The way consumers interpret live performance has changed in recent times. Before mass media, live performance was the primary form of escapism and entertainment for consumers, who were happy to leave their comes and go to the theatre. With the rise of mass media, this has changed quite dramatically – as entertainment is readily available in the form of recordings, on TV and the internet.
Instead of going to a crowded theatre to watch a performance, one can now watch a pre-made recording of the same performance from the comfort of their home – usually one of high quality that is enriched with multiple camera angles for the perfect view, colour and light correction and great editing that highlights the action etc.
Whilst theatre is still a profitable industry, it has certainly been overshadowed by the creation of TV and more recently, the internet. Theatre is usually only enjoyed today by specific theatre fans as opposed to TV which is generally enjoyed by the vast majority of the public.
In terms of the music industry, the rise of media has revolutionised the way music is released and made profitable for artists. It is exceptionally rare nowadays that a single is released without an accompanying music video in order to satiate consumers demand for visual material that they can watch online or on music TV channels. The entire process of making music now requires consideration over the fact that it is now expected for media content to be readily available for fans and listeners.
In the last few years, music sales have declined considerably year after year which has led to artists needing to find new sources of revenue which they found via touring. Live music performances serve as a way of creating a unique experience and atmosphere where consumers can experience their favourite music being played right in front of them by the artists themselves, as opposed to through a screen. Whilst once live performances were used to promote the music, it’s now the other way around.
Technological advantages have also meant that live performances are capable of being just as immersive as a filmed and edited video. Elements like specialist lighting, use of screens or even projections, pyrotechnics, all create a cinematic and effective live experience for consumers. These innovations have been essential to keeping live music alive, and without them it is likely live performance would have slipped from mainstream public interest much like theatre before it.