Can you feel it? Maybe it’s your suddenly very crowded social media feeds, maybe it’s the bruising you’re putting on your bank account, but it’s abundantly clear: live music is back, and back in a big way. It’s been a long and painful wait, and we, like you, can’t wait to walk through the doors of our favorite venue(s) again!
In a previous blog post about the “year that was” in livestreams, we mentioned our belief that even as the live music business comes back to life, we don’t believe the idea and importance of monetizing your video content should be a thing of the past. While “Shows from home” may begin to dwindle, there are still endless creative ways to continue using video to engage your fans like never before. Here’s a quick list of some creative video uses to supplement your return to the road and optimize your time off of it!
On The Road
Hybrid live and virtual shows: this is the “obvious” one that everyone is trying to figure out, which could go many different ways. Assuming you decide to tackle the hybrid live / virtual audience from your nightly tour spots, consider limiting your virtual tickets to a radius around the actual show to keep your content fresh from city to city. Alternatively, geo-gate your virtual tickets only to cities where you aren’t scheduled to play.
Tour diary: let’s face it: when you’re on tour, you spend more time off stage than you do onstage. Not unlike the sneak peek of pre-tour production or rehearsals, fans love regular content that shows their favorite artists in an off-stage environment. Consider scheduling regular tour diaries (live, pre-recorded, or a mix of both) to bring fans backstage with you for some “virtual hangs” in a more relaxed, unique setting.
Create shows with more interactivity: there’s a concern that virtual fans, while no doubt enjoying the tunes, may not feel as engaged in the show as those in the venue. Consider making them part of the show by interacting with the online chat or creating a hybrid interface where they can make requests or help you craft some small part of the show.
Sponsorship: whether you’re hunting for new tour sponsors or looking for value-add to existing sponsors, the ability to add virtual impressions and expand your reach outside of those just in the venue could be an attractive addition to offer as a value-add for potential sponsors.
Off The Road
Sneak Peeks: do you have some brand new tour production ready for when you hit the road? Maybe some new songs you’re anxiously waiting to debut live? Fans love a sneak peek...invite them into your practice space or production rehearsals and hype your live upcoming shows!
Tour Documentary: Returning home from a tour doesn’t mean the content stream you captured out on the road can’t still be utilized – you can think of it as just the beginning of its legacy! Putting video footage into a tour documentary (or a series of smaller, recurring releases) and releasing it exclusively to fans bundled with leftover merch is a great way to keep the excitement of your tour going long after it has wrapped.
Special / unique show recordings: did you make an underplay or intimate venue stop while out on the road? Maybe a night where you played a fan-favorite record cover to cover? Consider releasing just this show as post-tour content, with the added bonus that, instead of being on stage, now you can be right there with your fans in the chat (or a PIP video window) to experience it with them, together. We especially like this idea because it allows those who bought a ticket in the first place to experience the show in person first, but then create both a content and a revenue stream for you after the fact.
Studio content: if you’re not out playing the songs we know in a venue, there’s a good chance you’re at home writing new ones. When it’s time to hit the studio and record your new tracks, invite fans to the studio for a sneak peek!
Album Release Listening Party: your album is done, your fans are hyped, but you’re not hitting the road for a while. Why wait to connect with your fans? Host a virtual listening party and/or Q&A from within your store on (or leading up to) release day! (Psst — look out for a case study coming soon on this type of content Smashing Pumpkins just did!)
Want A Video With That Shirt?
With all of the ideas above, don’t forget the basic and powerful premise that this video content belongs in your own store. Fans want your personalized and unique video content, and that will never change — but as always, our suggestion is to make sure it remains an add-on to your higher value and higher margins pieces of merch. As you get creative with your content, the common sense and practical upsides of selling directly to your fans remains ever-important: we’ve seen merchandise make up 60% of revenue in livestreams and over 80% of merch sold in the same transaction as a ticket.
There are unique and exciting opportunities coming up for artists. As always, if you’re unsure of the best approach or have a creative idea not outlined above, we’re here to help!