Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020

Last week Alana Jagt from APRA AMCOS spoke with Tim Shiel and Olivia Bartley - the performing artist Olympia – to discuss their experiences on the new frontier of live streaming for musicians during the pandemic crisis and give a masterclass on how to ace this exciting new way to connect with your audience.

Tim Shiel is an electronic music producer, former touring member of Gotye, runs the record label Spirit Level, and is an Australian radio presenter for Double J and Triple J.

Olivia performs around the world as Olympia and has been transferring her keen eye for visuals and strong aesthetics from live performances into the world of live streaming.

Both artists recently performed on the ongoing live Instagram festival Isol-Aid and with the opportunity of live streaming becoming a permanent fixture in the music world, spoke with APRA to share some advice on how artists can take the format to the next level of success.

You can watch the full masterclass below but here’s a few hot tips we gleaned for you along the way:

  • Make sure to think about your audience before picking which platform you use – Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube – they all have different reach and make sure to keep in mind the people you want to perform to when you decide your platform.

  • Be authentic to who you are as an artist when you stream. For some that could be high production values and multi cam recordings. For others, an intimate stream in front of your bedroom laptop could be what your audience is after.

  • There’s no rules. There’s no right way to do it. Don’t get bogged down in the technicalities when you start off. Everyone is learning this at the same time and screwing up is all part of the charm.

  • Not having live feedback from your audience can be hard. If you’re up to it, try interacting with your fans during the set. It’s a great way to connect with people closely and always ignore the trolls.

  • Don’t undervalue your work as an artist and keep an eye out for ways to monetise your performance. The development of paywall systems for live performances is in the works and bands like IDLES are selling tickets to full digital tours.

  • If you’re looking to up your production values, look into buying basic things like a light ring, zoom microphone, try using multi-cam broadcast software like OBS, dress up the space, but there’s no harm in keeping it simple and recording on your phone. People understand the medium. Preface creativity over sound quality. In the end it is about connecting and communicating with your audience so keep them in mind when planning your live stream. If it’s a unique performance to you, audiences will be invested in what you are doing.

  • Always test your internet connection and do a trial stream before going live. Nothing worse than your stream glitching out!

  • There’s something special and ephemeral about having to be there for a live stream which might top the need to re-upload the performance. If people come and go as you perform, that is just the transient nature of the medium and don’t let it get you down.

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