So that was it, another annus horribilis, where after that fine Sound Track finale we were forced to close the door of 2021 behind us again. A year in which the door was more often closed than open, and the uncertainties continually leap-frogged one another. Fortunately there is still Decky’s big ABtv Annual Recap, because that is one digital certainty you’ve been able to count on for 12 years now.
Many concerts were cancelled or postponed several times. In the history of this fine house, never has there been so little music heard. Yet– thanks in part to the recently launched Pickx series, Black History Month, and Podium19 in the spring – we continued to record and stream concerts. Doing so mainly to provide our online music fans at home with what really matters: live music.
And, as contradictory as it may sound, we broke all our viewing figures records for the 5th year in a row… with almost 10 million views. Johan Cruyff’s famous statement ‘Every disadvantage has its advantage’, is not gathering any dust for the moment.
Just as in the past 4 years, we again had viewers in every country around the world. We Belgians took the lead with 11% from the Americans (9.5%), closely followed by the French (7.9%), the Germans (5.7%) and the Brazilians (4%). But even in the furthest corners of the globe there have been people watching a ‘Live at AB’.
For example, Intergalactic Lovers still have some die-hard fans in the sultanate of Oman and there were 13 Slovenians watching Dans for half an hour. In Guadeloupe they dream of an indigo night with Belgian prodigy Tamino, who is also taking over Turkey at a fast pace – if we can take uncle Google’s digital word for it (250,000 views in Turkey alone). It’s always nice to see that our talents are also appreciated abroad.
Ry X, cleanly supported by our very own Brussels Philharmonic Soloists, hopped up onto the highest podium in 2021 and can call himself the Max Verstappen of our internet highway, with 1,6 million views. With 3,6 million all time views, his concert is one of the most viewed videos on ABtv. Sam Smith had to settle for silver with 850,000 views, and Cigarettes After Sex could claim bronze with 550,000 views.
Truly remarkable: our YouTube audience gets slightly younger every year. Half of all viewers are aged between 13-34, and there are still more men attending a live concert online: 67% male vs 33% female. The average viewing time was no less than 19 minutes and 17 seconds, which is phenomenally long by internet standards and once again reflects the appreciation of our live content. By the end of this year we will clock in at 80K loyal subscribers.
We mainly livestreamed on Facebook and in doing so we were at least able to bring AB and its live music a little closer to the people who normally come to us. And they made it very clear, in the massive amounts of comments, that there is a need for culture and for ‘doing an AB’ every now and then. But they will have to exercise patience, as will we, I’m afraid. Unfortunately, the Greek alphabet doesn’t end with omicron… .
Bon, time to wish you all a happy new year and swoosh off into the mountains. Next year we will continue as usual and celebrate our 100,000th ABtv subscriber! Word is already on the street that it will be a nasty dirty party 😊 .
Stay tuned & stay safe!
Top 10 most viewed concerts in 2021
- Ry X and The Brussels Philharmonic SoloistsSam Smith
- Cigarettes After Sex
- Xavier Rudd
- Tenacious D
- All Them Witches
- Kruder & Dorfmeister
- Fat Freddy’s Drop
Top 10 most viewed facebook live in 2021
- Naïma Joris
- Dans Dans
- Altin Gun
- Thurston Moore Group
- Crossbones Trombones
- Echos of Zoo