Live broadcast of classical music and “Never Go Back” test



With COVID restrictions easing and vaccination rates rising, live concerts are returning and people seem eager to return to in-person events.

What happened to the live broadcast?

It looks like everyone and their mom have gotten ready for the camera in 2020. The year has gone from a group of string quartets playing in their living room to some very produced and paying shows.

A recent study published in Marketing Sciences showed that the consumption of music on online video streaming platforms has increased significantly, especially in countries with more COVID-19 cases, tighter lockdown policies and a sharper decline in individual mobility.

Last year, we also said the live streaming was here to stay.

The “never go back” test

As miraculous as it may sound, there is a practical framework to help predict if something will spread.

It works like this:

When you hear about a new way of doing things, our first reaction is:


But every now and then something clicks. You can tell when it’s happening because it changes the way people do things, and it’s worth paying attention to.

For example:

Uber has changed the way taxis work.

  • Press a button
  • see the car approaching on a map with a precise ETA
  • the driver has the fastest route to your destination
  • jump and it pays automatically from the app

Can you imagine going back to taxis?

  • find the phone number of a taxi service
  • call the taxi dispatch and book a taxi
  • remember ETA and wait for the car to arrive – maybe it never does?
  • come in, tell them the address
  • does the driver know how to get there?
  • handle the delicate process of manual payment options and tips

What about online concerts?

  • buy a ticket online
  • get the link
  • watch the concert in pajamas

Concerts in person

  • buy a ticket (did you get a good seat?)
  • get dressed and meet there (don’t be late!)
  • find parking
  • find your seat and watch the show
  • pay parking
  • go home

Despite the apparent ease of use for online gigs, it has yet to pass the test.

Right now, people seem to be eager to return to the concert hall. It’s happening at this moment. There is also hard science connecting live musical events and correlation with a person’s sense of well-being. You could argue that this is also why the development of mass-marketed recorded music has not killed live music.

At the same time, new digital platforms continue to be deployed. On the business side, Deezer invests in Driift and Dice acquires Boiler Room.

In the words of former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale, “Don’t confuse a clear view with a short distance.” Just because something is going to happen eventually doesn’t mean it’s going to happen anytime soon.

The coming years look more like the development of hybrid and “pandemic-proof” solutions for venues, rather than a fundamental shift in the way we consume live events.

Until then, feel free to use the “Never Go Back” framework to help you live in the future, before the future arrives. You’re welcome.


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Michel vincent
Latest articles by Michael Vincent (see everything)
Michel vincent
Latest articles by Michael Vincent (see everything)



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