For several years, YouTube has broadcasted live streams from Coachella, arguably the most talked-about music festival of the year. 2018 was a milestone year, with 41 million visitors tuning in during the festival’s opening weekend—a 75% jump from the previous year. While Beyonce’s jaw-dropping performance drew many eyeballs, the dramatic growth in viewership can also be attributed to the increasing popularity of live streaming in social media.
This is good news for emerging artists around the world, as live streaming gives them the ability to create, record, and perform their music live anytime, anywhere. They can interact with their followers, grow their fan bases, and eventually monetize their content—depending on the platform they choose. For established artists who have already built a big following, live streaming allows them to give their fans front-row access to performances no matter where they are.
The Problem with Music Streaming
Music streaming platforms, including Tidal, Pandora, and specifically Spotify, have changed the way the average person listens to music. No longer are they required to buy a song or album or go to YouTube to listen to their favorite artist’s latest soundtrack. For less than $10 per month, consumers can get access to all the music they want, when they want it.
While it’s a hit with consumers, Spotify’s revenue model has been criticized by artists and songwriters. According to CNBC, Spotify is earning billions of dollars per year but only paying $.006 to .0084 per stream to the holder of music rights. The “holder” is then split among many parties, including the record label, producers, artists, and songwriters. In other words, the people who actually create the music we enjoy aren’t getting paid fairly for their work. It’s no wonder that more artists are turning toward concerts and live performances to earn revenue.
Selling one-time tickets to a show isn’t the only way to bring in cash, however. As more consumers turn to their mobile devices and live streaming platforms like Facebook Live for in-the-moment entertainment, there are more opportunities than ever for musicians to monetize their music through live streaming.
“Going Live” In Person and Online
A few individuals and bands have already started taking advantage of live streaming. Iconic rock band Phish live streamed its Halloween shows in 2018 in 4K—a first for any major concert. The live shows were such a hit with fans that the band is selling live stream tickets to 16 of its upcoming concerts this summer.
Live streaming offers artists and bands like Phish a plethora of benefits—the most obvious being a new stream of revenue. According to Vimeo Livestream, 45 percent of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive on-demand video from a favorite performer. While a physical venue can sell out in a matter of minutes, hundreds and thousands of fans can tune in to a single live stream at the same time, which means artists can sell many more tickets than they could during a traditional, in-person concert. Tickets to these live streamed shows can be sold separately or as part of a paid subscription service that gives fans additional content, including access to albums and side projects, on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
Live content is more than just live concerts and videos, however. It can be anything from behind-the-scenes action to live interviews with band members and production crew. By offering an inside look at what goes on behind closed doors, musicians can not only monetize but build trust with their audiences and show a more authentic side of themselves they might not be able to convey while on stage.
For emerging and established artists alike, live streaming is an effective way to spread their music and build relationships with their growing fan bases. Platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and LiveMe give users a platform to perform live, share updates, engage with their fans, and get feedback in real time. In late 2017, Esperanza Spalding, a Grammy-nominated Jazz singer, composed and recorded an entire album from scratch in just 77 hours—all of which was streamed on Facebook Live. More than 1.4 million people tuned in to the production, offering their feedback and thoughts, some of which were incorporated in the final product which sold out on the final day of the live stream.
Creating Your Own Musical Masterpiece
Though music streaming is changing the industry, live streaming is giving artists a way to make money and grow their brands outside of royalties. As more apps and platforms implement live streaming and other live video features, there will be even more opportunities for singers, bands, and musicians alike to bring awareness to their music in new, innovative ways.
Artists aren’t restricted to social media and live video platforms to live stream their music and performances, however. They can also create their own live video streaming or audio streaming experiences on their owned channels with the help of an RTC solutions provider, such as Agora. By implementing Agora’s live video streaming SDK into their existing channels, artists can create their own customized live video and audio experiences free of time limits and other restrictions artists may face on third-party social media or hosting platforms. They can also directly monetize their music and performances and monitor their channels at their own discretion without having to adhere to another channel’s community standards. By building their own live streaming experiences, artists can have complete control over the content they broadcast and share music with their fans at the same time.
To learn how Agora can help you create immersive live streaming experiences to share with your audience, contact us.