Post-COVID Era May See a New Hybrid Model of Live Entertainment, Says Albert Almeida of BookMyShow

Industry Watch | September 28, 2020 | Interview

Albert Almeida BookMyShow

With India slowly warming up to getting outdoors after lockdown, Unlock 4.0 has brought with it the curtain-raiser on safe and carefully planned out-of-home entertainment, giving much-needed respite to people in the country. To sense the entertainment pulse of the country, BookMyShow released its COVID consumer survey report 2.0 titled ‘Back to Out-of-Home Entertainment – Mission Live Entertainment’ focusing on out-of-home live entertainment.

In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Albert Almeida, COO - Live Entertainment, BookMyShow talks about the consumer survey report, revenue comparison between virtual and ticketing events, challenges faced and more.

Evolving Live Entertainment

“We have come a long way since the start of the lockdown and today, 70% of the virtual events on BookMyShow are ticketed, with a majority being hosted on BookMyShow Online, our streaming platform for live and virtual entertainment. We are witnessing a strong growth in ticket sales each month as awareness builds and both the variety and quality of entertainment improves. As of early August, our ticket sales had grown 700% or 7x more than when we started during the initial days of the lockdown with comedy, workshops and masterclasses, music and theatre being our top performing paid categories,” said Almeida.  

Some of the key findings from the report show that 51% of Indian entertainment lovers are eager to get out for live events, with 80% of these consumers willing to step out within 15-60 days of Unlock 4.0 while the rest would prefer to step out after 60 days. For live entertainment experiences, 77% of Indians would prefer an outdoor arena or open air venue for events, while events with seated possibilities, drive-in theatres/concerts and events with pre-defined markers to stand are the top three preferred arrangements for consumers to attend their favourite events.

Revenue comparison - virtual and real 

“From free and unproduced, we have now moved to paid and produced content and that will reflect in a huge improvement in the quality of content. While we strongly believe that there is no comparison to the on-ground live entertainment experience and consumers are evidently craving to get back to out-of-home entertainment, given the prolonged playout of the pandemic, a material return to live entertainment is likely to take a longer period to come back in full force with a staggered recovery in the immediate future,” Almeida added. 

Future of live entertainment 

Almeida said, “When we eventually return, we believe we would have built a reasonably strong online community habituated to getting some of their favourite entertainment online and delivered at home. Hence, in the post-COVID era, subject to all stakeholders coming together to resolve any roadblocks including those such as rights issues, we see the possibility of a new hybrid model where both out-of-home live entertainment and a live experience delivered home may co-exist perfectly. At BookMyShow, we are committed to offer both formats to users depending on what they prefer at the given time.”

In an exclusive conversation Albert Almeida, COO - Live Entertainment, BookMyShow talks about the company’s consumer survey report, revenue comparison between virtual and ticketing events and more.

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