YouTube Music EMEA director Dan Chalmers has spoken about the impact of music livestreams on the platform.
In the latest issue of Music Week, Chalmers opens up about the growing ambitions for YouTube within dance music. The video platform is already strong in terms of rap and pop.
Livestream events from Defected Records, Boiler Room and Tomorrowland have racked up big numbers on YouTube. DJs such as David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Diplo have also embraced the format during lockdown.
“Obviously, this is a stressful time for the whole world, and I think dance [music] is a way to let yourself go, experience a different world and party with your friends, even if it is virtually,” said Chalmers.
“Technology adoption has been forced on parts of society quicker than it may have been in the past due to Covid-19. I think that these types of virtual events and the responses we've seen will be here to stay. The numbers of some of the livestreams have been significant. It far outweighs any of the physical audiences in the clubs, plus you're playing immediately to a global audience. It's really exciting, for the talent and ourselves.”
The whole industry sees us as a really integral part of their business
While the ad-funded free service is driving the livestreams, Chalmers suggested the growth of such performances can also benefit the ad-free subscription service YouTube Music.
“We have two twin engines as we like to describe them,” said Chalmers. “There’s the AVOD [ad-based video on demand] platform, but there's also the subscription video on demand, which is ad-free and we're seeing great demand for that as well at the moment as watch time has increased, particularly towards the living room. The more premium content we can put on the platform, the better it is for both of those businesses.”
Two years on from its launch, Chalmers said that YouTube Music has become a key player in the music streaming landscape. It has just unveiled its 2020 Foundry programme of independent rising stars.
“The strength of the engagement from the community, whether it be labels publishers, artists and managers, it speaks to the success of the platform,” said Chalmers. “The whole industry sees us as a really integral part of their business and their journey as an artist. So we’re pleased with the progress.”
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