Anna Moulson has been a freelance live music promoter and event consultant for over 20 years, promoting under the name Melting Vinyl. In the absence of live events, Anna joined us to deliver a workshop for artists on her experiences of the virtual performance space.
Her insight was so far-reaching that we had to ask her for some top tips on streaming online performances. Here’s what she had to say…
1. The third way (after live and audio)
Consider streaming as a new format for music. It’s not replacing live, but taking elements of it. Think of it like a TV show; interact with the audience, answer their questions, keep the stream short and snappy (no longer than an hour), make it unique (avoid being another musician with a guitar being sad about live shows not happening), introduce yourself, the event and thank people for coming.
2. Invest in setting / equipment
Use a good mic, a broadcasting app such as OBS and plan out the setting / backdrop. It can make all the difference. Test out your set up before it goes live. This is vital so the sound is loud and clear and will give you an idea of what it’s like to perform with this set up. You could use a friend’s social page to test it and review how good it sounded. Repeat again on your own profile but this time record it. This is a great marketing opportunity to remind people of the show and set the scene.
3. Market it
Instruments and equipment: check. Streaming platform ready: check. A unique to you backdrop: check. But where is the audience? Marketing is sometimes buried at the end of all these jobs. Go through the same process of marketing a show as if it were a live gig, and consider creating a marketing plan. Include a Facebook event, Instagram story and other social media pages to share the event. Invite friends, colleagues and family and ask them (by directly messaging them) to share the news of your live stream, and your event / gig poster on their socials a few days in advance. Don’t think it’s uncool or that you’re bothering people. This is part of what you need to do to get your name out there and people to attend. Build the anticipation by posting a few times over the days before the performance. Think of quirky, unique to you visuals that offer clues to your music and what the audience might expect.
4. Interaction and monetisation
Streaming is a great way for you to interact with your audience and keep your name out there. Find someone to manage the comments, emojis, questions and feedback while the stream is happening. Audiences love it if they get acknowledged. Do not be afraid to flash up on the screen and write in the chat the link to payment. You need to get paid, and audiences understand that.
5. Enjoy it!
Don’t be discouraged by small numbers at first as very often the live view count isn’t the true picture to who is watching, and your gig is now sitting on social media after its performance gathering further potential views. Finally enjoy this brave new world, you are writing (streaming) history!
Read more of our Top Tips from artists, professionals, educators and the Brighter Sound team