The Internet is everywhere. And soon it will be everywhere literally, if people like Elon Musk get their way. Musk, the leader of Tesla cars and an original founder of PayPal, has proposed launching an array of satellites to provide free wi-fi to the entire world.
But it’s not just Elon Musk. You may have noticed Facebook’s new “Live Video” feed capabilities. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, launched the technology with a live interview of Jerry Seinfeld and generated an audience of 8 million people. Most TV shows never see that kind of viewership for a single episode.
So what does that mean for artist development and music production? Artists looking to develop their fan base will, sooner or later, have to connect directly to fans. This is nothing new to millennials who have grown up with cameras all around them, but those less tech savvy will need to catch up. With advancements in broadband, like the coming “5G” mobile, with speeds that will make 4G seem like dial-up modems of yesteryear, you can rest assured that everyone who wants to have their own live streaming Truman Show will be able to do it. Many already are. As a method of artist development, this is a direct connection to your fan base, and one you should capitalize on sooner rather than later for a few big reasons:
1) It’s Just The Beginning
It may have seemed like YouTube was cutting edge when it blew up ten years ago. But live streaming TV is still just starting to take off. Aside from the fact that Facebook has a massive user base and infrastructure to broadcast and promote its live streaming feed, many other apps are popping up, like YouNow, Musical.ly, Flipagram, Snapchat, and Vine, that are all capitalizing on the trend. One only has to look to events like VidCon, a conference that for video user enthusiasts. Now is the time to start making regular video appearances and music performances a part of your scheduled content.
2) People Hear Music With Their Eyes
Although you will keep fans based on the merit of your music, you can generate fans based on the virality of your video content. One good cover version of a popular song is something that can get people sharing your content and getting people to give you a chance. Video is an intimate encounter for a new fan to discover what you’re about, and if your connection to that fan is strong, they’ll start coming back for more.
3) A Video Is Worth A Thousand Words
Your video content is the window that people will see your personality through. In this age of celebrity, a viral video is your vehicle to the masses. A successful video channel is your vehicle to revenue. Eyeballs are the thing that corporate sponsors and record labels alike are seeking the most from artists. And if you generate enough eyeballs, those corporate entities will pay you for the exposure you might help their products attain. Becoming an influencer can be a lucrative income stream. 100k followers can get you several thousand dollars for a product endorsement post. Even 10K followers can fetch a couple of hundred dollars just to mention a brand or product that you endorse.
4) Labels Are Signing More Internet Stars
Signings like Shawn Mendes are becoming more and more common, as internet stars crossover to legitimate mainstream fame. The internet has become the new breeding ground for talent to make their case with the public. If the public responds in this arena, then record labels are more likely to take on the risk under the assumption that expanding the reach for the artist will generate more success on a wider scale.