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facebook pay per viewIt’s a tough gig being a musician. You’ve got to make a crust, but you don’t want to rely on performance income only. Those seasonal concert months aren’t always enough to carry you through the year and most musicians will find ways to make money from sales of music or some other profession in order to make ends meet.

Well, social media has just thrown us a new avenue for earning money with music. Musicians on Facebook have started offering pay-per-view access to concerts, allowing fans from around the world to watch the gig at the same time. Although you might then put highlights on YouTube, that original live experience is limited to those fans who are willing to pay the cover charge. In the meantime, the musician is making a little bit more than they would for an everyday gig.

How To Charge For A Live Concert

All musicians who have so far charged for live concerts on Facebook have used different methods to obtain payments. Some have built their own Facebook application, while others have worked with a partner to process credit card payments and Facebook credits. For most musicians, it will be best to write your own Facebook application to get things just right. The going rate is 50 Facebook credits per performance, which is about US$5.

facebook pay per view

Those wanting to test the waters can try using free live-streaming video apps like Ustream.tv or Justin.tv in order to see how many fans would watch the show. Maybe an enterprising geek will write an application which any Facebook musician can use to stream video and charge a few credits (*hint* *hint*), but for the moment it’s still in your own hands.

What Should The Facebook Application Do?

Ideally as well as streaming video and charging Facebook credits, the application should allow fans to comment in real time during the performance. If coding Facebook apps isn’t your thing, get a friendly geek on to it and promise them free CDs and beer at gigs.

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facebook pay per view

What Does This Mean for Musicians?

This sort of exposure could initially double your takings for your gigs by adding punters who can’t make it in person. But you’ll be creating a circular marketing loop, promoting your performances, your Facebook fan page and your online concert streams at the same time. Eventually, this could boost your group’s overall popularity and income quite substantially.

More for Music Lovers

We realise that if you’ve read this far you’re probably a bit of a music fan. Here’s some more articles which might interest you:

Also, don’t forget to support up-and-coming new artists by visiting our Sound Sunday feature every week, where you can download free MP3 tracks.

So, have you tried streaming a concert live on Facebook? Or have you watched a live concert stream? How did it go? Would you consider charging admission to your live stream? If you’re a punter, how much would you pay? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Raphy
    September 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    There is still an investment from the artist viewpoint: that is to hire camera equipment and camera team in order to broadcast to his fans.... that seems to me quite significant compared to the expected revenues....(???)

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