Once upon a time, it was possible to hop on a boat over to the Isle of Wight and skip your way through a field – scantily clad – and watch the likes of The Who, Hendrix or The Doors for free.
Nowadays, tickets for festivals and gigs sell like hotcakes, and each event comes with its fair share of capacity restrictions. But in this tech-savvy modern world, you don’t have to be in a room to be in a room (if that makes any sense at all?).
What we mean by this is that live event streaming has made it possible for fans to buy virtual tickets to a gig and enjoy their favorite band from the comfort of their homes. No capacity restrictions.
Earlier on in the year, The Grateful Dead streamed their epic Levi Stadium shows and more than 400,000 people subscribed to the event via pay-per-view cable and online streaming subscriptions. As if that wasn’t enough, the event grossed over $50 million. That’s colossal.
Okay, so you might not be as big as the likes of the Grateful Dead, yet, but the point is that live streaming is on the rise and as a result opens up a host of valuable opportunities for bands and musicians. Here’s how…
Live streaming allows you to showcase your skills
Do you ever remember a time when you were playing a gig so pointless, the barman began to shut up shop while you were in mid-set? You might have been annoyed with his haste and disrespect, but you knew full well that all you were playing to were an empty bottle and a hay bail. We’re sure you’ve experienced something along those lines.
Rather than playing Monday night slots to vacant rooms, live streaming allows bands the opportunity to play a set or showcase a new song to potential new fans via the World Wide Web.
Platforms such as Facebook Live Stream and Periscope allow bands and artists to create targeted events and posts, accompanied by well-crafted hashtags, and play their latest material live from the practice room (or living room) free of charge and show off their skills to the right people for little money or effort. Not only is this a great way of connecting new fans, but it’s also the perfect way to interact with current followers on the latest band news.
According to a study by Digitell, 30% of people who watch a live stream of a musical event will attend that same event the following year. So, play well on social and you might just fill up that room next time.
Live streaming allows you to monetize your content
As we all know, the music biz is tough, especially in today’s digital climate. Physical record sales are at an all-time low; digital sales are saturated, and the costs of DIY touring don’t always make for time and energy well spent.
So, aside from the obvious, how do you make money from your music? Well, although established in today’s world, live event streaming is still in its infancy, and there’s never been a better time to pave the way. After all, the Arctic Monkey’s did it all those years ago with Myspace; now no one even uses it. That’s because it’s been worn out.
Smart platforms like Cleeng give bands and artists the chance to set-up their own online subscription services, almost like Netflix, and invite fans to sign up for a monthly fee.
The great thing about setting up a subscription service is the fact that you can offer fans a lot of value for money. Not only will your subscribers be able to tune into live streams of your shows, but they will be able to access to exclusive content like music videos, brand new songs, interviews and anything else you can think to produce. The better the service, the more subscribers you’ll attract and the money you will make.
Live streaming allows you to connect and extend your reach
It’s official: there are more mobile devices than people in the world (the robots are coming!).
It seems that rather than talk face-to-face, more and more people prefer to communicate and run their daily lives through a tablet or smartphone. Social media is still one of the planet’s number one means of communication, and it has become the norm – live streaming gives a band or artist a chance to reach out to these people and get in their heads.
People on social prefer visual stimulation, and if you can think outside the box and open up dialogues through live streams, or video broadcasts, you have a real chance to give people a sense of who you are and what you’re all about – and that my friend – is priceless.
You can only reach a certain number of fans by playing at your local bar, but by harnessing the power of live streaming, you can reach out to potential fans who live on the other side of the globe by showcasing your talents and meeting with them face to face, virtually.
Who knows, after a while, you might be flying to all of those places on a private jet and meeting the same people in the flesh.
Named “gigabyte gigging” by The Economist, live music streaming has the power to launch a band’s career to the next level. Of course, you have to be consistent, be creative and work as hard as ever, but by embracing the joys of live video streaming, you have a real chance of long term success.
Just make sure you get there before everyone else does.
By Dan Hughes, featured writer for Purple Cow Productions. Purple Cow is a London-based collaboration between professional musicians, audiovisual artists & award-winning entrepreneurs, creating best in breed work.