The present and future of social media is live streaming, and no platform connects broadcasters and audiences better than Twitch. While the history of Twitch is mostly associated with gamers, creatives and entertainers of all types now embrace live streaming.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense that musicians have much to gain from jumping on the live-stream bandwagon. Let’s explore why Twitch is a remarkable way to grow your fan base and a few tips about how to get the most from your channel.
Why Twitch Works
Sure, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offer live streaming, but Twitch is a little different in that streaming is its primary content type. Your audience comes to Twitch with the expectation of watching and engaging with you over a live video format.
That gives you desirable control over the presentation, intent and packaging of your content. Your stream is the star of your channel, and you get to write and direct the action.
And we can’t stress how critical the engagement part is. The ability to interact with fans is Twitch’s secret sauce. Use this power wisely and often by chatting right with your followers to answer their questions and give them shutouts by name. Your audience will then keep coming back for more if you create the vibe that you’re hanging out with them in the same room.
Creating a Twitch channel is easy. Simply click the “Sign up” button on the Twitch homepage and enter a few details like your username and password. You’ll be asked to choose a category for your channel during the sign-up process. Note that many musicians list themselves as “creatives” to distinguish from the “gamers” on the site. And while this may seem like a small detail, it’s a critical one to make your channel easy for fans to find.
Once you’ve created your channel, you’re read ready to begin streaming to the world! You only need a webcam and a mic.
Of course, better quality video cameras and mics provide a better streaming experience to your fans. We’re musicians, after all, so we know the value of using great gear!
Deciding What to Stream
As musicians, we often view our product in binary terms — we provide fans with polished singles or albums and refined live performances in suitable venues.
But there are always more options when you get creative.
Thinking from the fans’ perspective is a good place to start when figuring out what content you’ll stream. What would you want to see from the artists and bands you love?
The frequent answers to this question can broadly categorize as interactive and candid experiences.
We previously mentioned the need to engage your followers on Twitch. So, how do you go about it in an organized fashion?
Consider hosting a Q&A session or live request hour. Your fans are probably chomping at the bit to ask you questions and hear their personal favorites played by request.
Fan polling is another way to get your audience involved. Go live and ask for the input of your fans on decisions you face as a musician: Which photo should use on the cover of our upcoming EP? What song should I play first at Tony’s Pub on Saturday night?
What candid, behind-the-scenes content can you stream to your fans? You may want to invite them into your rehearsal space and live broadcast band practice, give a tour of your studio space or have them sit shotgun as you mix your next single.
You should also set and commit to a streaming schedule when you first start out, and Twitch gurus suggest streaming three or more times a week for maximum results. However, make sure you announce your upcoming streams in advance so that your followers know when to watch.
Once you have a content game plan together, don’t forget to share your Twitch streaming link across your other social media accounts when you go live. You can use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to drive your established audience to your Twitch channel.
Several big-name musicians are already leveraging Twitch, especially in the EDM and hip-hop communities.
For example, Deadmau5, a regular Twitch streamer whose channel has 450K+ followers, often shares in-progress mixes, breaks down his craft or fields questions. He even streams himself playing video games while chatting to fans.
Other artists embracing Twitch include Post Malone (280K+ followers), T-Pain (100K+ followers) and Lil’ Yachty (66K+ followers).
No other platform builds an authentic and intimate connection with your fans as quickly as Twitch. So, try a few of our tips and watch as your audience grows to a previously unfathomable size. Don’t worry: we’ll be watching along live on your channel!
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