TipCow CEO Chris Bush on the rise of live streaming, artist donations

Live streaming seems to be taking over the media. From Snapchat to Facebook live, artists are able to connect with fans face-to-face for a live in-concert experience by the simplicity of their smart phone. In response, fans are becoming more willing to give donations to their favorite artists, especially if artists reach out and actually ask fans to help them out.

In a recent article by Bas Grasmayer, he analyzes how donations can be a substantial part of the artist’s business model. What do you think? OV got to interview TipCow‘s CEO, Chris Bush, and he gave us the scoop on how live-streaming is producing a substantial amount of donations that can actual be a big part of the artist’s business model. He also shared some crucial tips for artists using live streaming and donations to their advantage.

can donations actually affect the artist’s business model?

Absolutely. Bush uses live video game streamers as a key example: “They thrive off donations. Some in the >6 figures range. Artists have to be creative with their business model, but donations (especially incentivized donations) can definitely be a substantial source of income for musicians.” But, how exactly do you incentivize this sort of action by fans? Well, let’s find out.

How to Motivate fans to donate

Bush stresses the old saying that “closed mouths don’t get fed.” While streaming a concert on Facebook live, “ask for tips, ask for support. Tell your fans what you’re raising money for. Incentivize the tips. For example, ‘anyone that tips >$50 during this live stream will get a free t-shirt.’ Stuff like that.” If you make fans feel like part of a real-life experience, they will feel compelled to donate and make a difference for your career. Plus, with the simplicity of the TipCow app, fans can easily donate to artists via their smart phone. Multiply that by several hundred fans watching your live stream and you have got some serious donation money!

what do these tech trends mean for the future of music?

Although the virtual reality effect of live-streaming concerts is enticing, the in-person musical experience can never be 100% replaced– it’s too vital for the industry. However, Bush explains that “venues need to adapt, and fast, if they want to stay relevant.” The simplicity of live streaming will make it “a lot tougher to convince people to come out during the week, pay for parking, cover, drinks, etc. when they could stay home and get a less stressful experience for free.”

Looking a few years ahead, Bush also emphasizes that he hopes music delivery tech will go back to the late 90s and “finish what was started with Napster, DC, etc.” Almost 20 years ago, music delivery was truly automated, but “content license owners, RIAA, etc. have litigiously refused to allow the industry to move forward at the expense of both the artists and phenomenal tech efforts like turntable.fm.” As the industry continues to work out content ownership issues and brainstorm ideas in blockchain, artists will be able to more easily secure their digital streaming content.

(Photo courtesy of PSFK)