"It needs to be more akin to live theatre": Tap Music on the secrets of livestream success

Tap Music’s Ben Mawson and Ed Millet – who manage some of the biggest acts in the world, including this month’s coverstar Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Ellie GouldingDermot Kennedy and Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock – have shared some of their secrets of success at the Music Week Tech Summit 2021.   

The pair – who took home the Manager Of The Year honour at the 2020 Music Week Awards – addressed a host of topics in their special keynote interview.

One of their key insights was on how to make the most of an artist’s livestream. Dua Lipa’s ticketed Studio 2054 extravaganza memorably raised the bar last year, featuring guest stars like Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, FKA Twigs and ending up reaching in excess of five million people.

In their Tech Summit interview, Tap’s Ed Millett opened up about how their approach to Lipa’s livestream was informed by them watching a lot of ones that seemed to just deliver a straight gig, albeit without an audience.

“The way we talked about approaching it was really thinking about how you could link the songs together in a way that doesn't necessitate that crowd reaction,” he explained. “Suddenly it took shape into something that's telling a story using the music and is actually more akin to a live theatre piece, than it is a live show. All along it was not thinking about what's lacking, it's about what does this opportunity gives us. It's an hour's TV special, essentially, for an artist to just go nuts creatively.”

Tap also spoke about their biggest learning curve, aside from delivering on the actual concepts behind the livestreams.

“It was a challenge with tickets, because you have to try and persuade fans that they weren't just paying for something that they'd had loads of on Instagram for free," said Ben Mawson. "The marketing side was a big learning curve, because it wasn't a conventional tour and then, also, there's an infinite amount of tickets, so how do you make people feel an urgency to buy a ticket?”

Tap detailed their own approach that worked so well for Dua Lipa’s livestream.

“We rallied the agents and promoters and did a very localised marketing approach with them,” explained Mawson. “And we used trailers, too, all to make it clear that this wasn't the conventional live show.”

Mason also pointed out that with Studio2054’s relaunch – including a new documentary – livestreams have a much longer shelf-life than many people think.

“We've managed to do more local licenses in huge territories like Vietnam and Philippines, so there is a possibility that we're going to, over a longer period of time, beat our own record."

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