Technology has already changed the music industry and how we consume music, almost beyond recognition. Back in the day, having a physical copy of your favourite album was the norm, whereas now, digital media has rendered CDs almost obsolete and music streaming services are dominating.
The future is very clearly online content, with live streaming becoming a new way to engage your audience to maximum effect. Here, we take a look at how musicians and bands can utilise live streaming to promote themselves and their music.
Why Should You Live Stream?
Virtually all social media platforms offer their own streaming capabilities now, and this is quickly transforming the way we find and consume content, and more importantly, how we interact with each other online. One study suggests that in 2016, 81% of people who used the internet viewed more live streams than they did the previous year.
Fast forward to 2019 and now you see the likes of Deadmau5 and Cardi B sharing live content which is resonating with their fans. With a huge user base and potential reach, this is a bandwagon you should jump on if you’re a musician or band looking to promote your music for free. In fact, Vimeo’s live streaming research shows 67% of viewers who watch you on a livestream are more likely to buy a ticket to see you in person. You can’t argue with that. (Livestream.com)
Live streaming may take you a while to drum up some views when you’re new to it, but don’t let that put you off. Luckily, if you already have a following, they will be notified automatically when you go live and if not, there are sharing options. There is no “right way” to use live stream, and to be honest, it really depends on the genre and general vibe of your music.
Say, for example, you’re a small indie band with big dreams. Hosting weekly live events and streaming it would probably be a bit extreme, but 30 minute jams and some short face-to-face live streams would be an easy way to keep the attention of – and build – an audience base. Perhaps you’ve just dropped your first single or you’ve landed your first gig as a solo singer. Sharing a ten minute backstage stream will have people intrigued and it will also make you more relatable and personable if your audience can see “the real you” when you’re not on stage.
We can, however, offer some general tips that will apply to anyone:
Consistency is key – everyone will tell you this, but if people forget about you, it’s hard to get their attention again. If you can only live stream once a fortnight because you’re busy, make sure you stick to it. Familiarity and routine builds loyalty.
Be relatable and entertaining – live audiences can be fickle and have short attention spans, so you’re going to need a healthy balance of your face, your music and more importantly, you as an artist to keep them watching. Be personable, funny, interactive and build your personal just like your everyday Youtuber.
Have a content plan – the best way to ensure consistency is to have a rough idea of what you’re doing a few streams in advance. It doesn’t have to be extensive, just stick to it! Will you do a live Q&A or are you letting people know your music is available on iTunes on Tuesday? Will you preview a new song live in 5 minutes? Stay tuned to find out…
Find out what works for your audience – Facebook has particularly in-depth metrics for Live videos, including post performance, audience engagement, viewer retention, clicks, reach and even negative feedback. This makes it quite straightforward to see if the content is working or whether you have to try something different. You can only find out by trying!
Ideas for your Live Stream | Here are some content ideas to get you going:
“Get to Know Me”: Live streaming is the new backstage meet-and-greet which is accessible to all your fans. You could say a big hello to your fanbase and any new fans you have gained recently. Tell them some fun facts about you and/or your band. Let them know what you’re currently working on.
Announcing new material/gig updates: An obvious one! With live notifications, sharing options and the potential reach a live stream has, this is a great way to get your news out. Platforms, particularly Facebook, has given more prominence to live videos on new feeds meaning even once your stream has ended, the video will still appear high up in your audiences’ feed.
Behind the scenes: We produce behind-the-scene style music videos ourselves and have seen the results first hand. People like the “realness” of seeing the human/s behind the music and the added LIVE element only adds excitement. Give fans a peek into the process of recording your album or show them the set of a music video you’re working on.
Q&A/ Ask Me Anything: The best part about live streaming is the ability to actually talk directly to your fans in real time. Your audience can send you messages which will pop up for everyone to watching and by answering them,
On the scene: If you’re playing a gig somewhere, make sure all your fans know about it. We wouldn’t recommend making a habit of live streaming the whole show, but snippets or just a one or two full songs is enough to get viewers wanting to know when you’re next playing. Think about “Live Lounge” type music videos – they feel more intimate and personable.
Track by track: When you have an upcoming album release, take fans through the inspiration and writing process behind each track. This will spark up conversation with fans as they reply with questions about each track you can answer to create an engaging atmosphere. It is worth remembering that you won’t become super famous overnight just with a few live streams. It is a process that can take a while to drum up interest. The majority of your video views will come after you have ended the livestream (rather ironically), but never under estimate the value of it!