The entertainment industry is struggling right now due to the relentless COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the live music and clubbing sectors. We have seen some innovative adaptations in the world of entertainment with platforms becoming more dedicated to live streams. We had the opportunity to talk to Stéphane Schweitzer, the Director of the Dance Music dedicated streaming platform, Clubbing TV, about the state of the industry and took a look at the “new normal.”
Clubbing TV has the honor of being the first channel dedicated to clubbing and Dance Music, broadcasting over 1500 hours of clubbing streams since its launch ten years ago. In the face of the pandemic, the pioneering platform launched Clubbing.live, a minimalistic, interactive streaming service dedicated to live streams. The new platform allows Clubbing TV’s international following to interact with each other via chat during the live streams, creating a community experience at a time when we need it most.
Clubbing.live looks to tackle the copyright issues DJs faced with on the typical social media platforms, something that “restrains DJs, meaning they often perform DJ sets for their followers but get cut off if they don’t own the music right of the tracks they play. This muted the voice of the artists who are not still not allowed to play in a club, a bar or a festival for sanitary reasons, and now, even online for copyright reasons.”
Check out their new platform and get an insider’s perspective on the future of Dance Music in our interview with Schweitzer below!
Grit Daily: The clubbing world is struggling right now, how do you think the industry is going to handle the resurgence of the virus?
Stéphane Schweitzer: It will be very hard for most of the industry, especially the clubs, promoters, talents, managers, bookers and technicians, they are hit harder than anyone else, but let’s look at the bright side of things, we have many vaccination programs getting ready for Q1_2020, even earlier in the UK, this is the light at the end of our tunnel and we have a fresh start, an opportunity to make our industry fairer to all the players and the actors of the industry, I hope it will happen. But for sure I’m certain that our industry will be more creative than ever! Look at what happened during the lockdowns, for example, I was really impressed by the virtual environments which were created during the lockdown for people to enjoy live streamings differently, in a more immersive way. Or the live streaming in-game environments, this is really a new era and it’s just a small example, our industry and its talents are very creative, this is our strength and it only grew stronger during the pandemic.
GD: What are your thoughts on the virtual music festivals taking place in video game lobbies?
SS: It is interesting, not because it’s taking place in video games environments, which was more like a quick and fast way to repurpose something already existing in order to how virtual music festivals, but more because it’s going to open the festival markets to millions of game players, often from a younger age group but when they’ll turn 18, they surely will want to go. I’m often taking this example but when we did on Clubbing TV the live broadcasting of elrow at Amnesia Ibiza in summer 2019 we got so many kids reaching out to us via emails and social networks telling us they saw the show on TV and they wanted to see and experience it in real, that’s the power of TV and live streaming.
GD: How has the covid-19 pandemic affected your platform?
SS: We had to cancel so many events, we canceled more than 25 live broadcastings from major festivals and conferences in the first 6 months after March 2020, and one full ibiza season, it was very hard, but it gave us some time as well to work on many projects. For example our partnership with Tomorrowland for their digital edition opened new doors for us to work on a similar project, we created 2 virtual environments where DJs can play called ELSEWHERE, one for Clubbing TV in some kind or intergalactic stage and one with a major party promoter in Ibiza, they are produced by our Clubbing TV India team in collaboration with Pixadoo, Vj Kaycee & Minitech recordings, to be honest we would never thought about doing things like this before, this pandemic is devastating in so many ways but at least it’s also forcing us to be more creative.
GD: How are you handling the copyright issue that resulted in DJ livestreams being shut down on other platforms?
SS: We encountered the same problems. Even if we already had all the necessary agreements in place for the broadcasting of Clubbing TV as a traditional TV channel and online, paying thousands of euros of music rights per month in order to respect the rights of all the actors of the music industry but still, we were shut down anyway. it was quite unfair compared to so many players that are broadcasting and streaming without any agreement at all, and very frustrating. So this is why we decided to create our own platform, in order to be able to manage everything from A to Z without any external content ID system which wasn’t aware of the broadcasting rights we have.
GD: Do you think livestreaming will stay in high demand once we return to “normal”?
SS: Yes, we think that physical events and live streamings will co-exist in the near future or so called “New normality”. It can complement the live scene. It shall not be an alternative but something that extends the live scene to those who could not make it to the live events.