[This article is a guest post written by Matt Thomas of Concert Window.]
Whether you’re an emerging artist or a seasoned professional, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of online resources out there these days, all claiming to be the best way to either engage with your fan base, reach new audiences, or make money. The virtual concert is a relatively new concept, but one that is growing rapidly and is proving hugely successful on every level.
A virtual concert is basically a show you broadcast online, allowing people to tune in from anywhere by mobile device or computer. It’s as easy as opening up your laptop and performing from your own home. Music fans around the globe can tune into the live show, pay for tickets, give tips, buy merch and chat with you, all in real time. Best thing about it is you only need to get dressed from the waist up.. . . . we’re joking…. No really, please cover up!
Below is a guide to help you create the best experience for fans and cash in at the same time! To skip the guide and jump straight in CLICK HERE.
Broadcasting a live show on the Internet might sound like the biggest undertaking you have ever faced, and you may be thinking you will need to hire a team of pros equipped with cameras the size of Belgium. Truth is, broadcasting a live show doesn’t need to be that difficult. You’re encouraged to use the simplest setup you can. In the video below, Concert Window addresses how to go about setting up a broadcast using a USB microphone and an external webcam. This enables you to capture high quality audio and video without the hassle of plugging in lots of equipment.
By playing a concert on the web, you’re essentially getting the chance to be as creative as you want for the duration of your show, so take advantage of that. Yeah, it’s probably easiest to broadcast from your living room, and that’s pretty neat, but if you get the opportunity to do something a little different, go for it! Artists have done shows from a house, backyard, backstage, to even a baggage claim terminal. Invite a few friends over and give fans a view into your world that they’ve never seen. And better yet, you’ll get a copy of the full show afterwards for your own private use and YouTube.
Do it! Do it! Do it! By interacting with your audience, you are making them feel special and letting them be a part of the fun. Ask your viewers where they are watching from, ask them for requests, ask them anything you like, dedicate songs to them. The more you can do to make your audience feel special and valued, the more they will take away from the show and be inclined to watch your next performance. The revenue goes way up when you interact with fans in a unique and personal way.
Tip rewards are a great way to engage your audience and reward them for tipping a little higher. In many cases, we have seen that setting a tip reward has increased show revenue by 30%. When a viewer tips the required amount, you can send them a special reward. For example:
● Tip $3 and get two mp3’s of previously unreleased tracks.
● Tip $8 and I’ll send you my latest album in mp3 format.
● Tip $30 and I’ll send you a personal handwritten lyric sheet to any song of your choice.
● Tip $60 for a video Skype hangout
● Tip $200 and get my entire back catalogue in mp3 format and a signed photo & T shirt.
Your fanbase won’t know to tune into your show if you don’t tell them! Treat it as if you are promoting a typical gig. The difference, of course, is that fans can watch from anywhere.
● Tweet the URL of your show
● Create a Facebook event and invite fans
● Make a poster for Instagram to advertise the show
● Send an email blast
Interested in playing a virtual show? Concert Window was built by a team of musicians based out of New York City. We all have years of experience in the industry and take great pride in helping other musicians connect with existing fans, reach new fans, and make money from playing music online. With hundreds of shows played every month on our platform (and growing!), we are dedicated to supporting our community of artists and fans.