Music Performing Platforms
After conducting in-depth research, we were able to establish some ways that fans can support their favorite musicians and some insights into the factors to consider for an artist to have a successful virtual performance during the Covid-19 pandemic, as outlined below. Music streaming platforms have created new methods of artists to make money, which include paid memberships/subscriptions to live virtual private performances by musicians and paid-commenting features.
- Physical sale of music, which represents 25% of recorded music revenues, has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital music sales have reduced by 11% while physical sales have decreased by a third.
- According to experts, a six-month shut down on live performances will cost the music industry $10 billion in sponsorship.
- According to Forbes, the number of viewership on Twitch increased by 524%, from around 92,000 viewers to over 574,000 viewers. By the end of March 2020, there was a 70% growth in Instagram Live streaming in the United States.
What Fans are Doing to Support Artists on Digital Platforms
Direct Donations to Artists
- Fans and followers are donating money directly to artists through Cash App, Venmo, and PayPal, among other money platforms. Money donated directly is deposited to the musicians' accounts for immediate use.
- Many musicians are posting their money apps account information on their social media while on live performances for the audience to donate.
Buying from Musician's E-commerce Platforms
- Some artists who have e-commerce channels are marketing their products to the fans through social media accounts and influencers. Fans can support the musicians by purchasing merchandise from these channels.
- A majority of artists have music on sites like Shopify, Bandcamp, and Gumroad. Fans can buy and stream music from their favorite musicians.
Tune in to Live Shows
- Fans who look forward to seeing their best musicians usually tune in to the live digital/virtual performances on Twitch, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or YouTube to live stream the performances. Fans show support by liking, commenting, and sharing the performances, thus growing the musicians' audience on the respective platforms.
- Spotify partnered with PayPal, Cash App, and GoFundMe in April 2020 to create a channel for musicians to earn more. Spotify introduced a feature on its platform that enables musicians to receive tips and donations from their fans.
- The Spotify app allows artists to choose the destination of the funding. Fans are using this facility on Spotify to support their favorite artists as they stream their music.
- Fans are sending encouraging notes and messages directly to the musicians to uplift them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Some fans incorporate the music into their personal videos and share them on social media.
- Fans with graphic skills are coming together to design posters for their favorite musicians to use in marketing hence cutting down branding costs or billboards for musicians to sell and make money.
Factors to Consider for a Successful Digital Streaming/Concert factors
Use Social Media Live
- Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter, and YouTube present a reliable platform for musicians to perform. Going live is the best way for artists to engage with their fans in real-time. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a majority of people are usually online on social media.
- To ensure a successful virtual/digital "concert," musicians should promote the gig on social media before the performance day and invite social media users to the event.
- Musicians are required to interact with the audience, listen to them, check out their feedback and live reactions, and even take requests.
- Technology has advanced, and some platforms are developed to allow multiple participants in a broadcast. Musicians can use these platforms to collaborate their performance to increase their audience, make it more interactive, promote unity, or to cut costs by splitting the bill. Collaborative platforms allow for a mini-festival online.
- Musicians can collaborate using Zoom, OBS, Jacktrip, and Mixcloud, among other platforms, to make the virtual performance more interesting.
Engage the Audience
- Musicians should always remain casual and interactive during a live stream for a successful virtual performance.
- To keep the audience engaged, the artist can play a little music then ask questions for the audience to answer in the comment section and react. This will prompt subscribers to share the performance and invite more viewers.
- It is easy for social media users to leave the live broadcast and follow other trending topics on the platform, so musicians should also remember to keep it interesting by telling stories, being silly, asking questions besides the music performance.
- Due to COVID-19, most musicians are resorting to virtual performances. For an artist to garner a broad audience and maintain it to the end of the performance, they will have to stand out and be unique in how they present themselves, interact with the audience, how they dress, and the performance style.
- Musicians should be creative in their performances. Create a TikTok dance or lip-sync competition for the audience to dance to during a live virtual concert.
- In the spirit of the Covid-19 pandemic, artists are required to use the virtual performances to inform the audience about the virus. Encourage their fans to practice social distancing, stay at home, sanitize, and share messages of hope and unity.
- Creating a song about the pandemic shows that you are in touch with the present, and the audience will feel the need to engage with the musician's platform for more insights on the pandemic.