Can Streaming pay? Musicians are pinning fresh hopes on Twitch – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-06-17 00:25:00 –

After dressing, breastfeeding, and setting up with a nanny at 8:30 am on weekdays, Matthew K. Heafy dropped in at his vacant bedroom in Orlando, Florida, and three of them. Flick on your computer. Three cameras and a series of guitar equipment in preparation for his morning live stream shred fest.

Heafy, a guitarist and lead singer for the metal band Trivium, is one of the most enthusiastic musicians on Twitch, a livestreaming platform that started as a gaming paradise 10 years ago, but has always grown into an on-entertainment horde. Especially attractive to musicians during a pandemic. Amazon-owned Twitch attracts an average of 30 million visitors a day, and last year users watched over a trillion minutes of content, according to the company.

A recent livestreaming app is a dime. But what makes Twitch particularly musical is the way it promotes connections between performers and their audience so that they can be efficiently monetized. Inside the jokes and “emotes” (Twitch-specific emojis), the fan interaction that fills the entire screen in the river of song requests is as part of the show as the on-screen artists and closely. A collaborative community that communicates a sense of unity with each other.

Since January 2018, 35-year-old Heafy has maintained a strict Twitch regimen, streaming almost every weekday at 9am and 3pm. I’ve been practicing guitar riffs for up to 3 hours with clips. In chat — jam with his band and play a first-person shooter. Heafy’s Twitch has about 220,000 followers, and it’s possible that well over 10,000 people are watching him at any given time. He said that all that attention kept him motivated.

“I know there are people out there who want to listen to their favorite Trivium songs for hours, even if they don’t want to practice,” Heafy said. “So I make sure I’m there to make their day better.”

CENTRAL TO TWITCH’s popularity among musicians is its economic model, quietly revolutionizing the business by offering an alternative to the winner-dominated system of on-demand services such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. Bringing.

These platforms are in default consumption mode by making almost any song available for free or for a small subscription fee. As a technical feat and consumer product, they are almost miraculous. But as an income-sharing system, they have been accused by critics of devaluing music to the point where only superstars can earn a living wage from recordings. Last year, 97% of the artists there generated payments of less than $ 1,000, according to Spotify’s own numbers. (Spotify shows that the number of musicians making big profits is increasing as a sign of its value.)

In contrast, Twitch is an alternative universe where even niche artists can earn thousands of dollars a month by fostering a tribe of fans whose loyalty is expressed through sponsorship. With interactive chat threads and the internal economy of channel subscriptions and “bits” (donations), Twitch seems to be fulfilling its long-hyped but elusive promise of creative commerce on the Internet. I can see. Still, the platform can only work well for certain types of artists. (Very labor intensive.) Relationships with rights holders are tense. And boosted during the pandemic, Twitch could quickly face calculations as artists and their fans emerge from the cocoons and return to face-to-face events.

But for those who make a living on the platform, it was a revelation. That possibility was highlighted in a recent report by Will Page, former Spotify Chief Economist. This report compares the revenue and viewer reach of musicians and viewers on Twitch and on-demand audio services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The numbers are anecdotal, but impressive.

According to a report on the page, video game music composer Laura Shigihara, who earned an average of about $ 700 a month from an audio platform last year, sings and plays the piano in a cozy room full of anime style. I earned $ 8,000 a month on Twitch. Plush creature. In 2019 and 2020, Heafy’s four-member band, Trivium, raised an average of $ 11,000 a month from audio services, but his own Twitch channel was nearly a tenth the size of his viewers. Produced the same amount (a little less than $ 10,000). Aeseaes, a married couple in Austin, Texas, who specializes in acoustic covers, earned 70% of their revenue from Twitch in 2019 and 2020. Only 6% came from Bandcamp, an audio streaming service and online indie music store.

“There’s something we can do to directly support an artist who is having fun, and to be immediately grateful to see that support is accepted by that artist,” said Aeseaes, who plays bass and makes a mic. Travis said. My wife Ally, who sings and plays the guitar, uses it for their streams. (Both are in their early 30s and technically use only their names.)

Twitch’s music director, Tracy Patrick Chan, said that of the musicians who can make $ 50,000 a year there, the median viewership (the number of people watching the stream at any time) is only 183. .. By comparison, it could cost 5 million people. According to most estimates of rates per stream for these services, to 10 million streams to generate the same payments from major audio streaming platforms.

“What Twitch artists are showing you is that you need a passionate audience and they’re there to support you,” Chan said. Commerce is offered in the form of $ 5, $ 10, or $ 25 monthly subscriptions, as well as bits and links to third-party donations and funding sites such as Patreon.

As Twitch grows, it will be able to support a wide range of middle class musicians. This is a concept that has been a public relations issue for digital services for many years. Twitch can do that by gamifying the artist-fan relationship and sending audience payments directly to the musician. (Twitch saves less than 50% from subscriptions and shares revenue from bits with streamers.) What is the so-called proportional distribution loyalty distribution used by most on-demand audio services? In contrast. The platform is divided by the total number of clicks. This system evens out the price, but it also means subsidizing a lot of music that the user has never heard of. Also, superstars such as Drake and Dua Lipa, the highly profitable “heads” of the delivery curve, will benefit most.

“Twitch’s focus is on the torso, not the head or tail, but the body of a middle-class artist in between,” says Page. “This is a pivot away from the traditional hit-or-miss blockbuster model, where hits are big hits and mistakes are badly missed.”

But becoming a successful live music streamer can be a daunting task.

Travis and Allie of Aeseaes (pronounced “ACS”, abbreviation for channel name: a-couple-streams) quit their office job five years ago to focus on Twitch. Unlike many who use it to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the creative process, Travis and Allie are the equivalent of an intimate stage show with mood lighting and a dedicated camera for one of the snuggling cats. The only chatter is their enthusiastic thanks to the contributors.

According to a data report shared with The New, Aeseaes has more than 5,000 viewers per broadcast, with nearly 1,000 viewers at any given time, and for the past two years, the channel has been a paid channel with well over 1,000 monthly. We maintain registrants. York Times. Its success allows Travis and Allie to focus on making music at home.

But to stay in business and stay engaged, you need to unleash your content on a regular basis and go online three times a week for about three hours at a time. “From the beginning, we knew that streaming on Twitch was a kind of long-distance running,” Allie said.

The page compares running a Twitch account with taxi operations. You will only earn money if the meter is running. And long rides are the most profitable.

The breadth of Twitch’s audience means that streamers need to seize every opportunity to reach a wider range. This month, Daniel Allard, a 31-year-old musician and professor in Ottawa, Ontario, who started a livestreaming experiment a year ago, learned that a planned 6-am set will be posted on Twitch’s home page. .. This corresponds to prime time. TV promotion.

Allard woke up at 4 o’clock, got the equipment ready, brewed tea and went online. For nearly seven hours, he played the original, a cover of Cranberry and Chris Isaak, and a mourning Kazoo solo. In the end, she shed tears and looked almost capricious with joy. Her stream typically gained hundreds of watchers at a time, attracting 408 new subscribers and 1,659 followers, surpassing the 10,000 mark. (Top game accounts have well over 5 million followers.)

Approximately an hour after the stream ended, Allard praised the generosity of his fans, saying he hadn’t eaten yet. Fans call it “Dino”. She said their contribution deducted her thousands of dollars a month.

She has albums and EPs on an audio streaming platform. Do they bring money? “Oh no,” she said.

One sign of Twitch’s success in challenging the status quo is that Twitch is now at the legal crosshairs of the music industry.

The site received thousands of piracy notices from record labels as the pandemic sent so many musicians to Twitch last year. Twitch has a license that allows users to play songs live, but usually does not allow the music contained in stored on-demand videos.

After receiving the removal notice, Twitch removed clips containing unlicensed music, as required by law. However, the company responded in a surprising blog post in November, apologizing to Streamer’s army rather than the copyright owner’s dissatisfaction. “Some time ago, we could have developed a more sophisticated, user-friendly tool. We have something we didn’t do,” the company writes.

Music industry lawyers have continued to put pressure on them. At the same time as announcing a copyright infringement proceeding against the game platform Roblox this month, the National Association of Music Publishers announced that it will continue to provide Twitch with a removal notice.

“You can’t just have a license for a music platform like other companies like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok,” said David Israelite, CEO of a group of music publishers.

A Twitch spokesperson said he was in talks with music rights owners, adding that “we will continue to work together to establish a potential approach that is suitable for the Twitch service and the community as a whole.”

TWITCH’S MUSIC STREAMS exploded during a pandemic. According to the company, the number of music viewers has increased by 550% from last year. Part of that branding outreach has been through dealings with closed music venues that host indie bands at clubs like Brooklyn Steel in New York. Jim Grancy of The Bowery Presents, a company behind Brooklyn Steel and other venues in the northeast, helped these keep working when the live infrastructure was dead in other ways.

However, while Glancy is positive about Twitch, he has expressed common skepticism among musicians about the ongoing role of livestreaming in the concert world, where physical contact is everything.

“If there are artists on the tour playing at 30 venues, 18 of whom are trying to sell streams by wire, but the artists are doing the same set every night, is it a business?” Grancy asked.

Still, Glancy hopes that livestreaming will somehow be integrated with the concert, and other players are making the same bets. Live Nation has more than 60 venues to enable streaming, and new players like Flymachine plan a hybrid of concerts and live streams where social interactivity owes something to Twitch. I am.

And a musician? Heafy of Trivium said he expects the number of viewers to drop slightly as fans spend less time at home. But he’s already integrated Twitch into his work life to the point of being obsessive, and he’s not ready to stop.

“I’m going to keep it exactly the same — Monday to Friday at 9am and 3pm,” he said. “All shows, all sound checks, all vocal warm-ups. Every day off, I play games in my hotel room.”

“I’m seeing it as part of my life right now,” he added. “And I want to keep doing this as much as I can.”

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This article was originally New York Times..

Can Streaming pay? Musicians are pinning fresh hopes on Twitch Source link Can Streaming pay? Musicians are pinning fresh hopes on Twitch

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