Live HD multi-cam performance from Miami for UK media
One recurring thought in our minds throughout these challenging times is that no matter how far apart we’ve felt at times, we’ve never felt closer. We’re honoured to have brought worked hard with so many talented people to help create solutions to prevent the total cancellation of planned events.
One aspect in particular we’ve been working hard developing, is completely remote production workflow solutions for engaging live content delivery. Recently we were honoured to have the opportunity to again ramp it up and put it to the test with PMA Records LLC, Solo Music Agency and RCM to deliver a live artist showcase for one of the most exciting upcoming US pop acts.
Taylor Castro delivered a stunning performance live from Miami, FL as well as live conversation with John Giddings and Ben Jones in London on set prior to the performance. Taylor was due to be performing in the UK during the same week for potentially career-changing promotional activity so we developed a solution to still bring the action.
Full HD multi-cam setup with a light crew in a performance studio in Miami, Stream & Producer in Liverpool and a Director in London, all in both a real-time and low latency workflow. The stream was hosted on a private landing experience page, where invitees only could watch in on a broadcast quality viewing experience.
VR Glastonbury to Weekly Backstage Online Talk Shows with The Alabama 3
Live streaming on mainstream social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram Live, Twitch has unsurprisingly grown tenfold from creators doing it for the first time, to viewership figures and their participation. It gives both sides a unique opportunity that traditional broadcast often doesn’t in the forms of two-way interactivity.
Over the past 7 weeks, Level8 have been producing ‘And The Band Played On‘, a live, unfiltered interactive music talk show in podcast form. Featuring the artists and friends of a newly launched indie label, we worked with Submarine Cat to create a solution to launch the record label that gave both them as a brand and the artists a platform to reach fans and music lovers.
Every week we focus on a particular topic in the music world, from greatest albums through to live gigs. We were tasked weekly with devising a campaign strategy for promotion and overall production of the show. A few weeks back we ran an Alabama 3 special (MKF: Sopranos Theme Tune), which was cross-posted on social and generated and overall viewership of 20k+ unique viewers.
Live streaming in and real-time content creation from the artists’ themselves is now a key aspect of the labels content strategy, delivering weekly entertainment to thousands online a week.
If you’ve got an idea to reach an audience, we’d love to lend an ear, get in touch.
Transforming an annual conference in London, into a live virtual multi-room experience.
Powered by Level8
We were tasked by the team at the Association Of Independent Music to help deliver a solution to prevent their event (AIM Sync 2020) from being completely cancelled due to COVID-19. Scheduled to be held at the Barbican, London on the 30th March 2020, we worked with AIM to transform the entire event in to a completely virtual, interactive experience whilst retaining as much of the original content as possible.
Consisting of 4 individual features, the conference was laid out exactly how it was going to be in the individual rooms at The Barbican.
Arena 1 & Arena 2 hosted live streamed interactive panels of up to 4 speakers and moderators, where delegates had the ability to have their questions asked live by the panelists and have their opinions asked of them.
Whilst Arena 3 (Listening Sessions) gave delegates the opportunity to present their music to industry music sync experts to receive invaluable feedback on the likeliness of sync in their fields.
Arena 4 (Speed Networking Sessions) consisted of virtual 1-1 meet-ups where delegates had a 10 minute video call with chosen experts to replicate that which would have happened over a table at The Barbican. We set up over 120 of these individual sessions giving delegates and experts a like the opportunity to form a relationship.
There were over 4,000 unique delegates from over 27 countries as a result of the virtual transformation and event now being free to access for AIM Members and those of the event partners as well (including main event sponsor Department for International Trade). We had over 700+ delegate unique interactions including questions and opinions taken, which were included in to the live discussions.
Speaking to Synchtank, Guy Lowman (Senior Events Manager at AIM) said
“It was about two weeks. Once the physical event was officially cancelled we started having a conversation with digital experience agency Level8 about the possibility of going virtual. We ended up partnering with them to put the event together and I can’t speak highly enough of them – they are incredible. The idea they had was to make it very similar to a TV show or TV station because we wanted to make it really immersive and visual.“
“The response and feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming and it really re-instilled our confidence that yes, we can do this and that we delivered something meaningful and of value.
“I hope that what we delivered shows that a virtual event can stand firmly alongside a physical event in many respects. People can still be a part of something from their own homes, and that’s a wonderful thing. When times are hard it really makes you dig deep and I hope out of everything that’s going on, there will be some good that will come out of this.“
Paul Pacifico (AIM CEO) said
“It was great working with the Level8 team on this – we felt well advised and thoroughly supported throughout the process – huge thanks to everyone involved!“
Give us a challenge.
We’re all about creating social first digital experiences for hyper-engaged audiences. From delivering full digital production solutions or even advice on how you can take your next campaign live – get in touch.
Twitch’s first ever completely live Virtual Festival in 2019 featured in 3 pages in Music Week
One of our productions was featured on a huge breakdown in one of the music industries leading trade publications Music Week on Monday. Speaking with some of the music artists involved as well as Twitch and Columbia Records (Sony); industry veteran Paul Sexton broke down the event and discussed the opportunities that lie on there for music on this exciting platform.
We created an ‘Online Music Festival’ on Twitch that pulled together talent that was situated around the world in to a single 3 hour live interactive broadcast. From building custom built RTMP cloud streaming servers to moderating through the seemingly endless reams of emoji’s in chat, this was a challenging task. It’s like setup of traditional live broadcast, but you’re also giving each viewer an input and voice in real-time as it’s happening. That’s what makes it special like no other platform.
The results over the course of the broadcast were beyond expectations at 569,126 unique viewers with an average concurrent viewership of around 15k. Not to mention over 2500+ new followers for the channel and hundreds of new paying monthly subscribers to their channel.
Grab a copy or reach out to us if you’d like to hear more about the full 3 page report or talk to us about Twitch.
A introduction to Twitch and why it’s great for music artists right now
Music is integral and deeply embedded within the gaming community.
When you load the Twitch Homepage for the first time (which many of you reading this may be doing), it’s very likely you’ll see what seems like endless thumbnails of live channels of people playing games. Amazon’s live streaming platform Twitch is mostly known for gaming, with streamers broadcasting their gaming live to professional eSports competitions.
Don’t let this put you off. In-fact music is integral and deeply embedded within the gaming community, so much so it can be the driving force behind artists’ music being heard over 1 billion times, even from one single game; FIFA. What we’re saying is, gamers will very often listen to music whilst gaming or have some influential connection with it through the game so already it’s a natural fit.
Looking beyond the home page you will see a Music & Performing Arts category. One point worth remembering is that Twitch is a live streaming platform not VOD (video on demand) so it will only show currently live channels. At most times, there’s a host of streams from music artists performing their songs live, showing how they make certain sounds from their studios, drummers/guitarists playing along to tracks, DJ sets, live streams from night clubs, all the way to 24/7 continuous ‘radio station’ playlist streams. These are real people, broadcasting live from their own setups, mostly from the comfort of their homes.
Peak times are like any other in the evenings 6pm (UK) on-wards when people are home from work, school or pretending to hot-desk in a Starbucks. This is when you will see more artist focused streams begin to check out what others are doing.
Streamers spend a lot of time and normally a bit of cash to get themselves setup and ready to go live which is totally dependable on your streaming setup and environment. Fortunately, most of it is something that music artists already have access to (we’ll be putting together a guide on streaming environment setup very soon). If you were to sing whilst playing guitar, standard setups would be microphones, midi audio interface, laptop/computer, camera and 10mbps+ each way internet connection.
Your channel is completely customizable
Unlike most social networks, you have to often stick to the limited options to promote your content or branding with a short bio and one web link. Twitch enables you to completely brand it how you want in panels with active widgets and content blocks that you have full control over. You can feature images, bio’s, large CTA’s to external links, music videos – pretty much anything. This is great if you’re live streaming and talking about music and you can tell users to simply scroll below and click on the relevant link. Constantly get your message across in your own way about your new album even when you’re offline.
Making some dollar
Once you’ve spent some time setting up your channel and honing your stream Twitch can help make you some serious money. Through adding adverts as pre-rolls, subscriptions, bits and game sales, all these can make money from your streams – we’ll go in a bit more detail later.
These are a very unique concept to the platform and enable creators to offer monthly subscriptions to their channels for access to premium features. These include custom emotes, badges, subscribers only chat and any other off-platform features you want to include. They can also be offered in tiers at £4.99, £9.99 or £24.99 with each tier having a different offering which you determine. Monies made as part of a revenue share scheme between Twitch and the creator.
Depending on the revenue share which can sometimes be around 70% streamer/30% Twitch, you can make some serious money from this.
300 Tier 2 Subs @ 9.99 = 2997 – (30% twitch fee) = roughly 2098.00 per month. That’s a nice amount.
Within music a few suggestions could be to add subscribers of your channel to a private Facebook, WhatsApp or Messenger group where you could offer out access to things like hearing new music first, pre-sale access to gig tickets.
Bits & Cheermotes
Celebrating talent and streamers is all part of the community culture on Twitch. Another way to to demonstrate your support to a creator is by cheering them by giving them bits which is a way to say thanks. You could see it as collecting money like busking, but from the comfort of your own studio with a sound and look that you control.
Each bit normally equates to 1 cent/pence to the streamer, so with a minimum of 100 bits purchasable users are often a little more generous than just the one.
If you’re a creator Partner then you can let fans cheer you on with customised Cheermotes at different bit costs.
Cheering makes Twitch chat more engaging for the entire community. Cheering elevates your voice in Chat with animated emotes, and expresses your enthusiasm in the moment through interactive leader boards and extensions. Also, Twitch rewards streamers for Cheers in a channel typically at the rate of 1 cent per Bit.https://www.twitch.tv/bits
Setting clear on-screen goals for your viewers for specific activity in your music career is a great way to get them involved in helping with raising funds for going on tour, funding your next single or music video etc.
Things to consider before you get going.
It’s an investment of time and money and can be really hard work. Setting up on any new platform like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook can be daunting when you’re starting from zero. Twitch is no different, except you’ve got a high quality TV channel to broadcast to and you’re the host, entertainer and star of the show. Most streamers also do it alone so as the on-site technician you’ve got so many variables to consider and be ready to take control in the event of a problem.
What does my live audio sound like?
Is my lighting good enough for each camera?
Have I got the capacity to do this at least once a week for 2-3hrs at a time?
Is my camera quality good enough?
Is my internet speed good enough for live streaming?
Does my left side look good in this angle?
and so on…
People are not going to subscribe to your channel, send you bits or even follow your channel (which is free) if they’re not interested in what you’re doing.
Musicians play games too
Gaming is still often to some, a little taboo. Especially when it comes to locking yourself away for hours on honing your character or skill level. Culture is catching up and platforms like Twitch embrace creativity and freedom to simply be what you want through gaming, arts and community. Why not challenge your fans to playing a game with you live on a stream?
Think concepts, creative and engage your audience.
As mentioned earlier, fortunately most musicians possess the equipment to start, but you need to work hard on developing what you’re actually going to be doing to make yourself stand out. You also need to make your stream look good, just like you would if you were filming one of your live gigs. If you do monthly pod-casts, why not stream them live and ask the live audience for questions? If you play FIFA with fellow musicians in downtime, why not stream it live? Just remember whatever you do, live-stream success is mostly down to the concept being enjoyable to watch and the audience interaction. Give that shout-out to CookieMonster5324 for saying they like your new hair cut.
What level8 do
We’ve got years of experience within music marketing and broadcast production from our time at labels, digital agencies and production companies. We work with brands and artists to develop live-streaming concepts and strategy within platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook that develop engaged communities of your fans. We integrate solutions through platform on-boarding, helping to set up streaming environments, setting up your channels and developing a content strategy where you’re confident and ready to go live. Often it’s from the comfort of your home and you’re likely to have the equipment anyway.
We also conceptualise and produce broadcast-ready fan activation events that incorporate a live online and engaged audience such as album/product launches, gaming events, Q&A’s, DJ sets and more. Bring the action to the fans and let them truly be part of it in highly engaged live streams.
We love coming in to the office (for free) and talking to teams about the platform as there’s plenty more to discuss. If you’ve got an artist or work for a brand that you feel can benefit from Twitch or live streaming to truly engage your online audience, get in touch with us.