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BTS claim livestreaming record following Bang Bang Con online show

By | Published on Tuesday 16 June 2020


BTS are claiming a record for the largest ever attendance for a paid-for online performance. At its peak – according to the band’s management company Big Hit – more than three quarters of a million people were concurrently tuned in to their livestreamed show, ‘Bang Bang Con: The Live’, on Sunday.

That show took place during what would have been a gap between the group’s North American and European tour dates this year. All of which have been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously.

Fans who bought tickets for the livestreamed concert were treated to a 100 minute performance, which saw the band move around a virtual house, with five rooms and two stages. Fans were also able to chose from multiple camera views. Over the course of nearly two hours, they performed a setlist of fourteen songs covering their entire career.

Big Hit reckons that the highest number of concurrent viewers was 756,000, spanning 107 countries. The company then says that this is a record for a ticketed online event. And you can try to argue with that if you want, but the Guinness Book Of World Records doesn’t currently have anything else to measure that claim against.

The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has led to an almost complete shutdown of the live music industry, with little certainty as to when things will return to normal. As a result, livestreaming is currently enjoying a boom – from free shows performed in musicians’ living rooms on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to larger-scale paid productions like this one.

This show was put together as a consolation for BTS fans because the band were not able to tour in the real world. However, obviously the big talking point is whether what is being done here will become part of the music industry long-term even once conventional tours and shows are back up and running.

Obviously for bands with such a massive international fanbase – like BTS – where you’ll never be able to play live for everyone in any one year, there is probably more long-term potential. What is still being tested is what platforms and experiences work best and how much money fans will pay. Issues around music licensing will also need to be tackled.

But for now, BTS’s dabbling with performing online seems to have definitely gone down well. Big Hit also reports that the performance prompted around 10,000 new sign-ups to the BTS fanclub.