats by languages including Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English, so that fans in their local regions could feel even more connected. Additionally, with the ongoing pandemic, many people were still unable to travel and gather in venues to see their favorite acts perform live. By offering a livestream option, more fans are able to take part of a larger movement instead of those limited to a physical location.
6) Real-time data and insights enables brands and artists to connect directly audiences
At in-person shows, the interaction of crowds could be measured by the audiences’ cheers and jeers. With livestreams, additional tools like sentiment analysis and audience interaction enable brands to go one step further and understand how audiences are feeling during an event. Having access to this type of data can empower artists and event organizers to react and respond to fans directly, opening avenues for personalization with content and services that resonate uniquely with individuals.
Last week, SportsPro held its annual OTT Summit in Madrid, Spain to discuss the latest topics and trends taking place in the industry.
With live events and games at a standstill, we here at Kiswe have been ramping up our efforts to help our partners find creative solutions to continue programming and to keep audiences engaged.