With most of the world quarantined and events and tours on hold, live-streamed gigs from home are currently the only way artists are able to perform to their audience/fans. Two of the most popular platforms used to do exactly this – Facebook Live and Facebook-owned Instagram Live – are not currently monetiseable though. That means, of course, that regardless of how many concurrent viewers an artist attracts, at present, those artists cannot charge fans for access or even directly monetize that traffic. This then defeats the point of them being able to try and carry on making a living through their passion and gaining some normality as the events industry takes one of the hardest knock backs from this pandemic.
As of the end of April, Facebook has finally revealed a few potential game-changing updates to its live-streaming offerings. The firm acknowledged that people are increasingly turning to Facebook & Instagram Live for not just streamed gigs, but workout classes, cooking lessons, faith services and much more, so plan to add on features to make them even more useful. Facebook has said it will start by expanding its ‘Stars’ tool to more Pages and more countries: Facebook users buy and send ‘Stars’ to creators while they’re streaming and they’ll earn 1 cent for every Star. They have also exclaimed they will be bringing back the ‘Live With’ feature, which lets you add another person, using their own device, to a live video, i.e. allowing you to include ‘a guest speaker, interview an expert or perform with a friend’
You’ll also be able to mark Facebook Events as ‘online only’ and integrate the event with Facebook Live and then broadcast that event live to your guests.
These new features, and particularly the ability to charge for events is great news for the music business and will likely be a hit with artists looking for ways to generate revenue while their tours and gigs are paused. In the background, according to a number of job ads spotted, Facebook has also been hiring for music executives that could potentially be playing a key part in all of this and help with licensing issues and performing rights too.
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