Couch Surfing: Finding Income Between Seat Cushions
Touring is no longer an option, but fortunately there are still ways, even in an industry as social as the music business for artists to earn money from the comfort of their couch. Here we look at some of the best platforms for doing so.
In lieu of touring during this time, there are ways to perform for you fans right from your couch.
The platforms outlined below offer options which require payment or membership fees for fans to access exclusive content. Used and promoted properly, these methods could provide an earning opportunity for artists who need it most.
Gimme Radio is a streaming app made for die-hard fans. Artists host live DJ sets where fans can tune in, follow, comment and more. If they sign up for $4.99 a month they can also access shows from the vault curated by their favorite artists and DJs. In an effort to assist bands that have had to halt their live events and tours, Gimme Radio is giving artists the opportunity to host and create their own radio shows as part of their Gimme Relief: Guest DJ special series. Through Gimme Relief, fans can also use the free platform to tip their favorites artists. Though Gimme is a hotspot for Metal acts, Gimme Radio is also offering this opportunity to American/Country artists on Gimme Country.
Mostly known for its gamer presence, Twitch is also a great platform to engage fans. Twitch streams are useful for taking requests from your viewers, answering questions, and connecting with large audiences. Be sure to respond when your fans ask questions or make comments, welcome new viewers into the stream, and mention viewers by name when addressing questions or comments. Once you become acquainted with the platform, create custom “emotes” for your audience to use in chats. As far as payment, fans can pay to subscribe or donate through the options provided on the hosts stream.
Have a tour or show get canceled, but still want to meet the fans? Looped offers fans the chance to purchase a digital one on one meet and greet with their favorite artist (you)! Fans will wait in a virtual waiting area where they can chat with each other before and after the meet and greet, and potentially answer a question from you to start your conversation (ie. “What’s your favorite song off the new album?,” “Have you been to a live show before?”, etc.).
Each meet and greet lasts one minute. You can take a picture with fans, and let them record the whole virtual meetup if you’d like.
Is a site developed for creators to manage fan accounts. Often offered in monthly payment tiers, fans can become members to gain exclusive access to content such as live streaming events, early or limited edition merch, releases and much more. You can determine the content and pricing and how your subscribers gain access to these offers.
Arguably the most comparable to attending a live show, StageIt requires payment to watch a live performance. Best used on desktop devices, fans can buy a ticket at a price set by the performer, add the show to their calendar, tune in and enjoy. Attendees can comment in the chat while watching the live set and even tip throughout the performance. Artists can determine if there are any additional rewards to incentivize tips. Basically, it’s all up to the artist as to how accessible you’d like to make your set.
- Point to your Merch and other items that could draw some additional income while also keeping your fans looking fresh.
- Considering adding a donation or tip fund to your site or social platforms. This may be easiest on web stores where there is already a secure transactions system in place.
Don’t have an active web store or want to make it even easier for fans to show their support?
- Add your Venmo Paypal or Cashapp handle to your social profiles. Let your fans know what that money will be used for.
Creativity is key, not only with your music but in brainstorming new ways to connect with fans while also supporting your career. Think outside of the box while also remaining as specific to your audience as possible.