In the digital age, musicians are spoilt for choice when it comes to connecting with their audience. Amid the clutter of communication tools, one medium stands out for its immense potential – live streaming. Over the years, live streaming has evolved into an influential medium that allows artists to reach fans globally, supplementing or even replacing traditional in-person events.
Numerous platforms offer live streaming services, including TikTok, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, YouNow, StageIt, and Volume. Some, like Restream, even allow simultaneous broadcasts on multiple platforms.
With such a wealth of opportunities to directly engage viewers and build a dedicated fanbase, where should you start? Here’s a quick guide to navigating the world of live streaming:
Understanding the platforms: Each platform offers unique benefits and features. It’s crucial to consider where your audience is likely to already be. Take note of alternative platforms like StageIt, which lets you sell tickets to your shows, or Volume.com, offering artists 95% of collected tips, Fan Subscriptions, and Ticketed livestreams, among other perks.
Beyond livestream concerts: Live streaming isn’t restricted to concerts. You can host Q&A sessions, panels with fellow musicians, behind-the-scenes streams, virtual songwriting sessions, or even virtual meet-and-greets!
Monetizing your livestreams: Yes, you can make money off your livestreams! This can be achieved through virtual tip jars, selling tickets or exclusive VIP bundles, merchandising (including exclusive LiveStream-only merchandise), and eventually sponsorship and/or ads. Platforms like Twitch and Facebook even have built-in digital currencies for tipping.
Experiment with formats: Live streaming allows you to tailor your content to suit your brand and the current stage of your career. Feel free to mix and match, swap one format for another, and see what resonates with your audience.
Vary your settings: Just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean you’re confined to your living room. Keep your audience engaged by alternating your performance location – whether that’s rotating between band members’ houses, hosting an acoustic set in a park, or renting a small studio for a special performance.
Engage with your fans: A live stream isn’t the same as an in-person event, so it’s crucial to make an extra effort to interact with your fans. Respond to comments during and after the live stream, thank your fans for their participation, share replays for those who missed out, and tease future livestream content to keep them coming back.
Embrace experimentation: The world of live streaming is ever-evolving. What works today might not work in a few months. Stay adaptable and open to experimenting with different formats and offerings.
In conclusion, live streaming provides independent artists with a unique opportunity to connect and engage with fans in unprecedented ways. By choosing the right platform, creating consistent, exciting content, and actively engaging with your audience, you can harness the power of live streaming to grow your career and cultivate a loyal fanbase.