I recently upgraded my phone and decided to ‘go big or go home’ and got a Google Pixel. The salesperson in the shop did an absolute number on me and I left having taken on a contract twice as big as I had budgeted for. I was taken in by the promise of unlimited storage and a HD camera. Deep down, I think I wanted to be sold something bang up to date as I wanted to enjoy my phone and get more involved in social media. I have a few friends who pride themselves by having old phones with no access to the internet, no ability to take photos etc. I used to be caught up in that nostalgic and old fashioned anti-tech romance as I felt wary of having too much screen time and perhaps I was a bit scared by social media and oversharing. I guess I wanted people to think I’m too cool to bother with it. I’m from the hills of Mid Wales so rushing around and being super up-to date with tech has never really been in my locker… Nevertheless my head has been turned and am now embracing and enjoying it.
So much so that my latest interest (obsession) is live streaming. After I got back from my gig in Machynlleth Comedy Festival on Saturday I wanted to zone out in front of TV. What did I watch? Seeing as I’m consciously uncoupling from watching football (it’s hard for me), I went on my phone and watched weird and wonderful Live Streams.
I didn’t plan on it but an unconscious check of Twitter (you know the type I mean — when you find yourself on Twitter but you can’t even remember clicking on it) and noticed funny man Limmy say he was doing an improv storytelling live stream to promote his new book. I tuned in. It was marvellously funny and I loved it. There were a huge amount of people chatting in the live feed and he was reacting to it. It felt very now and very exciting. People were also constantly commenting that they had ordered his book so I guess it was working as intended.
When it finished I had a notification to tell me “On Par have started an Instagram Live video” (On Par being a Cardiff based production company). They were out on the street live streaming a pavement performance by Boy Azooga — I think related to the Save Womanby Street march (thank you all for marching). I ended up watching it all, enjoying it and feeling kind of like I was there… I was hyped but I very much I wasn’t there. I was very much in bed, in pyjamas with a cup of Pukka Night Time tea (5 star, highly recommended).
As I’ve mentioned previously, Emma has been in ‘Enough Is Enough’ a play created by ‘Be Aware Productions’ (created by a group of exiled Turkish artists — see this blog post for more info). It is fair to say they have embraced live streaming. They constantly live stream. They live stream the rehearsals, the sound check, everything. I thought I would find it annoying but I find the approach refreshing and compelling. I have always thought that being mysterious and cool was the best way to be, but times are changing and I want in.
Saturday night was the moment I realised that live streaming is unstoppable. With Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are all investing heavily in Live, I think Livestreaming is without a doubt going to be a major thing in the music business within the next 12 months. Perhaps it’ll become something some musicians enjoy doing but if not, it is certainly something their record labels will want them to do and it’ll become central to marketing campaigns.
I love gigs, I live in the middle of nowhere and have superfast broadband so I am the right market. I want to watch your live streams! I want to do live streams. Let’s all go e-gig crazy.