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Media & Entertainment

Japan's music industry explores online concerts to cure virus blues

Livestreaming readies to storm onstage as pandemic plays on

Showroom, founded in 2013, is an interactive platform for artists and fans. (Photo courtesy of Showroom)

TOKYO -- For concert promoter Hiromichi Hayashi, the live music business this year has been all but dead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Concert cancellations began to roll in on February 26, the day Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested citizens to avoid large cultural events. As of the end of May, 220 of his shows have been canceled. "We lost sales of 4.2 billion yen ($39 million) due to the cancellations," sighed Hayashi.

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