[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Alper Tuzcu.]
One of the biggest outcomes of the quarantine in 2020 so far has been the undeniable rise of live streaming.
Live streaming is an authentic way of connecting to the fans, which means that huge production values and polished content is out of the window. We are all connecting home to home, which makes everything more authentic and personal.
While many musicians have been offering live concerts since mid-March, live streaming has the potential to offer more than that! Live streaming is a huge opportunity for musicians to connect to their fans as it makes it easier to create content.
What is Twitch?
While the house concerts have originally started on Instagram Live and Facebook Live, now we have a third player, Twitch who is on the rise. Twitch is an interesting platform, as its primary content originally has not been music, but gaming streams. The platform builds a community of audience who can watch the video and chat at the same time. For this reason, besides live streaming, it’s a huge conversation platform and also it is widely followed by Gen Z audiences.
How is Twitch different from IG Live?
You might be wondering what is the exact difference between Twitch and Instagram Live:
For starters, Instagram Live has an hour limit to every broadcast, whereas Twitch allows users to broadcast up to 48 hours.
Moreover, Twitch allows you to do screen sharing from your laptop, which is why it’s been a huge preference for the gaming community.
Another advantage of Twitch is that it has a ‘Browse’ section, which allows streamers to be discovered using tags. The tags also recommend viewers new streams based on their past streams, so it allows for people to find you much easier. This is a great opportunity to reach out to more people and get more fans!
How can musicians use Twitch?
The most obvious type of content on Twitch are house concerts, but the platform offers many more opportunities than that! Besides, as there are so many concerts being live streamed at the moment, you can really make a difference by creating a different kind of content.
So, here are three ideas for the type of content you can publish on Twitch:
1. Teach fans your craft
Twitch is a very interactive platform that allows you to connect and chat with your fans as you live stream content. For instance, you can walk fans through the creation process of a song. With screen sharing you can broadcast what’s been cooking on your laptop. By broadcasting your Logic or Ableton Live session, you can show them how you created a beat or how you recorded a vocal line.
Another kind of idea is to give a songwriting masterclass, where you can pop up the lyrics of your song and talk about how you wrote each line, how you linked it with instruments and created the skeleton of a song.
Perhaps you can even take out your guitar and show them how you did a chord voicing of a song. Or even show them the anatomy of a guitar solo! There are many great opportunities here.
The point of teaching on Twitch is to create content that fans won’t be able to find anywhere else. It happens in real time, so being in the moment and sharing that experience with fans is not only a great chance to connect with people, but also to show them the tricks of the trade. It’s also a value added and meaningful way to promote your music!
2. Host a virtual hangout
Twitch is built on community and is all about creating content that creates a conversation. Musicians can use this feature of Twitch to host virtual hangouts with fans. Virtual hangouts are similar to meet and greet sessions, except they are online and perhaps you can even spend more time with fans these days, as we’re mostly at home! You can take any questions from fans, share studio or touring stories, perhaps talk about your song and even your plans for the future.
Virtual hangouts are an opportunity for fans to get to know you on a more personal level, and just like a meet and greet session, you can make this a paid event. So, through Twitch not only do you get to get an extra revenue stream, but you also connect to your fans on a more profound level!
3. Show what’s happening behind the scenes
A great way to use Twitch is to show fans what’s happening behind the scenes with your art. You can broadcast recording sessions of your latest song for instance.
Another idea is to broadcast a rehearsal in real time. Not only is it a great way to test out the new material in front of the new audience, but it is also great for people to see the band members on a personal level and to witness the conversation within the band. Moreover, if people are lucky, they might even witness the birth of a new song in the midst of a jam!
It looks like livestreaming is here to stay in the near future, and as musicians, we are responsible to reach out to our fans in the best way possible. Technology comes to our help here, and presents many more opportunities to not only connect with our fans, but also to raise more revenue for our art. In this way, Twitch presents great opportunities beyond doing live concerts. You might think of more content ideas and come up with your own – which is totally fair as every artist has a different identity and a message. These three ideas should give you a starting point and get you on the track for connecting your music with your fans during these difficult times.