With the pandemic forcing businesses to throw their best effort to moving online, the music industry has been relying on online music monetization to continue engaging with audiences, selling music, and sharing shows.
Early into 2020, many musicians decided engagement through free online shows was worth the effort but as the year dragged on and opportunities for musicians to get paid work dwindled, more and more have turned to platforms that allow online concert ticketing.
This way, musicians, bands, and their teams could afford to increase show production value, and fans get a memorable experience even from the comfort of their own home.
Musicians learnt to engage with fans via the screen and comments during such live virtual events, offer bundled ticket tiers to help fans get merch, afterparty access, and other additional perks regular show attendees might opt out of but true fans really want to get.
Music industry’s biggest names, like BTS, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Metallica, Coldplay… and many more have held online events, and some went from just online to virtual, with VR events like Travis Scott’s Fortnite collab or upcoming Madison Beer virtual experience with Sony.
With thousands of tickets sold, online shows are becoming a big part of the industry, and with the pandemic expected to continue throughout 2021, putting together an online concert is something any self-respecting musician and band needs to consider.
Online concert planning – where to start
The beauty of an online concert is that it can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. There are a few things you need to consider when you are starting your show planning: show concept, audience, best time to hold, prospective budget, show location, what equipment you might need, and who will be joining your production team and perform.
For an at-a-glance checklist for your online show, check my recent blogpost for Show4me Music Interaction Network here. It’s an infographic and you can save the image on your phone and come back to it any time during your preparation.
Choosing your platform
When it comes to the place where to stream your event, you can choose go-to platforms for any live like Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, or Zoom, or you can choose one of the music-specific online streaming locations, like Show4me or Stageit.
On Show4me, we’ve created a whole environment for your fans to enjoy the show, interact, and stay as part of your fanbase even after the event is over. As an artist, you get your own Artist Club and can upload your music and sell it there, post your news, updates, and behind the scenes, and fans can follow your Artistclub and even get a paid premium subscription, which all adds to your profits on the platform.
Another perk to using Show4me is free to ticket bundles – the platform only charges its small fee upon withdrawal of your profits, so you don’t need a paid membership to use benefits like offering ten different ticket types for your online event. Using this feature will allow you to offer fans various options when it comes to your online event. They can get the basic general admission ticket or go for a ticket bundled with your merch, like vinyl or T-shirt, or you can offer tickets to an afterparty, preshow rehearsal, and even a music lesson.
All of these ticket types allow you to make your show even more profitable.
One key point to consider when choosing the platform to stream your show on is whether people can buy tickets during the event – this will help you sell tickets even after the event has begun. You can urge your fans to get ticket types that include your merch or lessons or other perks as stated above. Show4me is one of the places where you can do that.
Now that the basics of your show planning are in order, let’s consider your show concept, topic, and theme. All of these are crucial when it comes to fan experience and promotion options for your event.
A collab will allow you to tap into the audiences of another artist or entity, a themed event that’s tied to a beloved holiday can get you more audience members who might not want to listen to your music as much as they want to feel the magic of a celebration. On Show4me, we’ve seen a surge of birthday party celebrations – this type of show can be just for your inner circle but can also include all of your fans. Sharing a life event and making people like part of a warm friend circle can be especially valuable during the time when we have to stay socially distant a lot of the time.
Unusual or spectacular locations, special guests, interesting costumes, games – these are just some of the ideas that you can use for your event. One tip we’ve got from a Brazilian artist Larissa Goretkin who had a few shows on our platform so far, including a sold-out birthday special, is to communicate to your fans how important this event is for you, and if they are true fans, they are likely to support you.
Launching ticketing campaign and promotion
Now that you have a great show idea, planned your budget, equipment logistics, and all the guests/participants, it’s time to launch your ticketing campaign and promote your online event.
It’s important to realize that while there’s so much effort that goes into planning a show, launching a ticketing campaign online and promoting it is an important stretch of your work and you do need to put a lot of effort and resources into it – prepare a juicy show description, create teasers and spectacular visuals, make posts about your upcoming show on your social media and send out a few emails.
If you have the budget, you can run ads for your show on social media. You can also reach out to local press, to some of the media who covered you in the past ,post to social media online concert announcement groups, as well as create your show announcements on major platforms like Resident Advisor and Skiddle.
Do not rest until you sell every last ticket (although do realize that not every show can be a sold out event, just try to sell as many as you can).
To iron out any kinks in your event and make sure all of your equipment talk to each other, run through your event top to bottom. And record yourself too. Watch the video back to see how you look, whether you need to work on your intro, your playlist, or adjust the sound.
One typical mistake is your talking volume is much lower than when you are singing, so your audience has to change the volume all the time or settle for subpar event experience. Figure out how to make your sound and video as good as possible, if you are using Show4me, do a run-through with your artist success manager and hear the feedback from them, and be ready to bring the energy to your web event just like you do with your live shows!
A quality online event can bring you new fans and help build a connection with the ones you already have. Releasing music and getting gigs in 2020 has been very challenging, 2021 is the time the music community is going to be the time of fully embracing online concerts and their potential to entertain fans, create a memorable experience, and make a profit off your music.
If you feel like putting together your own online event, Show4me’s team of artist success managers would be happy to help Six String Tips readers do that for free. Create your free artist professional profile on show4me.com, start an Artistclub for your music (also free), and send the link to your filled out Artistclub to [email protected] saying you want to hold your very own online concert on Show4me. We will be happy to help!
Co-Author: Mary Ivanova – Mary writes copy, manages social media, and connects with media for Show4me Music Interaction Network.