Musician’s Guide To Beginning Live Streaming
In this article, you’ll learn how to do a live stream on Facebook.
With the closing of bars and restaurants, live music has been hit hard by the coronavirus. We have suggested that musicians shift to online offerings for their audience.
Have you thought about live streaming, but gave up because it seemed too difficult or you didn’t think you had the right equipment? It’s easier than you might think.
As most local musicians have a Facebook presence, but not a website or Youtube channel, we’ll concentrate on how to live stream on Facebook.
There are several benefits to live streaming, such as Facebook will give your post a higher boost than regular videos or posts. In addition, you’ll be able to reach your audience not only while you live stream, but also later after the stream is over, and it gets shared and re-watched.
Hardware and Equipment
You can live stream on a range of devices. You don’t need fancy equipment to get started.
You will need a mobile device (phone or tablet), a laptop, or desktop computer. If you’re reading this article, you probably already have one of these.
Your device will need to have a web cam – either built in or added on. Mobile devices and laptops are the mostly likely to have a camera built in.
If you need to add a web cam to your computer, we suggest a Logitech webcam. There are several models. You’ll have to research which one is compatible with your computer. The camera mounts on top of your screen and plugs in via a USB cable. The camera will come with a software installation CD. It should only take a few minutes to get your web cam up and running.
If you have a mobile device, a tripod is helpful to aim and steady the camera. If you’re handy, you can make your own homemade tripod out of items lying around the house. This article has several designs, which should help get your creative juices flowing.
The tripod can be set on a desk, table, or chair.
Software For Mobile Devices (Phone or Tablet)
For mobile devices, you’ll need to download the Facebook App. On an iPhone, go to the App Store icon and click on it. Search for “Facebook”. Download the Facebook App. Android also has a Facebook App, which can be downloaded in a similar manner from Google Play.
Software For Non-mobile Devices (Laptop or Desktop Computer)
For non-mobile devices, no extra software or app is needed.
How to Live Stream For All Devices
Live streaming on Facebook is pretty simple and intuitive.
- Open Facebook either in the app (for mobile) or in your browser.
- Go to your newsfeed where it says “What’s on your mind?”
- Look for the “Live” or “Live Video” button and click it.
- Give your stream a title and/or description.
- Click the “Start Live Video” or “Go Live” button to start streaming,
- Click the “Finish” or “End Live Video” button to stop.
You can practice beforehand by setting it to broadcast to “Only Me”. You’ll be able to see it on your timeline, but nobody else will. Otherwise set it to “Public” for the most exposure.
So how do you make money from this? We suggest asking for an optional cover charge or tips to be sent to your Paypal and/or Venmo account. You can verbally ask, or put up a sign. You can also put your Paypal and Venmo addresses in the video description to make it easier for people to find them. Don’t forget to mention any other online offers you have, such as CD sales or music lessons.
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Live Stream
While it’s possible to do live streams at random times and have some kind of audience, you’ll have a much larger audience if you schedule it for a certain day and time, and promote it in advance, just like your regular gigs. Examples of places to promote it are not only your band’s Facebook, but also your local alternative newsweekly, local music society, local music calendars, etc. – wherever your potential audience goes to find out what’s happening.
In addition, it will also help build your audience if you have a live stream on a consistent schedule at a time when most people are on Facebook (for example, every Friday at 7pm, or every Wednesday at 3pm). A larger audience means more sharing, replays, and monetization.
Watch this video for eight best practices for live streams, such as ideal stream length, how to increase reach and engagement, and how to come across professionally. Many of these tips are applicable for musicians.
If you decide that live streaming is for you, and you’d like to move up to better equipment, you can gradually start investing in a real tripod with a phone or tablet mount, and an external microphone for starters. This video has some recommended equipment listed in the description.