Stream Pilots followed up with Twitch Musician Introspekshun to get her take on how live music streaming is different from live gigging. 1) What aspect of music streaming surprised you at first?
The most surprising aspect about music streaming was how open, understanding, and welcoming viewers and other streamers were, despite the fact that I was new to streaming and didn't have the most elaborate setup. In my earliest streams, I was quite nervous since I hadn't performed in front of people in general for quite a long time, but everyone was kind and compassionate, which definitely helped my confidence over these last few months.
2) How is music live streaming different from a live show at a venue? How did you adapt?
When you're live streaming, you're essentially on your own (for solo artists), which is convenient in the sense that the only person you are responsible for is yourself. However, you also have to supply all of your equipment and ensure that your setup is functioning correctly on the hardware and software side. Streaming has been a great learning experience for me as someone who is in the process of learning more about audio visual technology and creating a home recording studio. Internet issues are also one of the biggest differentiators from a live setup, and I've done tons of troubleshooting with my ISP (internet service provider). I've researched routers and worked around busy network times to avoid dropping frames, outages, and lag, which can impact my viewers' experiences. I've invested hours into research, troubleshooting, and playing around with my setup which has definitely helped me adapt.
The social aspect is also different in the sense that your "crowd" is not physically present, and yet it is much more interactive. You are constantly multi-tasking: reading chat, responding to individual messages, ensuring that you're bringing energy to the chatroom or matching the overall vibe of the chat (for example, building up positive energy or playing an upbeat song during a hype train or a raid). I like to think that I'm an empathetic person, and I'm always looking for ways to help viewers feel welcome, comfortable, and accepted when they come into my channel. I find that dedicating some time before the stream to get into the right headspace has been a great way to ensure that I can put on the best performance possible.
3) Do you see yourself going back to live shows (when they safely return) or are you staying with streaming instead?
Prior to streaming on Twitch, I was in a unique situation where I had only recently gotten back into music after only performing at talent shows/concerts in my high school days. I would absolutely love to play live shows at venues once it is safe to do so, but I do plan on continuing streaming regardless. With streaming, you can choose to put on a show and can interact with regular viewers at your convenience, and also build relationships with other musicians online. With live shows, there's definitely more of a social aspect in that you can see people dancing or interacting with you on stage, in-person. In an ideal world, I would love to primarily stream and play live gigs on a regular basis.
4) As a musician, what were/are the key differences of other streaming platforms, compared to Twitch?
As someone who was involved in the gaming world as well as being a musician, Twitch has its own unique culture (gaming/internet references, memes, etc.) that is dominant on the platform in comparison to other platforms such as Instagram's live streaming function. For musicians who are not familiar with internet or gaming culture, this will be a bit of a learning curve, but there are many resources that will help them become acclimated. The Twitch Music community is also extremely hospitable, and are always willing to provide guidance when they see someone in need.
5) When (approx) do you foresee your livestream revenue equaling or replacing your live gig income?
Before I started streaming on Twitch, I wasn't a full-time musician. I do work full-time in the software industry, and music was my hobby and is now my side business. I don't foresee my livestream revenue equaling or exceeding my current Full Time job revenue based on my regular streaming schedule any time soon, but I would love to become a full-time musician/streamer eventually.
Introspekshun streams weekly and you can follow her channel for schedule updates here.