Making income from your live broadcast

It may seem counter-intuitive to think you could make money by broadcasting a “free” live show. If people could see the gig from the comfort of their home, for free, what incentive would there be for them to even come to a show, right? Wrong.

If you offer a service, especially a quality service (live performance), there are reasons for people to pay, especially if you give them the means:

LiveStream-CreativeCommons1) Set up a PayPal, Kickstarter or other account for them to pay online for the experience. This won’t guarantee revenue, but at least it’s a cue. Have a contribution link right there at the broadcast link.
2) Interact with your fans and give them acknowledgement on the broadcast. Event broadcasts can accommodate crawling text (text that runs along the bottom of the screen) so they can be featured. (ie. “Joe Fan just contributed $20!”) You could also ask them to text an image of themselves watching your broadcast from wherever they are and insert that in your own broadcast. Perhaps the most creative fan location wins a free CD or backstage passes to your next show?
3) Have a mission or purpose for the broadcast – are you raising money to record or go on tour? Do you have a new CD you are promoting? Make your cause known and then ask for support.

Other Revenue Streams
Basic advertising is do-able for a live streaming event. Obviously, you will want to sell the space before the event. Then include ad backdrops during the show or add the crawling text mentioned above or insert commercials during the broadcast. Maybe even a little product placement during the event?

You could have an access code for the presentation. With this method, you might pre-sell tickets in exchange for the code. Maybe the tickets also include purchase price of your CD, or a free download, or some form of band merch (which includes shipping cost). Maybe there’s a door prize code associated with each access code…and you announce the winner’s name on live broadcast.

And then there are the actual attendees. You may wonder why people would even bother to show up if your show is being broadcast for free? But, of course, many people are hams, craving the spotlight – so shine it on them. Get them on camera and watch them add priceless content to your show.

If you are very selective of the venue you choose for this event, you should be able to generate income from them as well. After all, you are basically creating a long commercial for them. Don’t leave that money on the table.

But also, if you remember our conversation about creating your own venue, there are LOTS of opportunities to broadcast from a location that loves to advertise. Think about car dealership lots, restaurants, and the like. Beyond the commercial, you are giving them an excellent event to draw people in and buy.

We’re barely scratching the surface here. After the broadcast is over, you’ll have an A/V recording that can be used to generate additional revenue; everything from online sale of songs, video and ringtones to an on-going Kickstarter campaign. At bare minimum, you’ll have creative content to help book your band easier for future events. You”ll also set the stage for more international sales.

No, you probably won’t be able to do it all. You can do anything you want in life but you can’t do everything you want (or at least not well). The lessons here are: be creative, think globally, and think like an entrepreneur because the opportunities are there.

But hopefully you’ll see here that you need to start thinking visually too. Live performance is much more than just the music these days. From the early days of Motown to Michael to that lady in the meat suit or that “treadmill band,” the bar has been set, so start thinking about how to improve your live performance skill sets…that’s next.

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