While live music fans have been lamenting the cancellations of festivals and venues, we’ve been treated to an onslaught of free live streamed performances. However, as the closures continue on, possibly even into 2021, we may be trending towards the end of free live streams.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced they will be adding “the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook – anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences.” This detail came buried in a post highlighting Facebook’s changes attempting to make communication while social distancing easier.
Facebook is the first of the major streaming platforms to experiment with an optional pay-to-watch feature on live streams. The update will certainly prove to help artists financially struggling through lockdowns, but could also prove to frustrate music fans who have become accustomed to free streams. As of now, no artists or festivals have announced plans to move to the payment system.