It’s taken some time – and the unfortunate circumstance of a pandemic – but concert live-streaming could finally be having its moment. Even though it’s for the best, most of our escapes from daily life – concerts, sports, festivals, and cinema trips – have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, in times like this, you can always find some good out there… especially with the internet! Amid major cancellations, artists, influencers comedians and more are scrambling for new ways forward, entertaining us with a constant ticker of live-streamed events. Even better, if you’ve missed them, most of them are available for you to stream after the fact, so don’t worry about having to add scheduling anxiety to your already list of worries.
It all started with musicians like John Legend proving he was a man of the people as he performed an Instagram LIVE concert from home – with Chrissy Teigen draped elegantly across the piano – but it wasn’t long before educators, gyms, brands and even the SEEN Connects team jumped on the live-streaming bandwagon. Even couples were live-streaming into their own weddings, amid fears of contagion!
Whether the live-streaming surge we’re experiencing has come from a place of inspired community or genuine fear, coronavirus is without doubt giving live-streaming services the chance to prove themselves. 2020 has become the year that we did away with webcam embarrassment, and went live to the world. From Instagram and Facebook, to YouTube and Twitch, everyone is tuning in or streaming from the comfort of their living rooms; in fact, Facebook and Instagram’s LIVE features have seen a 50% increase in usagesince the virus breakout. Facebook, which has 2.5 billion monthly active users, said it’s also stepping up efforts to make live videos accessible to more people. That includes the ability to watch live videos without a Facebook account and a way to only listen to the audio of a video, a feature that could help users in areas with poor internet connections.
As we all adapt to this new way of life, isolated from the physical world and connected only via the internet, we expect live content to get bigger, better and bolder. Much of the earth have never live-streamed anything, so, to ease you in gently, we’ve collated a fun and helpful list of the live-streamers who are doing it well, with a few tips here and there on what you can learn along the way. For a constantly updating list of all the live-streams and virtual concerts happening around the internet, try this link: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9335531/coronavirus-quarantine-music-events-online-streams
We’re doing this platform by platform, so let’s start with the OG, YouTube…
Joe Wicks; “The Nations P.E. Teacher” (9am, daily)
What’s happening? When all this is over, and Her Majesty the Queen reviews England’s COVID-19 heroes, Joe Wicks, or ‘The Body Coach’, will inevitably be on her OBE list. For a good week or so, Joe has been live-streaming from his living room to the nation, delivering P.E. classes aimed at families globally. On the first day, 806K homes tuned in, with a further 2M views on YouTube. If you stack up those 30-odd-minute views end to end, Joe’s first workout was viewed for the equivalent of 51years.
What can you learn? Even though Joe is live-streaming alone, he’s building community by getting people up and out of bed at the same time every day, to unify them alone, together. This is true to Joe Wicks’ skillset and something he championed long before a pandemic. The lesson to be learnt here is sticking to what you’re known for, and being the first to do something.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1
Dolly Parton; bedtime stories (weekly, midnight GMT, from Thursday 2nd April)
What’s happening? The Queen of Country has decided to join the live-streaming revolution, but she won’t be singing – instead, Dolly Parton will be telling bedtime stories to your kids. Lucky kids, we say! ‘Goodnight With Dolly’ starts this week, and will continue for 10 weeks. Of course, you will be able to find the videos on demand too, for whenever suits you and your sprogs.
What can you learn? This is a good learning for big brands with big pots of marketing money. Imagine if the audibles of the world sponsored this, and the stories were available via their platform? Everyone loves Dolly, everyone loves stories, everyone would download Audible… guaranteed.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0MpwxxTbrBOz1g1X-BynUA
James Corden; #HomeFest
What’s happening? Yup, right now, summer is looking pretty bleak. Gigs are getting the axe, tours are on the chopping block, and saddest of all, Glasto’s 50th anniversary bash has been cancelled. Boo. However, it was only a matter of time before someone in the music industry clocked on, and took things virtual. There are now literally hundreds of live-stream concerts you can catch all over the internet, festivals being planned, gigs being coordinated and one-man shows like Antony Hopkins playing the piano for his cat. James Corden is one of the world’s new live-streaming gurus apparently, having queued an eclectic line up of acts, including everyone from Billie Eilish to Dua Lipa for a Facebook and Instagram Live, with proceeds going to coronavirus crisis charities.
What can you learn? This activation is all about thinking outside of the box. If you’re an event based business, or you grow your business from being face to face, it’s time to mix things up and to think about how you can do it digitally – now, and in the long run.
Watch it here: https://www.facebook.com/latelateshowcbs/
2) Marie’s Crisis Café; singalong with Broadway tunes (every. single. night! Probably around midnight GMT)
What’s happening? Marie’s Crisis Café is an NYC, West Village piano bar where musical lovers go to sing along with their favourite show tunes. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of visiting this iconic spot will know that Marie’s emanates one of the most palpable senses of community in New York City. No matter who or how much of a regular you are, you can’t help but feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself when you’re uninhibitedly belting out “One Day More” or “Defying Gravity” alongside friends and strangers alike. In our socially distanced environment, it’s so heart-warming to tap into that feeling of community, celebration, and resilience inherent in LGBTQ culture and theatre history.
What can you learn? There’s so many musical options happening around the internet right now, but not many of them are interactive – almost all of them are passive watching. Making your live-stream interactive will get viewers more engaged in content, and keep them coming back for more.
Charli XCX hanging out with her famous friends
What’s happening? Pop star Charli XCX has been uploading self-isolating livestreams on Instagram, in which she invites her famous friends to do digital activities with her, and lets us watch. The first episode was an “emo chat” with Christine from Christine and the Queens, in which the two musicians discovered creativity, and Charli wore a ski mask. Then Charli and Diplo did an at-home workout routine together. A couple of days ago she streamed an art class with musician Clairo. She’s also just going slightly mad, and you know what? We’re here for it. Miley Cyrus is doing something very similar with her new IG Live show ‘Bright Minded’.
What can you learn? Charli is definitely debuting her penchant for chaotic good. The funny thing about this time is that no one really knows what to do, or how to appropriately tackle anything. We’re all taking things one day at a time, so don’t follow the rules – invent your own.
Watch it here: https://www.instagram.com/charli_xcx/?hl=en
- Massimo Bottura; Kitchen Quarantine (every night, 8pm LA time – found on his IGTV live channel to catch up on!)
What’s happening? Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura, has hosted a show called Kitchen Quarantine every night on Instagram LIVE since his famous Modena restaurant Osteria Francescana was forced to shut down earlier this month. Cooking seems to be an activity that been booming since COVID-19 shut the world down, so it’s no surprise that videos have been streamed hundreds of thousands of times. In one video, he inspired us with the line: “You rediscover old books, old records, the pleasure of cooking for your family. It’s the chance for us to build something special, that’s why we are doing it. The virus has taken everything from us, except free time and technology.”
What can you learn? One of the best things this virus has done, is dissolve the sheen of secrecy around skill. Practitioners have been sharing their skills as lessons, from famous musicians, to sports men and women, to magicians. If you share something for free now, as an act of kindness, your audience will pay for more in the future. It’s about cultivating loyalty, letting the walls down and the world in.
Watch it here: https://www.instagram.com/massimobottura/
Get The Scoop; Boohoo’s podcast recordings
What’s happening? Over the course of the last six months, it’s been a pleasure for us to build Boohoo’s in-house podcast, Get The Scoop. Having built up a loyal fan base, we decided to amp things up as the world heads into hibernation, but making the recording of each episode, a live experience that viewers can be a part of on Instagram. Not just a hit with Boohoo’s brand audience, the press were excited by Boohoo’s move and their live podcast has been covered everywhere from the BBC to Sky News.
What can you learn? As the world has gone into hibernation amidst COVID-19 fallout, there’s been a 70% rise in people listening to podcasts. Despite what you might think about market saturation, there has quite literally never been a better time to launch a podcast and given that 63% of podcast listeners have made a purchase based on something the host has recommended, there’s no time like the present! The world is sitting at home, scrolling through their phones, yearning for entertainment, so if you’ve got something to say… SAY IT!
Watch it here: https://www.instagram.com/boohoo/?hl=en
That’s our round up of the best from the big hitters, although the above really is a tiny crop of what’s available right now. Every time we open Instagram, more than one person is guaranteed to be streaming live! It’s not just the giants who are providing live content to the world, smaller platforms have thrived in recent weeks – Twitch, the Amazon-owned gamer streaming platform being one of them. Twitch is a live-streaming platform, and the primary focus is video games. Users can watch other people playing games, interact with other viewers, or live stream their own gameplay to the world. Key to their service, streamers also have the potential to earn money through subscriptions and Twitch partnerships – which is a bonus for influencers who’ve seen a massive reduction in their jobs right now! Content wise, this is our favourite Twitch live-stream right now…
Arden Rose; streaming her undying love for Nintendo’s brand new Animal Crossing iteration for the internet!
What’s happening? Twitch usage is up a whopping 10%, and unlikely Twitch-er Arden Rose – previously a kitschy Instagram cool-girl, loved for her aesthetic, eco-conscious fashion choices and kooky attitude – has most likely been largely responsible for that rise. Arden recently launched her own Twitch profile dedicated to showcasing her virtual Animal Crossing pad (feat. holographic shell bed and grizzly bear boyfriend – don’t ask) which she’s been streaming every single day, for most of the day. Showing her viewers round her island, and inviting her uber-fun internet friends to hangout in her uber-cool virtual world, Arden has become a Twitch veteran overnight.
What can you learn? Influencers: it’s okay to charge for viewers for the content you create – that’s your audience’s entertainment, and your bread and butter right now! According to the Financial Times, “Twitch announced on Tuesday that it was joining up with events site Bandsintown to allow musicians to monetise live-streamed performances via paid fan subscriptions and online tips. Patreon, which allows artists to charge ‘patrons’ for a subscription to their live streams, said that it had garnered 30K new creators in the first three weeks of March alone.”
Watch it here: https://www.twitch.tv/arose186
Hopefully this live-stream round up has soothed your webcam woes and got your creative juices flowing. Whether you’re looking to take your brand live to the world, or simply need a 1-on-1 virtual coffee with the Connects team on all things streaming, you can find us on-hand to help at firstname.lastname@example.org.