Recently we did a post on facebook offering some alternative gig ideas – one of which was about using one of the online gig platforms to hold more gigs.
The two platforms I mentioned were https://www.concertwindow.com/ and https://www.stageit.com/site/landing but there are a number more.
Anyway, following an inquiry off that post, I thought I would write a more detailed blog about how the online concert area may be of interest and beneficial to your long term business strategy. …… and put this on the blog so more people can peruse and consider.
Pleas note – I acknowledge this will not be of interest to everyone – – and not every act/genre would it be appropriate for.
If you are someone/an act who HAS to be in front of live real faces or you are doing more than enough n the way of gigs – then you might not worry about reading further – – or ……….. you may want to read on anyway – – if you want to consider an idea to supplement current gig schedules or gradually reduce traveling etc. or just out of interest.
Also note: I am not giving a specific 1,2,3 do this, then this etc – – most of the platforms have great instructions and forums to give you all the how to – or you can employ our services to help more (especially in the marketing etc area) – —
this post is about the what, why do it and some thoughts if going to consider.
Oh and of course – an online concert/gig on one of these platforms could be something for those doing music based gigs, spoken word/poetry, almost any creative arts are or otherwise — just note for this blog I am orientating the thoughts to those in the music industry.
Anyway I hope you find it of interest.
So what dos this thing called an online concert sort of look like – for those who don’t know – basic overview.
Unlike a YouTube video or a recorded/streamed show you can watch anytime/search for etc- – …….it is like any other gig you do – an advertised gig, at a certain time for a certain ticket price…… it just happens to be online.
I suppose you can liken it to a webinar or online live forum etc – except it is your gig that you control and people pay to attend.
People buy a ticket to the show, get a discrete log in/password and tune in/attend the show at the agreed start time.
If set up properly there may be the facility to ask questions, interact etc (using side bar comment areas that someone mans and relays to the act).
The artist picks the venue (lounge room, garage, studio etc), start time, sets up and delivers – collects payment from the platform on agreed basis etc.
The audience attends, interacts, at the end of the show they leave (exit screen), hopefully comes back to the next one and even more hopefully, follows the act in between.
The fee is a lot lower than most venue gigs – -but that’s fine – because the audience isn’t travelling and the act isn’t either (and other reasons below).
Oh and of course – an online concert/gig on one of these platforms could be something for those doing music based gigs, spoken word/poetry, almost any creative arts are or otherwise — Ifor this blog I am orientating the
So that’s it in a nutshell – –basically a gig at a venue attended by an audience but all in cyberspace.
So why even consider this idea
The advantages to me of online concerts for the gigging musician/act are multiple.
A couple of the main ones are
- You have the chance to open yourself on a new media platform to people who don’t know you already…..and therefore gig to possibly anyone in the world.
There is an increasing amount of people who are using these sites to ‘get to gigs’ because of the convenience in a busy lifestyle – but also because they can’t get to a/that gig. And ‘can’t’ because of a myriad of factors – -which may include
– remoteness (not only country based or outback but also work location – eg oil rig worker, etc)
– disability (constricting travel options/movement, anxiety in crowds, etc)
– general interest
– even safety concerns if go out/travel in some places
– and so many other reasons
- You can reach those people who are already your fans but you are not going t0 be playing where they are – – – and so you can connect/interact with them in a pseudo live scenario maintaining the connection and enhancing the loyalty (they are seeing you perform as a gig, with banter etc as well as possibly respond)
- For both of the above – on most platforms you can set the geographic boundaries of the audience – which allows you to exclude places where you are playing and so not to reduce the chance to fill the venue gigs
- You can ‘gig’ at relatively no cost other than time – — – and the gigs can be either when you don’t have enough gigs on – or have as random extras or … as a regular ‘tour’ you build into your yearly schedule.
I would suggest both the latter two
– random is good to put it out there and trial a new set or something special etc or just because
– doing a regular online show 3-4 times a year (or more if proves popular) builds a following
- Even though the ticket price is a lot lower – your costs are effectively nil – except for time to practice/prepare and do the gig.
– you can do it from home, your practice room or whatever
– there is no travel, roadies, food/etc
– not having to worry about hard copy promotion, posters
Bu please just think – 100 people coming online to your gig at even $4 net to you – – — is a $400 gig fee – and you are doing it from your lounge room, garage etc -Imagine if you online concert grew over time to getting 500 or 1000 watching (and there are many acts that get that now around the world) …. That might be all you do at that stage eg LOL.
(liken it to the youtubers and whats going on their with subscription channels etc)
- You can set the ‘venue’ up to look as you want to fit your feel generally/brand or specific for that gig – making it more comfortable but also more personalised and recognisable
- Only people who have bought a ticket to the show get the log in and can be tuned in – so they have to buy to see it!
(Doesn’t mean you can’t have a few people with you to be an audience and bounce off – – but the idea is you are delivering an online show – so always be camera focused)
- If you have someone helping you on the computer side – you can interact (ie besides your chat in between songs), they can take questions for you to answer – or names to do a shout out to etc…. thereby personalising the experience for the online audience
- You can vary your format/line up – be the full band, acoustic cut back,
Or it could be set up and run for a side of your music your band doesn’t do. etc etc – – -you could even end up with multiple concert channels to facilitate all of those options as well – it is again based on your individual need
- Etc etc etc etc – the list goes on
So how to start????????
- Check out a few of the online concert type sites (two mentioned at the start and any others you come across)- – see which one has acts similar to you already performing (or close enough) because some of the audience that has similar styles to you is already there……
See which seems to have a look, feel that will suit you.
And decide on one (you want loyalty and consistency, changing platforms to often disrupts and disassociates audiences)
- Check out what you need to do to run a gig (probably have to sign up but should be no cost)
Even attend a few gigs there to see how it flows
- Once get that all together — — do it!!
- Review how it went and then
- Plan when you will do it again with refinements (count on a few refinements to get the whole thing flowing right)
THINGS to BE AWARE OF
- Like your own following and people coming to your gigs (other than friends, family and classmates etc) it takes time to build these up to be a significant component of your music/gig world.
But the advantage is – – you don’t have any cost etc other than time. So set your expectations very low and long term so you won’t be disappointed too quickly.
If you get just a few friends etc to the first one – that’s fine – know it will take a while.
Now some people treat the initial growth phase as practice for ‘real’ gigs etc – – I strongly recommend NOT doing that – whether the audience is 1, 2 or more – – — — you don’t know who they are, the influence they have /potentially have and they paid to be there – – so like any gig, to me it should be practiced, rehearsed and the ‘show’ put on to be the best gig you can do in that format – regardless of the numbers in attendance.
How long does it take to build????? How long is a bit of string – – – it all depends on YOU.
In fact its no different to how long to build your business overall.
The more you market and market well, the better the show you put on so that people talk about it and start promoting the next one for you, etc etc – the quicker you will build your audience to your online concert series.
Allow it time to grow, give it enough of a chance to grow but please – if going to give it a go – – really do so and do it a number of times before you give up and market heavily for each one….. for an investment of time and effort – isn’t the potential worth it?
- Be aware of time zones and language issues when organising WHEN to have the gig
Time zones is an issue – – – so you need t be aware of time zones if wanting to appeal to an international audience and what concert time will suit the most people in those zones. SO work out who you want to appeal to an cater to them as though you were in those countries as much a possible.
For example, if I want to access the USA and Australia what time of night do I put the gig on? (Or morning but how many in Oz etc are going to watch it that early) – who is going to be asleep or at work etc
Or.. A marketing decision may be only to do the on line concerts for the overseas market and so suit their time zones (and leave the live to be local following) …
Or you might vary the time of each gig to hit different places (as the main focus)
It doesn’t mean others won’t buy a ticket -but just consider where the priority is to be be for you and work it that way.
Language barriers could underpin your success – manage the expectations of your audience (at least to start with) – eg. If you don’t speak a certain language or have people with you who do – don’t target that market in the initial stages
- BIGGY – – be professional and start dead on time and be there for the whole time
Your online audience has paid for a ticket.
Live audiences are getting more and more jacked off with bands starting 20,30,40 + minutes after an advertised start time – but they are sort of stuck once at the venue, and paid the money — – — – – online audiences are not!
They can turn off or transfer at only a little outlay — -they won’t be back – -And they will spread the word in those platform forums very quickly if you are good and especially if you are bad/unprofessional etc.
– if you say the concert starts at 6pm – – then at 6pm you go live, welcome everyone and kick it off
– if you say it will be a half hour or hour show – fill the whole 30 or 60 minutes (there is conversation, chat in between songs but don’t stop after 20 minutes and say that’s it) – – – deliver what you advertise
– similarly end around when you say you will – even if you stay available for online chat with audience after – le the concert finishes when advertised so people can get on with their lives
- If you don’t already, learn and practice conversation into the camera – so it feels like you are speaking to each person out there individually – not only practice what you will all say but how you will say it and the visual delivery.
Quick practice tip — – get your phone or camera set up on something – and record yourself speaking to it, singing to it etc as though it was an audience member.
Then check the footage –
Look believable? How often did you turn away, stumble etc ?– – it takes practice! (by the way that style of practice will help your stagecraft immensely in your venue shows as well as online)
Second tip – – take that footage and fast forward, or reverse and watch your movements – -is there something (things) you do that you shouldn’t or a repetitive thing that would be annoying over time (this is an old public speakers trick to improve)
- Remember you are online at all times –
No nose picking, indiscriminate scratching/adjusting, looks/comments to other band members — – mmm
Always be audience mindful etc (again this is no different to a proper gig)
- When starting off – really engage your audience during and post gig for the future
Ask them to give feedback after the gig about how they enjoyed it (or not) — – what could you do better, what shouldn’t you do, what else – what would need to change if anything for them to promote your next gig to their friends and network etc — — and then do all you can or as much as you possibly can to answer their suggestions
ie – ask their help in helping you grow this area
- Side/really important one ……
Before you do your first advertised/live concert – – – – do a practice one that only a couple of friends/family know about and will tune in to (even make it a private gig) – –
Make it people who will tell you the REAL truth and ask them to feedback afterwards or during as to ..
– lighting (are you standing in shadow, cant see)
– sound quality (remember its not how it sounds in the room but what is being broadcast that counts)
– camera — – quality of image and positioning (head cut off etc etc)
– interaction during the gig worked ok
So you are doing a dummy run to not only be a bit more comfortable when go live – — – but when you do do the first live one – you have checked all the techo stuff and are sure it works from the audience end
- Like everything in this industry – – market, market, market – –as it grows think of ways to promote more and also enhance the experience so people talk about it more. Think out of the box –
– guest artists
– give aways/discount on album sales
– a different location at times or a different format or???
– if the channel lets you record the gig (some do, some don’t) – then 2-3 weeks after you could load some of it to youtube with appropriate promotion and invitation to the next one, etc
– here’s one ….. if you have a youtube channel – – do a quick promo video on that advertising the online concert, when where (platform) links etc – then promote that thru your social media etc using the visual. Similarly at the gig promote your social media places, web etc
– etc etc
Anyway – – that’s probably enough general information and tips/thoughts I can input at this time.
Hopefully it got you interested enough with some basic thoughts to check it out, consider and decide whether something for you or not.
As always – we would welcome any feedback, thoughts on this article you may have – – and if you do go for it (or have) luv to hear your experiences.
And of course, If you want more assistance with aspects of this- – we would be happy to work out some arrangement under our music business/mentoring service offering.
All the best till next time.