SHANGHAI — Bilibili will host the 11th edition of the popular Bilibili Macro Link (BML), an anime, comics, and games-oriented concert, in Shanghai on December 19. Known as “Bilibili Macro Link-Virtual Release 2020,” or simply “BML-VR” for short, the event will be China’s first concert consisting solely of Virtual YouTubers (VTuber) and Virtual Uploaders (VUp) and will feature hologram entertainment acts.
BML-VR 2020 should mark the expansion of revenue streams for virtual entertainers. Ticket prices at the event typically range from US$40 to US$195, comparable to prices commanded by Asia’s A-list pop stars and beginning November 20, fans will be able to buy VUp and VTuber concert merchandise. BML-VR 2020-related content is expected to attract one billion views in total.
“BML-VR 2020 is expected to change the way we think of Bilibili content creators, also known as Bilibili ‘Uploaders,’” commented Bilibili producer Pi Naya. “Events like BML-VR 2020 will bring more vitality to the virtual entertainment industry by expanding the attention from virtual idols, like Luo Tianyi, to a wide number of more accessible VTubers and VUps. With our highly visible event, we also hope to encourage existing VUps and VTubers to be more active and attract more people to watch their original content.”
Virtual entertainment on Bilibili has become an increasingly dynamic content category, particularly since the outbreak of COVID-19. Between January and October 2020, virtual livestream average monthly viewing hours increased by over 200% compared with the same period last year.
With Chinese and Japanese VUps and VTubers performing on the same stage, BML-VR 2020 also highlights the globalization of the virtual entertainment economy and culture. 16 Chinese and 14 Japanese virtual entertainers will participate in BML-VR 2020, including Yousa (泠鸢), Kizuna Ai (绊爱), and Hiseki Erio (绯赤艾莉欧).
This year’s concert has secured sponsorship from Alibaba’s Tmall and Wahaha, the largest beverage producer in China, showcasing the commercial value that tech giants and major consumer brands place on virtual entertainment
Bilibili has staged BMLs on 10 previous occasions since its inception in 2013. This event will be Bilibili’s first BML to be held offline since the outbreak COVID-19.