This weekend, Kenyans are being treated to two online concerts staged by Khaligraph Jones, and gospel artistes Eunice Njeri and Evelyn Wanjiru.
The two concerts dubbed Double Bill are part of a series of events that have been lined up for artistes by Trace East Africa in conjunction with Safaricom, DStv and Showmax.
While Khaligraph was lined up to thrill thousands of his online followers last night, the other one, a gospel show, will go live tomorrow night and will be streamed live on several online channels.
What is more refreshing about tomorrow’s gig is that the two gospel artistes will be launching their new songs during the live concerts that will be transmitted from Protel Studios in Nairobi. A back-up band and a few fans will spice up the show.
“Catch me live on YouTube tonight. For every post I am putting up today, I am giving away airtime so long as you tell me why you deserve it,” Khaligraph posted on Instagram yesterday.
“We just released Worthy, a praise song by Eunice and Evelyn. The song is truly inspiring and spiritually nourishing.
"They haven’t performed it anywhere as yet. It will be exciting having them share the stage on Sunday,” said Agundabweni Akweyu of Bwenieve, the song's producer.
The artistes and event organisers are banking on the current demand for fresh entertainment from music fans at a time when most entertainment spots are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unlike the ordinary concerts, the online ones attract many people too.
The concerts have also given Kenyans who do not ordinarily attend events the opportunity to enjoy. This new move has forced artistes and other entertainment business structures to rebrand as they redirect their audiences to follow them on social media platforms.
It has also forced social media platforms to restructure some of their apps, including Facebook that has introduced an option for people to charge for access to events with Facebook Live streams.
“The live concert series opens up a social media platform for artistes to perform live in front of loving fans from all over the world.
"They also ensure Kenyan artistes continue to earn during this pandemic that has seen many lose their source of livelihood owing to the ban on public gatherings,” says Danny Mucira, Trace Eastern Africa managing director.
“Artistes and the entertainment industry have had a change in business strategies. It is no longer about the huge concerts we used to have. Everyone is changing their showbiz model to tap into the online numbers. This is where the money is,” says Shaffie Weru, who has been running a show on Instagram featuring artistes from across the continent.
In this new normal, corporate firms and other stakeholders in the entertainment industry are now battling to sponsor online projects by popular artistes who are also being used to push brand visibility for such organisations.
From food and alcohol brands to phone and other tech companies, celebrities are taking advantage of the online space to advertising for brands.
Some artistes are enjoying the windfall as this trend is getting them double the amounts they would have earned from offline projects.
The demand for online entertainment content has been on the rise with personalities hosting interactive sessions to established media houses and other entertainment establishments driving their shows to the online space.