Audio Production graduates Jimmy Watkins and JAB (Joshua Burdette) make up the rap duo Bound by Honor ([BBH] Productions), and they’ve been streaming live shows from their apartment near the Twin Cities for several months running. What makes their shows worth checking out is the level of interaction they incorporate.
Jimmy and JAB take time on camera to talk directly to their audience members, sometimes by name, and they may even comment in the chat area during a song performance. But the key is they make it fun, and, for the most part, they keep it clean; if he were up late enough, I’d let my ten year old check them out.
Jimmy and JAB laugh a lot, offer back story to the songs they’re performing, and sometimes they’ll even feature the music of friends and fellow artists just to mix it up. BBH has got a cool thing going, and, if they can hang on, audio production graduates of their caliber can’t help but succeed with a brand this cool.
The BBH guys are highly tech savvy, multi-talented, and they offer this service free to their fans. No doubt they’ve thought of ways that might help them monetize what they’re doing, and IPR has offered them an education that makes a DIY career as artists look promising. This is not a money maker for them yet, but it could be.
Just recently my friend Kat Soland of Traffic Resources International shared an article link she found at Bloomberg Business Week online: Evan Lowenstein’s Stageit, a Live Music Site by Adam Satariano. According to the article Evan Lowenstein is helping artists with a new way to monetize live performance, and, he’s even got some big names on the roster including Jackson Brown, The Indigo Girls, and Jason Mraz.
Here’s how it works. The artist performs in whatever informal setting they wish (kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc), the artist sets a price of admission to the performance, chooses a cap for how many audience members can watch, and then the artist performs via Stageit. Stageit handles billing, offers a chat space for artists, and they take a sizable chunk of the revenue at 40%, but they handle things like concert promo and making sure you’ve got the proper streaming bandwidth so streaming isn’t glitchy. In the linked article Satariano suggests it’s “…something akin to a pay-per-view version of Skype…” Of course, the web cam and the computer are the artist’s responsibility.
This is a great idea. In one way or another, it’s an idea that others have been toying with for quite some time (including my friends from BBH). And, I’m excited about its potential. In the article, “Bob Schneider, a singer-songwriter in Austin, Tex., says he made about $1,200 from a recent Stageit show, which is helping fund a new album.” With a big following, I can see this being an amazing, intimate way for artists to connect with their fans and make some dough.
Have you visited or performed in an online show? And what do you think of the idea? Please share the experience; feel free to comment below.