Aloompa Insight: The Effect of Festivals on Music Streaming

  • Our fifth installment of the Festival Demand Report features data compiled from music festivals in 2016. Get access by clicking here.
  • We also review our key products and achievements from the past year.
  • We compare an artist’s show attendance data with their streaming and sales data to investigate what effect streaming has had on Headliners, Up & Coming Acts, and Legacy Artists.

2016 was another exciting year for Aloompa. We discovered new applications for our FestApp and proximity-based technology that have continued to improve the festival experience for attendees, producers, and sponsors alike. Last year we grew our Presence program by over 50% which amounted to a grand total of 3,500 beacons and nearly 800 geofences deployed across 47 festivals creating over 30 million proximity sightings. Our proximity triggers covered a total of 215 trillion square feet, which is enough space to fill Bonnaroo 7 million times! All of this data enabled sponsors to build better pictures of consumers and drive revenue before, during and after each event.

Our beacons and geofences covered a total of 215 trillion square feet, which is enough space to cover Bonnaroo seven million times!

But we’re not the only company that’s grown in the past year. According to Nielsen’s Music 360 report, festival attendance jumped up to 33% of the population of the United States, which is a staggering 105 million people (73 million more than last year). Additionally, the report stated that concerts and music festivals accounted for 44% of the total money spent on music. With so much activity in the festival space, we’re excited to show you what’s in store for us in 2017 as we seek to bring even more innovations to the live event industry.

Modern Headliners + Up & Coming Acts

If you live under a rock, you may have missed the growth of streaming platforms over the past year. These consumer-friendly platforms have created new advertising, sponsorship and marketing opportunities for music festivals and brands alike. One area we were curious to explore is whether or not an artist’s performance at a festival affected their streaming numbers. We examined this issue from different points of the artist development spectrum: Headliners, Up & Coming Acts, and Legacy Artists.

First, we looked at the streams of the top headliners within each genre and compared their streaming data to the dates of their festival sets. Surprisingly, we found that festival sets had no correlation to the change in streams for these artists.

The act of modern headliners playing a festival does not cause a significant increase in streaming.

Still convinced that festivals drove streaming traffic in some way, we decided to look into their effect on Up & Coming acts. So, we compiled a list of 50 artists with festival demand scores below 20 that played at least two festivals. Again, we compared their set dates to their streaming data. This time, however, we found the average change in streams for these fifty artists in the two weeks prior to their festival set was 7%. For a smaller artists, this was a noticeable jump compared to their average rise in streaming on a normal week, which was only 3%. Additionally, smaller artists saw a bump in streaming of 6% in the two weeks following lineup announcements. However, we found no notable increase in streams for these Up & Coming artists in the weeks following their festival set.

This challenges the widely accepted perception that music festivals drive new artist discovery. We also found that niche festivals were no more likely to drive streaming traffic than mass- market festivals. Additionally, we investigated the correlation between an artist’s demand score at a particular festival and their change in streaming post-event and found no cause and effect relationships. Both of these metrics reflect the change in consumers’ expectations of the value of a festival. Traditionally, a festival’s primary function for consumers was efficiency and music discovery. Now, with social media and streaming services bridging the gap between artists and fans, consumers no longer require the discovery of new acts at festivals. Instead, they are looking to grow their current relationships with their favorite artists by sharing an unforgettable experience with them. This hypothesis is supported by a recent study by Eventbrite that stated that only 9% of hardcore festival attendees (attends 5–6 festivals per year) go to music festivals for the purpose of discovering new music.

Want to read more? Click below to access the rest of this Festival Demand Report.