Bhau Daji Lad has created a virtual walk-through for some of its art collections
Not all art institutions or artists can plot a similar path. Hence the need to create a sustainable future without live audiences is driving many into new relationships. For instance, HSBC has a platform that supports stand-up comedy sketches, poetry readings and such other experiences. Several alcohol brands are promoting singers, musical acts and so on and the online ticketing platform, BookMyShow, has just launched a virtual music festival.
The pandemic has levelled the playing field in the world of Art; the virtual world plays by a common set of rules and brands are democratic in their hunt for the best fit for their consumer groups. This has thrown up several challenges; one being the need to define one’s institution or performing discipline sharply, so as to stand out in the crowd and second, a new toolkit for copyrights and monetisation.
The arts at home
Within weeks of the lockdown, NCPA@home opened up it archives free of cost. “Covid-19 has put a big dampener by not allowing audiences, so we are forced to go online. With the gramophone in 1901, offline consumption of performances is not a new thing, this time there is visual available too,” said Dr Suvarnalata Rao, Indian music head for NCPA.
BookMyShow is hosting live performances on its platform
The BDL museum developed a range of digital programmes for different constituencies. Its digital calendar is full with lectures on Indian art and history and workshops for people across age groups, its social media team has been aggressive in keeping the recall high and the museum visible in the mass of activations in the world of art.
Without a vast documented library of content, emerging artists and individual purveyors of the arts have had to plot a different path to their audiences. For them, brands such as Decathlon, MakeMyTrip, HSBC and Asian Paints among many others have helped engage with audiences/consumers holed up at home.
Protecting the brand
NCPA has been very careful in its rights and permissions so far, ensuring that they have all artists in agreement before they broadcast a performance. However this limits the number of such performances and the institutions ability to sustain itself in the future, and NCPA@Home said it will soon put an end to the free content.
While monetisation is one challenge, guarding copyrights is another, and a tougher one. Rakesh Nigam, chief executive officer (CEO) of The Indian Performing Right Society says IPRS is working on a new tariff model to meet the new requirement. “We have kept two things in mind – how to make it affordable for all users and also ensure that the authors and composers of music can successfully thrive.”
As the pandemic rages unabated, it is likely that copyright, monetisation and branding sit at the same table as the artists and their talent teams. Are the audiences ready for the brand makeover?