LIFE / CULTURE
Re-screening of Jay Chou concerts set record for online performances
Published: May 23, 2022 08:03 PM
Jay Chou Photo: Courtesy of Tencent Music

Jay Chou Photo: Courtesy of Tencent Music

A re-screening of two concerts from legendary Chinese singer Jay Chou earned nearly 100 million views over the weekend, a phenomenal breakthrough for streaming. Experts say this reveals the huge potential for online concerts in the pandemic era. 

On Friday and Saturday night, Chinese music platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and National K-song re-screened two concerts - Chou's 2013 "Ferris Wheel" concert and his 2019 "Strongest on the Surface" concert. 

Media reported that more than 30 hashtags related to the concerts trended on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, while the concerts together  has earned nearly 100 million views, a record for online concerts. 

"There will be more top singers in the world who will join the super-luxurious lineup for online concerts," the Global Times learnt from the Tencent Music on Monday.

The concerts stirred up plenty of nostalgia among the singer's fans.

"I was amazed that I could watch Jay Chou's concert at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. His songs represent the memories of youth for our generation," Liu Jianran, a 31-year-old die-hard fan of Chou, told the Global Times on Monday.

A veteran musical insider told the Global Times that the re-screening of Chou's concerts was "a benchmark case for online concert operations."

This is not the first time that an online concert has gone viral. In December 2021, the Westlife online concert attracted more than 27 million viewers, while a 4K remaster of the late Hong Kong SAR singer Leslie Cheung's 2000 "Passion Tour" concert released in April earned more than 17 million views, according to reports.

Zhang Peng, a film researcher at Nanjing University's National Research Center of Cultural Industries, told the Global Times on Monday that online concerts are a new means of cultural consumption for the pandemic era. 

Though they will not replace in-person concerts that provide an immersive atmosphere and live interaction, they can still offer music-lovers a sense of ceremony compared to listening to music alone.

According to the China Association of Performing Arts, the number of live performances in the first quarter of 2022 fell by 25 percent compared with the same period in 2021, while ticket revenue fell by 35 percent.

Experts said that online concerts have become an excellent means of entertainment for people who are quarantining at home. People with similar hobbies, memories and cultural aesthetics can gather together online to enjoy these performances, while companies can earn increased commercial profit from this new model. 

Liang Zhu, CEO of Tencent Music, said that during China's pandemic prevention and control period, the live broadcast of concerts by Leslie Cheung and others proved that the new online music business model can generate revenue for investors, according to the report from a local outlet in East China's Shandong Province.

For example, the exclusive title provider for Chou's concert was Pepsi.

However, online concerts have the potential to shift from occasional explosive dividends to steady continuous momentum over the long term.

"How to achieve breakthroughs in music models through digital technology and how to upgrade the audio-visual industry and extend music's presence are issues that need to be discussed for online concerts," said Zhang.