It’s time to face the music: Concerts are now more than just an in-person experience.
Many fans prefer forgoing crowded venues in favor of hearing their favorite artists in the comfort of their own homes.
That’s where the art of live streaming comes in. Live streaming for musicians specifically means ensuring your live streaming setup is primed for success.
Music live streaming can be a different experience compared to in person performing. But it’s still a rewarding one, since it allows you to connect with audiences around the world and make money with your music.
Today we’ll go over everything you need to know about music live streaming, from the top platforms to tips and tricks for setting it up.
Here are some of the best live streaming platforms for musicians we’ll be singing the praises of:
- YouTube Live
- Twitch Music
- Instagram Live
- Facebook Live
- Twitter Live
Best Live Streaming Platforms for Musicians
The first step to getting your tunes across people’s devices is to find the right live streaming platform.
Picking a platform to stream live music depends on what you’re looking to achieve.
Consider whether you…
- want the platform to help you make money with your music
- want a platform mainly for musicians
- want to stream to social media platforms
- want to pay a monthly subscription or share your revenue
… then you’ll be ready to pick a platform that’s perfect for all of your needs.
So if you’re always asking yourself, “What is the best live streaming app for musicians?” we’ll get it covered right here.
Let’s get started.
1. YouTube Live
In order to live stream on YouTube, all you have to do is log into your account and click “Go live.”
From there, you’ll be able to choose if you want to schedule a performance or go live right away, as well as pick a thumbnail for your live stream.
Let’s take a look at YouTube Live’s features.
There are a couple of things you can do with YouTube live:
- Go live from an encoder, webcam, or straight from your phone.
- Check the live stream analytics in real time.
- Allow viewers to pause and rewind the live stream.
- Embed your live stream on social media or on a website.
- Post snippets of your live stream as highlights on your channel.
YouTube Live is free, and all you need is a YouTube account. This is a simple way to start live streaming for musicians.
If you’re already familiar with live streaming music, you’ve maybe heard of the next one.
2. Twitch Music
Although Twitch is well known as a place where gamers can live stream their gameplay, it’s also where you can share your music.
Their platform gets over 15 million unique visitors daily, and some of them can become part of your audience.
Live streaming on Twitch is also fairly simple. Just set up an account and click “Go live.”
Since Twitch is a platform focused on live streaming, they offer some other great features, like:
- Letting followers interact with your profile.
- Talking with your audience with live chat.
- Scheduling your streams in advance.
- Giving subscribers badges.
- Allowing viewers to send emotes and cheermotes.
You can also monetize your music live streams on Twitch with an affiliate (for beginner streamers) or partner status (for advanced streamers).
Twitch is also a free platform, and all you need is an account with them.
You might be using the next platform while reading this (but hopefully we have your full attention).
3. Instagram Live
If you’re looking for a more casual feel when live streaming music, Instagram Live can be a good option to get up close and personal with your followers.
Live streams on Instagram are also easy to start. Just click to add a post then select “Live.”
When you’re live streaming on Instagram, your followers will be able to see your profile highlighted and start watching.
Here’s what you can do with Instagram Live:
- Send notifications to your followers letting them know you’re live.
- Let the viewers submit questions and comments.
- Post your live video on your story.
- Invite another musician to join your live.
You can also monetize your live stream content on Instagram by letting viewers purchase a badge to highlight their comments during the live stream.
Live streaming on Instagram is also free, and all you’ll need is an account with them.
The next one might be changing its name soon.
4. Facebook Live
Facebook is another social media platform that lets you live stream, including your music.
Facebook is the most used social media platform, so if you want a place where you can find a large potential audience, this might be it.
Live streaming on Facebook Live is just like the other platforms: simple. All you have to do is log into your music page and click on “Live,” add a title for the stream, and select “Start live video.”
If you choose to live stream music with Facebook Live, you’ll be able to:
- Stream from your page, profile, or in a Facebook group.
- Save your live streams automatically.
- Send notifications to your followers.
- Schedule your live stream ahead of time.
- See comments and reactions during your live stream.
You can also monetize your music live streams with Facebook Live with channel subscriptions, in-stream ads, and Stars.
Live streaming on Facebook Live is also free, and all you need is an account.
Now onto the last social media platform where you can live stream your music.
A little bird told us the next one is also a great place to stream live music.
5. Twitter Live
If you want to share more than 280 characters on Twitter, you should consider live streaming your music on their platform.
Twitter Live is another social media platform that lets you start streaming with ease.
All you have to do is go to compose a Tweet, then tap the camera icon, and swipe right to select “Live” and start a live video.
Ready to start streaming your music instead of only Tweeting the lyrics? Here’s what you’ll be able to do with Twitter live:
- Automatically save your live stream and post it as a Tweet.
- Notify your followers that you’re going live.
- Receive comments and hearts during the live stream.
- Block viewers from commenting on your stream.
However, you might have to choose a different platform if you’re looking to monetize your live streamings, since Twitter lacks these features.
Similar to the other social media platforms, you can live stream for free on Twitter Live — all you need is an account.
You’ll know exactly what to do with the next platform just by looking at its name.
We may be biased, but Uscreen could be considered music to a musician’s ears when it comes to live streaming. We also want to highlight musicians and empower them to monetize their content.
To live stream on Uscreen, you need the UscreenPlus plan. You can live stream by going to “Content,” then “Live Events,” and click “Add new” to set up a new live event.
If you want to be able to host more than just live events for your music, Uscreen also allows you to:
- Create your own video-on-demand platform.
- Build communities to engage with your members.
- Connect with your fans through the live chat.
- Get automatic recordings of your live streams.
- Add countdowns to your live stream to build anticipation.
- Broadcast live streams to any device.
Uscreen has 3 pricing tiers, however, if you’re looking to live stream your music, you would have to go with UscreenPlus, which also gives you access to over-the-top apps.
- Basic: host videos, build your own website, and choose your platform pricing. You’ll be able to access analytics and marketing tools, and the plan includes 50 hours of video storage and one admin user. Price: $79 per month.
- Growth: get ecommerce elements, which includes affiliate marketing, as well as 150 hours of video storage, 10 admin users, and 3 onboarding sessions. Price: $159 per month.
- UscreenPlus: host live streams on your platform and get OTT apps. You can remove Uscreen’s branding from your website, and you’ll get dedicated account management and API support. Contact us for pricing details.
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Created by Vimeo, Livestream is a platform that lets you do just what the name suggests.
Their platform helps you live stream conferences, webinars, and music. They also allow you to stream to multiple platforms and help you grow your audience.
To go live with Livestream, go to your video manager on the platform, select “New video,” and click “Create live event.”
If you choose to go with Livestream, here’s what you’ll get:
- Flexible streaming capabilities.
- High-quality video even with low bandwidth.
- Custom registration forms.
- Private and secure events.
- Over-the-top apps for live and on-demand videos.
You can also monetize your live streams with their platform by charging for pay-per-view and subscriptions.
With Livestream, you get 3 pricing options, but you’ll have to contact their sales team to find out the prices:
- Vimeo Premium: get password protection, player customization, live overlay graphics, HD live streams, polls, and Q&As.
- Vimeo Enterprise: get everything from the Premium plan, plus unlimited storage, customizable closed captions, and private video showcases.
- Vimeo OTT: get everything from the Enterprise plan, and your own branded OTT apps, seamless payments, and a web app.
At this stage, we’re onto the next one.
Now, if you’re looking for a platform that’s focused on music live streaming, then StageIt could be a good choice.
StageIt is an online platform for musicians to perform live, interact with their fans, and monetize their shows.
To go live on StageIt, you have to first log into your account, then select “Create a show.” You can also do a soundcheck to make sure you have your live stream set up correctly by selecting “Create a soundcheck.”
There are over 56,000 artists using StageIt, and here’s what they are able to do:
- Get advanced high-resolution video and audio.
- Email and notify followers about a show.
- Engage with fans through messages.
- Use production support to help set up streams.
- Check the analytics report after the show.
StageIt also lets you monetize when you stream live music. You can let fans tip you during a show, keeping 80% of all revenue and 100% of your merch sales.
It’s free to perform on StageIt, so any musician can sign up for an account and create a show. The earnings from the show, tickets, and tips are split between you and StageIt, and you get to keep 80% of it.
Let’s add another platform to the mix.
Mixcloud is another live streaming platform focused on music.
With this platform, you can stream live music, build a community, and get paid directly, plus Mixcloud will take care of the music copyright for you.
If you want to live stream on Mixcloud, you can do it through the browser using Mixcloud Live studio, or through a third-party software, such as OBS.
Some internationally famous names are also using Mixcloud, such as Carl Cox, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Fatboy Slim. Here’s what you can do with the platform:
- Stream from your desktop by using streaming software.
- Interact with your fans in the live chat.
- Customize your channel.
- Access live stream analytics and engagement stats.
If you want to make money on Mixcloud, you can offer a paid subscription option for your fans to enjoy exclusive content.
Mixcloud has 2 different plans:
- Free: lets you upload shows and mixes, and embed shows on your website. You can also notify your followers of when you’re going live.
- Pro: you get everything from the Free plan, plus they let you schedule show releases, stream privately, and you can monetize your live streams. Price: $15 per month.
Now, it’s time for the last one.
YouNow is a live streaming website that’s been around for quite some time. They allow people to live stream directly from their phone or webcam.
The platform makes it easy to go live and start promoting your content, including a landing page with all the current live streams, and the option to broadcast audio only.
To go live on YouNow, all you have to do is tap the green video camera button on the app or select “Go live” on your computer.
They also have a couple of different features that help musicians connect with their audience. With the platform you can:
- Save replays of your live streams.
- Create short snippets of your videos to share with your fans.
- Allow viewers to become paid subscribers.
- Connect with your audience through the chat.
You can also monetize your content on YouNow by hosting Bar giveaways, earning virtual gifts, and starting paid subscription options.
Live streaming with YouNow is free, but you’ll only get some of the features and perks by leveling up on the platform.
Want to hear more?
How To Live Stream Music: 4 Steps
Now that we have the platforms covered, let’s go over how to start live streaming music the right way.
And remember: When you’re live streaming your music to an audience online, you want to make sure you have the best sound and video quality to help them feel connected, as if they were watching you in person.
Now, let’s play this best practices soundtrack:
1. Get the Right Equipment
To start off, you have to get the right live streaming equipment.
Consider whether you want to stream with multiple cameras, and how many people are performing with you.
Aside from all of the instruments, make sure you have:
- Audio mixer
- Live streaming software
Make sure this equipment allows for high-quality audio and video for your audience.
2. Prepare Your Music Live Stream
When it’s time to get ready for your music live stream, make sure you have everything ready and rehearsed for your big performance.
Create a plan for everything you need during the music live stream, including equipment and instruments.
Consider making a script for your live stream, and include:
- Song lists
- Timing for each song
- Different shot directions
- Pauses for interaction
- Important points to talk about
It’s also a good idea to set up all of your equipment ahead of time and run a soundcheck to make sure everything is working properly and the live stream is in perfect shape.
If you’re playing something other than your original and licensed music, keep in mind that you’ll have to research copyright information for the platform you choose to live stream in and the song you wish to play.
Planning ahead will help ensure your live stream runs smoothly and you have enough breaks to engage with your audience.
3. Start Live Streaming Music
Now, you’re ready to go live.
Once you have your live stream all set up and you’ve practiced everything, warm up your voice and make sure you’re looking good for the camera, then hit the “Live” button.
Whether you have someone helping with the equipment or you’re doing it yourself, make sure you’re switching the cameras to the right angle and capturing the correct sounds.
Remember to have fun during your stream and interact with your viewers so it’s as if they were watching you in person.
Take some breaks and chat with your viewers, read the comments, and thank them for coming to your stream.
At the end, make sure to have a call to action, like prompting them to sign up for your next live stream or buy your newly released music.
4. Make Money With Music Live Streaming
The last step to having successful music live streams is to monetize them the right way.
Depending on the platform you pick, you’ll already have a couple of monetization options, like fans being able to pay you through the chat and subscription plans.
You can also monetize your music live streams by:
- Including affiliate links in your live streams.
- Rolling in-stream ads.
- Looking for brand partnerships or sponsorships.
- Offering a paid community.
- Releasing exclusive paid content.
- Promoting your digital products during streams.
Once you have all of these down, you should be able to start making a good stream of income from your live streams.
Remember to keep your followers up to date on when you’ll be live streaming your music next, so they know when to tune in.
Wrapping It Up
There you go! A guide on live streaming for musicians with the best platforms and tips to use.
Remember to always engage with your followers and viewers to keep them coming back to your music live streams.
If your main focus is monetizing your live streams, Uscreen is a good option to choose. You can monetize your content with live streams, communities, and membership sites. Want to see what that looks like? Request a demo with us today.
Interested in a Free 1-on-1 Demo?
FAQs About Live Streaming for Musicians
Still have questions about live streaming for musicians? We’ve got the answers.
Your stream should be from 15 minutes to one hour long. Studies show that audience interactions increase after the first 15 minutes of the stream. You should live stream for enough time to cover at least a couple of songs when live streaming music.
You can make money live streaming by including advertisements, accepting donations, and including affiliate links.
The best live streaming app for musicians will depend on what you want out of a platform. If you’re looking to monetize your videos, Uscreen is a good option.
But if you’re looking for a platform-specific to musicians, StageIt and Mixcloud get the job done.
Yes, you can live stream a musical, but it will require more equipment and a bigger crew to operate and make sure everything is working properly.
If the song you want to play is copyrighted and you don’t have a license or pay royalties, you can’t legally play it on your live stream.