Making a Scene Presents The Musicians Guide to LIVE Streaming Part 3
Where to Stream?
If you are LIVE Streaming you are more than likely using Facebook live on your own Facebook page. This is a great way to start, but quickly the same issue arises as if you were having a weekly gig in your home town. Your fans quickly begin to get over saturated with your show and your attendance starts to diminish. The other problem is you not reaching new fans just performing to same fans who are not going to constantly through money your way! They may donate once or twice, but after that they are pretty much done.
As a touring artist you know that you have to reach new fans in new locations in order to expand your base, sell more merch and Tickets(donations). In this shutdown of the gig Economy that becomes impossible for now or is it?
There is a trend happening in terms of Facebook LIVE streaming that is quickly taking hold, “The Virtual Venue”. This is a Facebook page that is run by either individuals or groups, that allows a diverse collection of indie artists time slots to perform for “Their page’s fan base”. As each performer on these Virtual Venues brings their fans to the show a portion of which becomes part of the that pages fan base by “Liking” the page. This results in increased reach of that page and gives artists access a new system of cross sharing of potential fans. Much like touring to a new venue, when you perform in these virtual venues you get exposed to people who have never heard of you before and allow you to expand your own fan base. In other words you can “Tour in place” or “Virtual Tour” as more of these virtual venues arise.
From the Fans perspective, this makes it easier for them to find a live music show. They don’t have to hunt through hundreds of Facebook pages for their favorite artists. They just have to have a few virtual venues where they know they can see artists they love but also have the opportunity to discover new artists. This is a natural progression for this new world of live music.
If we grow this system properly and the artists take the time to produce good quality content, both visually and audio quality, we can not only allow artists to stay connected to their fan base but also engage new fans with live performances. The goal is to hopefully translate these fans into butts in the seats when we finally get back to performing on the stage again.
Here are a couple of “Virtual Venues” you can contact for performance slots
Making a Scene – A Multi Genre venue that has a large roots and blues following. Currently running Friday Saturday and Sunday show with plans to expand as the need requires. If you want to request a slot you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Americana Highways – This is a venue that is dedicated to all forms of roots music and has a large following of fans of the singer songwriter and blues artists. Contact Melissa on the page for slots.
Can’t Stop the Blues – This venue dedicated to helping the indie blues artists with slots for them to perform.
janesville Performing Arts Center, – JPAC is partnering with musicians, many located in the Southern Wisconsin area to celebrate their amazing talents from the comfort of our homes.
Once Somersville – Not on Facebook but a virtual venue run off their webpage.
Earthworks Harvest Gathering – Presents musician workshops and performances
How to Stream to a Virtual Venue
There are two ways to get your streaming show to broadcast on one of these virtual venues. The first requires the owner of the venue to to into their page settings/page roles and give you temporary “Editor” status on the page. The artist would then have to accept this “invitation” to become an editor before he/she can go live. This will allow you to go to the page and start broadcast as if you were a page owner. The process of beginning a show is much the same as if you were doing a show from your own page, but instead you will use the virtual venue page as your own page. After the show the owner of the page would then remove the page role from you.
The Second is “Cross Posting”, a feature of Facebook pages that was under utilized in the past. This basically allows you to broadcast on your own page as you always do and your show will also go live on the virtual venue’s page at the same time. This requires you to go to your pages settings, go to cross posting and add the virtual venues page to your cross posting list. You then will get a link to send to the virtual venues admin who will accept your cross posting. They will be able to turn on and off your ability to cross post to their page as needed.
Cross posting is a great way for you to broadcast a show on multiple Facebook pages at the same time.
Start a Virtual Venue
This is a no brainier for anyone who loves live music and indie artists! All you need is a Facebook page and a little bit of time to help musicians setup on your page. Whether you want to use page roles to give editor status to an artist temporary or you use cross posting a good virtual venue can mean the world to an indie artist trying to survive this shutdown of the gig economy.
Marketing and Promotion
Just like any show you need to promote it! You can make up a single graphic “poster” that you can change the “virtual venue” as needed and send as an Facebook event and to your email list. Encourage your fans to “like” the virtual venue” page so they can be notified of when a show begins. This not only helps you, but helps the venue expand their reach for future shows and eventually for your future show.
Remember these virtual venues are not charging a cover, selling drinks at the bar or food from the kitchen. Most of these are being run by people who have a passion for live music and indie artists. They understand the challenges that face the indie artist in these trying times and want to do something to help. It is not going to replace the live venue on the tour circuit, but if we create a good strong virtual venue system we can keep the tradition of LIVE music alive.
Let’s face it, many musicians are being forced into the live streaming world because of Covid 19. But, the fact remains that this is only the beginning. As more musicians and record companies embrace this technology they will start exploring ways to not only increase the fan experience but find more ways to monetize this technology. We are only at the doorstep of where live streaming is going to take us and what is, for now a way to get us through a rough time, will eventually become a new delivery platform for the live music experience. The question is, are you going to be left behind or will you embrace what this technology can do for your music career now and in the future.