Live Streaming Tips for Musicians

Streaming is not a new concept for musicians. Websites like Stageit or Concert Window have already allowed musicians to reach their fans and broadcast concerts online. However, Twitch, YouTube, Periscope offer music creators something bigger than that - an absolutely new level of engagement, instant communication with an audience and unlimited brand creation opportunities. The problem is that many musicians still prefer sharing only the final cut of their creative work. Countless hours of work go into the albums they create, but fans only get the result. Maybe, not all that creative process behind the scenes is wasted, but it’s not used to its full potential. Fans want to see what goes on during rehearsals or what it’s like to be in a studio. And live streaming platforms become a perfect instrument for that purpose.

Live Streaming as a New Way to Meet-And-Greet

Live streaming is promising musicians the benefits social media failed to fulfill. Indeed, in the early days of Facebook and Twitter musicians became close to their fans and started to build a new online community. But, the newest algorithms and advertising has radically changed the situation leaving only the most devoted fans among followers. Today, live streaming is supposed to kick down walls and forster  communication between fans and performers. For the viewers, live streaming is a chance to get a glimpse of the backstage, real-life versions of their favorite artists. Viewers love off-the-cuff nature of live streaming, the possibility to watch unscripted and spontaneous broadcasts. Deadmau5 has 399,651 followers and his streamers usually get thousands views. The musician uses Twitch to share the music creative process. For him, live streaming experience helps understand what is resonating with his audience. Deadmau5 is very attentive to his fans: he loves hanging out with them, streams video games and provides Q&As.  Watch Deadmau5 Home Set in livestream on Twitch: For every musician that uses live streaming platforms, there are some do’s and don’ts that should be considered from the start. Below are some tips to help both new and seasoned performers utilize live streaming effectively.

Live Streaming Tips for Musicians

If you are one of those tech savvy musicians who want to try potential of live streaming networks, first, think about good equipment. Two basic things you need for streaming are a webcam and a good mic. Mic that built in your camera usually produces bad quality sound, and as a musician you should focus efforts on getting good sound. Second thing to consider is the format of your show - what are you going to stream? If you are out of ideas, you can create a poll on Twitter (you definitely have it!) or other social network asking your fans about what would be interesting in seeing.

Content Ideas for Musicians:

  • Rehearsals
  • Behind the scenes in the studio
  • Improvisations
  • Live Q&As
  • Scratching practice, if you are a DJ
Keep in mind that live streaming is not only about producing and presenting the content. It is more about engagement. Let your personality shine through the music you produce. On live streaming platforms, the performer is more of a focus than the art itself.  If you want Twitch or any other network work on you, involve your audience in the music practice and discussions, make them feel a part of your show. Your relationships with fans should be two-way. The most successful musicians on Twitch are those who are consistent, creative, interactive and authentic.

Ways to Engage Music Fans:

  • Take song requests from your fans
  • Let them vote on how to take a guitar during rehearsal, for example
  • Play a short music fragment to anyone who gives you a donation
Another evident, but very important thing, is getting used to a regular schedule. For a creative person, this is not easy. However, try to schedule at least several broadcasts a week, leaving a space for improvisation and sporadic streams. In any case, once you are live, share your live streaming channel on social media so that more fans can join you. Even if you get some people via Twitch search, don’t miss a chance to take advantage of your existing audience. Broadcasting music can be rewarding in terms of achieving new fans, gaining personal satisfaction, acknowledgment. It also can be rewarding in more pragmatic ways: by generating revenue from streams.

Ways to Make Money While Broadcasting Music:

  • Integrating a simple call-to-action button is an effective way to increase channel subscribers, vote for their favorite song or buy/download a new track.
  • Partners on Twitch have an option to open up subscriptions to their fans. You can offer custom exclusives for those who are subscribed.
  • Sponsorship, advertising and fans’ donations are some of the main sources of revenue on live streaming platforms.

“Busking in the Sun”: Clare Means Case Study

The story of Clare Means, a street performer from Santa Monica, is a shining example of how live streaming can change life and career. Clare Means has been playing her guitar on Santa Monica Pier for more than eight years. In 2015, Clare decided to Periscope her street performances. On her channel page she included a link to her website (enabling possible CD purchases) and a PayPal link for tips. First, she had a few people joining her during months. But, because of her strong street fanbase, she managed to build up regular Periscope followers. Today, you can find Clare live streaming her performances, which regularly go over two hours.  She plays almost exclusively her own music and not covers. Her music style is something in between comedy and sincere ballad. Along with cash Clare earns via Periscope, her work resulted in her being nominated for Best Singer on Periscope and in more than 73.000 followers. She continues streaming from home and other non-performance spots, slowly creating a following that interact with her on the daily basis. Clare has a very dedicated audience. One of her fans even tipped her $700 to help buy a new guitar which had blown over during one of her breaks on the street. And many of her regular viewers have bought all 3 CDs ( $25 for a package). Watch Clare Means’ clip of one of her famous songs “Voodoo Doll”:

Takeaways

Succeeding as a live streaming musician requires a specific set of skills. There are some aspects to which music consumers are not accustomed yet. Social networks tend to share scripted, pre-planned information, while live streaming is filled with moments, that sometimes may seem chaotic and filled with too much down time. With live streaming, you are not longer an untouchable performer staying on a pedestal, you are the person that hangs out with fans every week. If you accept this fact, live streaming can become an incredible driver of engagement and revenue. Just keep thinking outside the box and unlock new opportunities.

5/19/2018