Livestream performance trend continues as Chinese band Mayday holds online concert
Published: Jun 01, 2020 11:18 PM

Mayday holds the concert. Photo: screenshot of video posted on Sina Weibo

During a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is acting as a major roadblock for live shows, the appropriately named Chinese band Mayday held a free online concert for fans on Sunday, the last day of May. The livestream drew in more than 35 million viewers on China's Tencent Music and swept Chinese social media, further cementing the online performance trend as something that is here to stay.

The hashtag for the concert has been viewed more than 890 million times on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo as of Monday afternoon, while images from the show dominated WeChat as users waxed nostalgic about the songs from their youth. 

Mayday is a band from the island of Taiwan that debuted in 1999. The band has produced many songs winning universal praise since debut such as "Viva Love" and "Suddenly Missing You So Bad."

"Mayday's songs accompanied me during my high school and college days. Whenever I hear these familiar melodies, that worry-free and lively time comes to mind," a fan of the band surnamed Liu, who watched the livestream, told the Global Times on Monday. 

It was not just only ordinary netizens who tuned in, but celebrities as well. Jun, a member of South Korean boy band Seventeen, posted his feelings online while listening to the concert, saying that the song "Suddenly Missing You So Bad" touched him deeply. 

The concert was broadcast from the Taipei Municipal Stadium, the site of the band's first major concert after their debut. While the venue normally seats thousands, due to the ongoing pandemic no audiences were in attendance. 

The seats were not empty though; a glow stick was placed in each seat, seeming like they were waiting for someone to come along and wave them. 

These small details and the free price moved Mayday's fans. 

"We can tell the band worked hard to prepare for the concert as the visual and audio quality of the video was very high. This is the best gift to us during this annoying pandemic," Liu said.

The concert on Sunday was just the latest in what is becoming a growing trend amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Online concerts, at their most basic, are a content business and only high quality content can attract paying users and finally improve the sustainable development of the music industry," Fan Zhihui, a music industry analyst, told the Global Times, noting that while the Mayday concert was free, its quality is a good example of what people would be willing to pay for.

Fan said that in the long run, as people's viewing habits change and content continues to improve, online music performances will have more opportunities to develop as people become willing to pay for content. 

"The content of online concerts should become more diversified. Producers can add more real-time interactions with audiences during livestreams and include elements such as interviews," he suggested. 

The test of whether or not people in China will be willing to pay for these types of livestream performances comes on Saturday, when Chinese singer HaoYun held an online solo concert on Chinese video platform Youku. Fans who want to tune in will have to pay for VIP membership to the platform.