It's been almost seven months since COVID-19 began forcing the cancelation of in-person concerts, but only now is Spotify finally ready to let artists list virtual events on their official pages. Spotify announced the new feature on its Spotify For Artists blog yesterday.
Virtual events have quickly become the de facto way to enjoy live music during the COVID-19 pandemic, made possible by live-streaming platforms like Twitch and Instagram’s Live feature.
“With many tours postponed until 2021, the necessity for these virtual events is set to continue, and we want to make it easy for Spotify listeners to learn about virtual events for the artists they love, as well as artists they’re discovering for the first time,” the post explains.
Spotify is onto something here: the coronavirus has made concerts look very much like cesspools, and, yes, people are very much interested in virtual alternatives. The only question is why it took so long for the streaming giant to get on the, umm, bandwagon.
How it works — Artists (or their management teams) will need to take the lead in order to utilize the feature. If an artist has an upcoming virtual show they’d like featured on their Spotify page, they’ll need to list the event directly through Songkick.
The shows themselves can be hosted anywhere on the web — whether through a streaming service or a personal website — as long as it’s listed on Songkick. Any tickets will need to be sold on Ticketmaster. Spotify says a “select number of Ticketmaster events” will also auto-populate on Spotify.
With some corporate partners, of course — The new Spotify feature is made possible by a partnership with Songkick, a concert-discovery site that added virtual concerts to its database during the pandemic. Ticketmaster is also involved in the deal as the broker for tickets to virtual shows. Because of course it is. Where there's money to be made fleecing music-lovers, you can bet Ticketmaster will be involved.
We could’ve used this months ago — As a much-beloved music streaming platform, Spotify’s addition of virtual shows is sure to get these virtual events more page views. Virtual concerts can be featured on an artist’s page and will also be added to Spotify’s Concert Hub.
The idea makes so much sense, in fact, that it’s left us wondering why it took Spotify so long to implement it. We’ve been watching virtual concerts since March. Then again, Spotify has always been a little slow on the pandemic uptake. Maybe we shouldn’t be all that surprised.