• Philip Marsden

How to Get More Viewers for Your Live Stream

In the past year, live streaming has become more important than ever for independent artists. In a time when gigs have been nearly non-existent, it’s been the only way to perform for your fanbase and keep some in-the-moment human connection. Trouble is, unless you’re Billie Eilish, it’s difficult to get people to tune in and hear what you have to offer. Simply going live and hoping people see the notification to tune in isn’t enough to get an audience together. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make sure people know about your virtual gig and encourage them to tune in!


Create and schedule promo content

Just as you would with a real gig, you need to create and schedule some eye catching promo content in advance of the live stream. If you’re not telling people about it, they’re never going to know it’s happening. Make sure your promotional content is good enough to stop people from scrolling and give people a definitive date and time! As you probably know, getting organic reach on social media is becoming more and more difficult, so make sure it’s across all of your networks, use your mailing list and consider running a paid ad that pushes to your followers. Stuck for content? Here are 18 ideas.


List your virtual gigs on Spotify

You can list your virtual gigs on your Spotify profile just like ordinary gigs, so that they appear under the “Concerts” tab as “Upcoming Virtual Events. It’s really easy to do this using Songkick.


Collaborate with other artists

Team up with artists in your area, genre or scene and host a joint live stream. Doing this will expand the audience for everybody involved while allowing you to network with like minded musicians and it’s a lot more fun than playing by yourself!


Team up with a local business

Other indie artists aren’t the only people you can collaborate with for a virtual gig. You could also team up with a local recording studio or venue, a cafe, a charity or even another creative like a videographer! This creates another win-win scenario, especially for the hospitality businesses that are struggling at the moment.


Host a giveaway

Everybody loves a giveaway contest! If you’re hosting one as a part of your promotional campaign for your latest release, why not announce the winner during a virtual gig? This gives fans more of an incentive to remember the date and tune in!


Put some effort into your performance space

This is more about keeping viewers than getting them in the first place, but it’s super important. Your live stream can’t just be an off centre video of you playing guitar on your sofa. It needs to look the part! Set up a proper stage area with anything that makes it vibey. (am I down with the kids yet?) Throw up some cool lighting, make sure your camera angle is perfect and wear a nice outfit instead of your PJs. Treat it like a real gig!


Start streaming early

No matter what, a virtual gig is always going to feel informal and people have things to do, so they’re not all going to tune in exactly on time. Begin streaming early and give people a chance to start watching. This gives you a great opportunity to simply have a chat with your fans and connect even more! Just be sure to include a timer so everybody knows when the music starts, otherwise some people might be tempted to leave when they see that there’s nothing going on yet.


Share the link before you go live

Finally, make sure that you share the direct link to the stream on your socials before you go live. Some platforms will let you do this up to 48 hours in advance. This way, you can encourage fans to bookmark the link and save it for later, or they can simply find it on your socials when it’s time to go. You need to make it as easy as possible for your audience!


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