The Distell E-Stream initiative was launched in April 2020, shortly after the onset of the COVID 19 Lockdown, to provide free quality at-home entertainment to South Africans who were starting to feel the economic and social impact of the global pandemic. Six months down the line, this live-stream show series, continues to support the local entertainment industry, providing much-needed income for performers, production teams and other industry role players.  It’s the only consistent free-to-air streaming initiative in South Africa of this kind and of this magnitude.

Distell Regional General Manager Sholto Sims, who is the driving force behind this initiative says, ‘The entertainment industry has been among those hardest hit by the COVID 19 lockdown. The economic impact of the lockdown has also left many South Africans cash-strapped and our intent with the monthly E-Stream show series is to bring quality entertainment to people across the country, while providing a steady stream of revenue to artists and others in the industry.’ 

‘There is a revenue stream revolution reshaping the entertainment industry, and it’s the responsibility of the business sectors that work closely with those in the industry to support them while they ride this wave,’ Sims goes on to explain.  ‘The Covid 19 lockdown has perhaps accelerated this revolution, and in doing so has exacerbated the situation.’

According to research conducted by Steve Cuzen, chief operating officer at online ticketing company Howler, the onset of the pandemic has resulted in a 40% increase in online streaming of events. He says, among the trends they spotted were that live music and entertainment were top of the stream charts, along with online education.  This means there is an audience out there. The question is – with unemployment rates now the highest they have ever been, and people counting every cent, how many people can afford to pay the ticket price to livestream their favourite musicians rocking it out on the Big Screen? And if they can, how often are they doing this?  

‘This is where Business needs to step in’ says Sims.  ‘Our entertainers, producers and production crews need to feed themselves and their families and sponsored free-to-air platforms can create consistent revenue-generating opportunities to assist them. The Distell E-Stream platform has achieved this and currently employs 52 people per month.  It also makes good business sense as we reach over 200 000 people per month through the E-Stream platform on Facebook, and the other livestream platforms we utilize – like Youtube, MixCloud, and the SA Music Library App.  In addition, this campaign reaches between 400 000 and 450 000 people per month through the social media and digital platforms of the participating artists.’ 

He attributes much of the success of this initiative to the radio partnerships with Cape-based radio stations Good Hope FM and Heart FM that have been instrumental in getting the word out and keeping the vibe going. Popular Heart FM radio personality and MC Tyrone Paulsen says he and his team are proud to be part of the Distell E-Stream initiative. ‘There’s no doubt that this platform has carried many people through these months of crisis. It’s also great that the show series content extends beyond music to encompass cooking shows, comedy, and interactive industry discussions, with the idea of encouraging support among artists and production teams. It’s been rewarding to see this come to life.’
   
From October onwards these monthly events will take place over two days each month, with the next show series planned for 9 and 10 October 2020, comprising the Hunter’s Chilled and Savanna Angry Lemon parties.
  
All E-stream shows can be viewed online at: https://www.facebook.com/estreamcpt/  

Alternatively, download the SA Music Library app from the Play Store or App store. Look out for the YouTube and Mix Cloud links on the E-Stream CPT Facebook page at estreamcpt.  These are activated an hour prior to each show. To be part of the conversation during the shows follow E-Stream CPT on Instagram at @estreamcpt; or on Facebook @estreamcpt.   

The Distell team supports responsible drinking and encourages all South Africans to go slow, stay safe and consume alcohol responsibly, wherever they may be. Alcohol Not for sale to Persons under the age of 18 years
For further information about upcoming live stream shows visit: https://www.facebook.com/estreamcpt/ or https://www.distell.co.za/newsroom/