Skype/Google Hangouts Gig Series: Part III – Impact on the Music Industry


Written by Mary Woodcock

07 October 2014

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The musical evolution that has furnished our world, with our modern day technology completely astounds me. Still, I can’t believe, we live in a contemporary environment of automation, where we now can see and speak to someone who resides on the most desolate part of our planet, let alone listen to them sing and perform.

One must comprehend, while growing up addicted to Star Wars and Star Trek that it was only a dream to contemplate the methodologies behind seeing someone let alone speak to them via two screens whether it is computer, telephone or a tablet. The innovators of our time have taken all of these inner working mechanics to bring an essential tool to fruition that can benefit the entire world not simply a few of our population. I consider music to be one of the universal languages of humanity; to be able to share that gift over oceans, deserts and rainforests mesmerizes me. 

Over the last few weeks, I have given much thought to the content of this final Skype/Google Hangout piece and genuinely what this specialised technology means on a whole for the music industry. First off, I must say that nothing would take the synergy of being directly in front a performer singing live on stage, to the point that a spectator can feel all the warm sweat dripping from the musicians, catching either a guitar pic or drum stick that’s been tossed into the audience.

This concept however, genuinely opens an entirely new assortment of options that may benefit the indie scene. First off, indie artists who offer Skype/Google Hangout gigs have their own controlled fate via deciding whom they do and not perform to. Think about it, there really isn’t anything preventing any indie artist from setting up the opportunity for this sort of performance. A Skype/Google Hangout provides the essential characteristic of being able to control a part of your musical fate/destiny. Let’s daydream a bit shall we, if an indie artist already has the basics: internet connection, decent computer, PayPal and their instruments what is stopping these exquisite creatures from hosting their own gigs?

Skype/Google Hangout performances are one way of exposing ourselves to the unique voices of indie artists that could lead to significant event options in larger venues. Let’s take one of the very first Google Hangout gigs for example like Daria Musk, while on her way to a gig, her brother mentioned Google Hangouts and the possibility of an interactive concert, which she has stated changed her life. I totally believe that, this moment provided Daria with the necessary platform required to engage with an audience while having her compositions heard… This concept is open to all musical artists, I am beginning to wonder why it is not widely advertised — this option provides various venues all over the globe not only to have someone perform but also bring out awareness, a concept so desperately needed for these lovely indie creatures that I relish scribing about.

Honestly, this tech can also benefit venues with this offer of service to not only the artisan but also the establishment’s customers. The Bedford in Balham UK, which has been the starting points for many bands including The Clash & U2, has taken a modern approach to how better project sensational music to the world. Keep in mind though that streaming live gigs and being able to participate and speak to the actual artist are two different things.

Now, how about tossing another thought process into the mix, if I may? What about the concept of streaming these events in addition to a Skype/Google Hangout option available for those of us who do not have the benefit of attending that specific local due to distance. To have that direct contact between spectator and performer at a larger venue would genuinely be something to behold. Imagine if you will, a live performance, audience scattered through out the venue listening with a massive screen at the back with myriads of spectators from various countries watching and participating!

In life, regardless of our craft it is quite essential to take the opportunities that are handed to us, to make our core fantasies into something tangible. This Skype/Google Hangout concept allows indie artists to do just that – having one static space where all instruments would be located the majority of the time as opposed to moving everything, setting up and tearing down, day after day, night after night.

It takes an immense amount of tenacity, courage and determination to be able to do it your own way…Skype/Google Hangout is a fantastic tool to utilize in discovering ones own path!  

This article was written by Rania M M Watts – you can also read here personal blog here!


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