Ever since social distancing became the new normal, live-streaming has taken over the music scene. All the while, artists are becoming more creative and tech savvy than ever. With everyone hopping on the bandwagon, you’ll need to step your game up to keep your fans excited and ready to tune in for more. Looking for inspiration? Here are some creative ways to monetize your live streams…
Creative Ways to Monetize your Live Streams
According to this survey from Livestream and New York Magazine,
- 45% of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive, or on-demand video from a favorite team, speaker, or performer.
- Live streaming is set to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021.
With the lack of in-person concerts and events for the foreseeable future, it’s safe to say that live streaming is here to stay. And with the ability to sell tickets to your online show, live streaming has become a major source of income for independent musicians all over the world.
There’s one key element to keep in mind here… If you’re looking to monetize your streams, you won’t see sustainable results by doing the bare minimum. You need to offer something worth paying for. // To help you out, here are some creative ideas to get the ball rolling.
Host a Live Q&A
Promote an upcoming release by turning on a live stream and hanging out with your fans for 30 minutes. All you gotta do is hop online and start a conversation. Hosting a Q&A not only gives your fans a chance to get personal with you, it also gives you valuable feedback on what your fans want to see in the future or even which songs they want on the next album!
You get free, instant data AND the revenue from ticket sales & tips. What’s not to love?
Plan a Series of Live Streams
Erykah Badu stepped it up and created “Quarantine Concert Series: The Apocalypse” from her home in Dallas. The series is made up of three separate streams, all unique and full of life. For a price, she charged $1 for the first, $2 for the second and $3 for the third, keeping it accessible for anyone and everyone looking for a sneak peak into the mind of the soulful singer.
To make it even more interactive, she had the audience vote on which setlist they wanted her and her group of musicians to play for the first stream, and for the second (dubbed “Apocalypse Two: The Rooms”), they voted on which of the differently decorated rooms the group would perform in during the show.
These are awesome, yet very simple, ways to offer something all your own to the saturated world of streaming. Streaming is not limited to sitting down in a single room and turning on a laptop camera. Be different! Get creative with set-up, design, camera angles, and more to create a truly unique experience.
Give your fans a backstage experience they can’t get anywhere else. Show your creative process, you making beats, ask and answer questions, maybe even take some song requests and jam out with your fans. Keep it engaging, down to earth, and personal.
With everyone desperately missing live shows, getting a chance to feel seen by your favorite artist goes a long way. Making this connection will foster more dedicated fans who will support you in the long run.
Up The Production Value
Many artists had major plans for 2020, from playing locals shows to touring with other artists all over the country. Without these, artists were hit with the notion of making 0% of the revenue they had planned. Scary stuff, especially for independent artists whose income replies solely on these efforts.
Underoath was hit with just that. They’d been booked as support on Slipknot’s massive Knotfest Road Show, alongside A Day to Remember and Code Orange, which was scheduled to hit amphitheaters and arenas across the United States. With a major percentage of their projected income wiped out, with no plans to reschedule, they decided to shift their focus to live streaming.
They partnered with Odd!Life Studios, bringing in a camera crew to shoot in 24 frames per second to give the performances cinematic quality and teamed up with Tension Division (the creative studio that does branding for Twenty One Pilots, Korn and Smashing Pumpkins) to create a brand-new, over-the-top visual aesthetic for the streams. With the upped quality, they sold 24-hour access to any or all of the livestreams, along with exclusive merchandise and vinyl reissues of each album.
Just consider what you would’ve spent on shows and touring. Buses, gas, flights, hotels, freight, a full crew. All of that goes away with live streaming. So, why not create the equivalent to a tour for the masses virtually? It’s totally doable.
- If that’s not enough to convince you to put in the work, doing all this helped Underoath surpass their projected touring revenue they would’ve lost this year. So not only did they create something awesome from a single location, they made way more money then they ever imagined.
You don’t need to break the bank to create amazing live streams. Just pay attention to the details and put the work in. Prepare an experience that’s worth paying for. Create an environment that facilitates conversation, collaboration, and an experience akin to the shows we all love and miss so much.