You may have noticed that over the last few blog posts that I’ve been focusing on sharing how to build an audience. I find the topic fascinating. It brings together two particular interests of mine, creativity and psychology. I also think this is the most valuable area that you can invest your time and energy into.
Today though is something a little different.
Do you know the difference between Live Streaming, Streaming and Hybrid events?
Are you sure you know the pros and cons of each?
Do you know what the impact it will have on you and your audience?
If you said “no” to any of those questions, then read on. By the end of this email, you will “know your stuff” when it comes to choosing your online performing format.
The official Cambridge dictionary definition is: “a broadcast of the video and sound of an event over the internet as it happens.”
“As it happens” is the most important part of this. The performance has to happen and be viewed by your audience at the same time. Pre-recording a performance and then streaming it does NOT count as live streaming.
This is where some orchestras have been a bit ambiguous with their online content. Some have given the impression of being “live”. In fact, they are pre-recorded performances.
This MATTERS. Audiences value LIVE digital content. They are willing to pay a higher ticket price for it. Why? Because it’s a one time only event. Scarcity. FOMO. It becomes more valuable.
- Immediacy: The expectation. In the moment. Delivering. Nerves. It’s raw. There’s no patching or editing. I’ve found this thrilling when I’ve performed live streams.
- Higher Value: Your audience values being part of a live event. They are willing to pay more for a ticket.
- Interact and Engage: you can talk with your audience during the performance. Asking and answering questions for example.
- Technical Glitches: It can be very stressful to sort during a performance. Sometimes you may not even realise the sound has gone. The main way to overcome this is to test test test. To the point that you know 9 times out of 10 it will work.
- Upload speed: having a low upload speed for your internet connection can hinder live streaming. As Chris Braime from Falkland Lodge Studios points out, you may have to run your live stream at a lower quality.
Lower End: 720p video, you’ll need an upload speed of 5 Mbps
Higher End: 1080p video at 60 frames per second. You’ll need an upload speed of up to 7.4 Mbps.
Highest Quality: 4k live streaming at 60 frames per second, You’ll need an upload speed of 68.8 Mbps
What about streaming?
Streaming is “the activity of listening to or watching sound or video directly from the internet”
This is pre-recorded content, which is then shown on a platform. This could be a scheduled viewing event, like YouTube Premier. Or something you pay to watch any time, like on OnJam.tv.
- ake more time: You can take as much time as you like to record the material.
- Editing: You can edit the visuals and audio to ensure it meets your standards.
- Flexible: You can fit it around a busy schedule. For example, if you are only available to perform in the mornings, you could record it then and then stream it in the evening.
- Not Live: You lose a sense of the immediacy of the performance. I did a pre-record for an Orchestra and I found the recording of chunks tiring.
- Lack of engagement: performers can’t engage with specific audience members. I’ve found it can be quite lonely to watch as a viewer. I may as well be watching any youtube video.
- Seeking Perfectionism: because you can do many takes, doesn’t mean it is healthy to do so.
These are a mix of two different elements. For example, you could do a performance that is in person as well as live-streamed. Or you could show a streamed performance but then have a live-streamed Q&A after it.
- Accessibility: If someone can’t travel to where you are performing, they can still enjoy your performance. Be part of your audience. You can bring the pros of both live streaming and streaming together.
Pleasing Two Crowds: Audiences expect a unique digital experience. Plonking down a camera and expecting your online audience to enjoy the performance isn’t going to cut it. You have to give them a valuable experience. You can create this by having a specific pre-performance welcome, answering their questions between pieces or having an after performance Q&A.
Pre-planning your digital recital format is essential. You want to pick something that you and your audience are going to enjoy.
To help you work out which is going to work for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to perform live?
(If so, you could choose live streaming or hybrid)
- What is my internet upload speed?
(you need 7.4 Mbps to live stream)
- Would I prefer to pre-record?
(if so, Stream)
- Would you like to include a live element?
(turn your performance into a hybrid)
If you do choose to live stream. Make sure you make a backup recording whilst you’re streaming. If anything does go wrong with the connection, you can upload the recording for your audience instead.
Above all else, give your audience an awesome experience. Experiment. Find out what will work for you. Now you can be the Yoda of Digital Recital formats. “Do, or do not, there is no try.” Which are you going to do?
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