I love that my two worlds of music and gaming are merging furthermore. Musicians are seeing the benefits of entering the world of gaming.
For those of you who do not know me, one of the first communities I built in Oslo was ‘House of Nerds’. A gaming arena (physical location 1000 square meters – no biggie lol) where kids could come and meet other kids – and game.
An event arena where we merged the tech corporate world with gaming and kids. An arena for vloggers to come and broadcast from. The experience of gathering this community was something that has formed my work ever since.
This is a strong, loyal community to be in, gamers!
The live streaming platform Twitch is where gamers play games live whilst other gamers watch. People will subscribe to your channel and tip you real money. Sort of like a YouTube with Patreon functionality.
With many other creative arts categories on Twitch it’s only natural that the music category is one of the largest and is very rapidly growing. While Instagram is the easy option to reach large audiences, Twitch offers many more ways to make money.
A recent study by the Music Industry Research Association discovered that musicians in the US have three sources of income on average. With the overwhelming majority of their revenue coming from ticket sales to live performances. Due to the pandemic, Twitch has seen a surge in musicians signing up and live streaming everything from sets to painting artwork.
Twitch supports different tiers of subscriptions and donations. From ‘free’ subscriptions with Amazon Prime accounts to tipping with things called ‘Cheers’ (micro amounts for tipping). Offering a sea of different options for monetization makes the platform so popular compared to most others which just pay out on ad revenue.
Music and gaming has always gone hand in hand. Game soundtracks, gaming influencers listen to music while streaming and now musicians are literally entering the virtual worlds and engaging with their fanbases.
Deadmau5 did this early on where he was very active on Minecraft. Heck, he even built his own island and mouse statue in the game. He would go on to the platform and hang out with his fans while gaming together. Since then other musicians such as Travis Scott and Marshmello have been doing this on hit games like Fortnite.
I remember being introduced to the platform Twitch while starting ‘House of Nerds’. This was predominantly a streaming platform where you could watch people game and donate money. Gamers would actually make a living through the platform by just gaming and interacting with the viewers.
The platform and audience has GREATLY grown since back then but the concept is pretty much the same. The reason twitch became so successful for gamers is because of the sense of community between users where there are protocols and unwritten rules that everybody supports.
Five Golden Rules for Using Twitch
1. Be authentic & unique
People on Twitch come to connect with other people who like the same things they do. The appeal is that it’s not just short bits of general interest content shooting past in a newsfeed; it’s longer amounts of time spent watching creators do what they do best in real time.
They want to watch real people do what they are good at and they want to talk with those people and other fans.
2. Create a theme & content
To gain attention and a following you need to create a theme and stick to it, people will associate that with your name, and that is the way your content will become more recognizable.
Go browsing to see what other people are doing, test out concepts and make it your own. Don’t just imitate somebody else, get inspired. Inspiration from big influencers within gaming is a good starting point.
3. Think interactive and engaging
Audiences like to hear songs that they already know and they also like contributing to streams. Take requests and include cover songs in your list.
Creating games and competitions is also a great initiative to get people involved while inviting donations/tips as entry or rewards.
It’s these moments you create with your viewers that separate the best streamers from the regular Joes. Look at Marc Rebillet as an example of how to create super engaging live streams.
4. Keep a regular schedule
Consistency is important across social media. Just as you need to post regularly to Instagram in order to grow and keep an audience there, you need to do that with live streaming as well. Ideally, you will stream 3-5 days per week for 2-4 hours per session.
5. Get people to come and watch
Sharing your Twitch stream across your other social media channels is a great start. However, engaging with other streamers and entering partnerships with other Twitch users can have huge benefits.
By using ‘Raids’ – where streamers can, at the end of their live stream, send their viewers to another person’s live stream – this can massively increase your viewership in seconds. You need to have connections and trust with other users for this to be feasible.
Though building a presence on any social network takes time and dedication, for musicians that are facing their revenue continuing to dip, using Twitch can be a worthwhile investment. The money isn’t going to recover the losses due to coronavirus but it’s a good starting point.
When live shows in the physical world resumes, many artists are predicting that the love of live streaming will stick around and continue to grow.