By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- As musicians of all sizes across the world grapple with navigating through COVID-19, the industry and artists must now plan and chart their businesses both physically and virtually, an American media executive advised Thursday.
"We have to understand that in a post-pandemic world, this (COVID-19) is not going to be the last virus. This is not going to be the last outbreak," said Jaeson Ma, co-owner of video sharing platform Triller, in a virtual keynote speech at MU:CON Online 2020, South Korea's largest international music industry trade show, held in Seoul.
Ma, also a co-founder of 88rising, an Asia-related digital content platform catering to the Asian millennial market, added, "We have to prepare now as an industry to think of a dual way of entertainment, both physical and virtual. I think we're going to see more and more of that."
The entrepreneur also stressed that the pandemic, albeit its wide-reaching negative impact, has forced creators and media industry personnel to "get out of the old and into the new."
"It's been challenging, but I also say that crisis is where creativity is born," said Ma, highlighting how his company Triller was forced to go from live entertainment to virtual entertainment.
Ma explained that Triller had initially planned to host a live music event earlier this year but was forced to go online due to the pandemic.
TrillerFest, the platform's online music festival, brought together over 120 artists to perform back-to-back, non-stop for 72 hours straight online in April. According to Ma, the event drew over 5 million unique viewers.
"If you're thinking just (an in-person festival) for two weekends, the maximum you're talking about is maybe a few hundred thousand in attendees. We had 5 million attendees for this virtual music festival online. That's the power of virtual," Ma said.
Ma also urged music companies to go full-on digital in the post pandemic era.
"If you're not thinking 100 percent digital or somehow still thinking analog and just radio, posters and billboards and shows, etc., this is not where the world is going," he said.
Hosted annually by the state-run Korea Creative Content Agency, MU:CON Online 2020 will be held until Friday under the theme "Post Corona, Next Music Industry" but with no audience members or overseas speakers attending in person,
Conferences and showcases will be streamed live on the agency's YouTube channel.
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