Marling performed an hour-long set for a UK/EU geo-blocked audience of 4,000 fans who purchased PPV tickets at £12 each on Saturday (June 6), followed by a second show for a US audience later in the evening. The venue was empty apart from a skeletal crew of sound, camera, lighting, and limited staff operating under social distancing measures.
Filmed in Ultra HD, the concerts were the first to be streamed as part of a link-up between ATC, ticketing company Dice and Pulse Films, who have partnered to create a new company to deliver PPV concerts in collaboration with YouTube.
"The way the public engage with each other and consume media as a whole will be permanently changed as a result of this crisis, and we should not expect it to be any different in music," said Alex Bruford of ATC, which manages Marling.
"We have clearly seen a demand to experience live music online, but after the initial flurry of streaming from home the audience are looking for a better experience. The fans want to have a similar feeling to the one they get from going to shows, which means the best possible production and audience engagement as well as making it a unique experience – and for that they are willing to pay.
"We believe PPV is here to stay and will be an important part of artists release campaigns going forward, working in tandem with their traditional touring and allowing them to reach fans all over the world."
This period has forced everyone in the live business to re-evaluate the way they work
Marling, whose critically acclaimed latest album Song For Our Daughter came out via Partisan/Chrysalis in April, had been due to tour in May, prior to the Covid-19 shutdown.
"This period has forced everyone in the live business to re-evaluate the way they work," said Bruford. "The level of dialogue between all stakeholders in the business has been encouraging, and fierce competitors are working together to find the best way forward. Those that embrace new opportunities and ideas will lead the way in the future."
ATC Live partner and agent Bruford, whose clients include Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Metronomy, suggested some of the knock-on effects of the coronavirus crisis could be positive for the industry.
"Whilst undoubtedly it will be a leaner business, I am optimistic we can leave some of the arrogance and archaic working methods behind and move towards a modernised business built on collaboration, respect and progressive thinking," he said.
Subscribers can get the inside story on Lewis Capaldi's A Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent livestream gig, as featured in this week's magazine, here and check out our interview with Dice's Russ Tannen here.