Attention musos! You can professionally stream concerts live with your IOS devices!

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I am not getting paid for this article at all. This is just the most useful information that I came across while doing some research, given the dire circumstances in which musicians currently find themselves in. The Coronavirus is wiping out incomes on a monumental scale and you guys need to find alternative ways to get their art out there, as soon as you can and especially as effectively and professionally as you can delivering it at the best quality possible.

Switcher is a mobile production tool that lets you create professionally branded Facebook Live or YouTube Live videos and you can use up to 9 IOS devices for different camera angles to swop between – you wirelessly sync them up. You can even pair the Switcher app with a DJI Osmo Mobile to pan and tilt cameras from a distance. The app also lets you control each camera’s exposure, white balance, focus and zoom separately. You can even show multiple angles at once or do side-by-side or pic-in pic layouts. Equally important as all these angles, is your audio. You can connect your audio mixer as a separate device to ensure perfect audio for your viewers. A major, major bonus! Your main switching device is your audio source for your Switcher Studio productions. This device gets the audio from its built-in microphone or from an external device (microphone, audio mixer, etc.) that becomes connected to either the headphone jack or the lightning port. To use the headphone jack as an input, you need an special adapter with a TRRS jack. For XLR microphones, use the iRig Pre or equivalent. For all else, a TRS-to-TRRS adapter will work wonders. The headphone jack has a single input which means that audio coming from this jack is mono. The lightning port also allows you to connect an audio input device and record audio in stereo. Thanks to Apple’s Lightning-to-USB3 Camera Adapter, you can connect any standard USB audio capture device working in 16-bit stereo mode as the Behringer UCA202 or the Zoom H6. So think about those first, which of course are all extras expenses to consider.

You will be able to add in text, titles, lower-third graphics,transitions, social handles and calls to action in real time from the app’s animated templates or upload your own transparent images to match your branding. Or even more importantly, you will be able to set up your broadcast with pre-recorded videos, logos, graphics or messages from sponsors you managed to strike a deal with. They could have openers, hype videos, special segments or existing commercials which they would like to flight before, during or after your performance. Everything can be stored on your Switcher cloud. Not only is it easily accessible, but it will make for consistent branding which will make you appear more professional and approachable for sponsorship. You can stream live, record or both. By recording the stream, you can re purpose your content for other social media platforms or see it as a value add to your sponsor perhaps?

You can bring co-hosts, guest callers, or interviewees on board your live show with Video Chat. Guests can also join instantly from their computers or smartphones just by clicking a link that you provided without downloading any special software. During the broadcast, you and your team can also view comments in real time to engage with your audience – Facebook comments roll in live right in the Switcher app and you can engage right away. A good idea would we to make a sponsor representative part of the experience or to ask and answer stuff on your behalf.

Switcher Studios lets you go live to your Facebook timeline, page, group, or event or to YouTube. In addition, custom RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol) lets you share to other live-streaming applications including Periscope,, Twitch and others. You can even share your production to multiple Facebook destinations at once with Facebook cross-posting. To build anticipation, you can schedule your live stream on Facebook to notify followers early add a countdown timer.

The costing structure is pretty straight forward and they kind of nudge you to take at least the standard package by limiting the “essentials” plan quite a lot – Scheduled posting, live comments and cross posting is for instance disabled. The jump from “standard” to “plus” is quote big in terms of cost and in terms of abilities, the only differences or limitations to “standard” are: ‘priority support’ (not a big deal in my eyes) and ‘Branded Content’ – this is quite a big deal and possibly the decision maker, but I reckon there are ways around it, seeing that you will still be able to upload your own graphics and overlays. And of course you can physically thank your sponsors in your videos. But if you have big plans, the $280 per month may just be the way to go, especially if you can make a compelling argument for your sponsor to carry the cost. Just talk numbers to them. Show them your social reach. Work something out. You must have played some corporate gigs? That insurance company? Give them a discounted rate to do a collab online.

There is one more option or secret that I came across and this will probably benefit the people who act first or are able to act swiftly enough. As I said right at the start, I am not getting a cent for this article, but you might be able to recoup some of the costs if you decide to sign up. Unfortunately there is no such thing as free money. The price this company charge in my opinion, are justified and they are willing to share some of it with you. If you refer new users, you earn cash. When you sign up for the referral program after joining, you get a special link that you can share with your network of friends. You get assets for embed-able ads with your custom link to place on your website and you get $10 for every referral that becomes a paying Switcher subscriber. In order to receive pay-outs from the referral program, you must have an active PayPal account and your Switcher account must be in good standing. Payouts for referrals will be dispersed quarterly.The Referral Rewards Program is open to Annual Switcher Studio subscribers (monthly works out more expensive anyway).

It is not a blinding light at he end of the tunnel, but it is better than a kick in the balls, I guess. Artists who are serious about their business need to understand that their fans aren’t going to support them financially by just donating money for some live, single phone video on Facebook with tinny audio and your mom calling you to come eat your ramen in the background. They might do it as a once off out of sympathy perhaps, but in the long run it is no sustainable. Unless your fans are the best ever and super loyal. Your fans will make you money indirectly.  The making money part will come from you, showing your sponsors that your music attracts the numbers. Simple math, really.

Switcher seems to be a high-end tech solution to a major problem, and this might be the way forward in more than one way. It is time to get creative. Share the money burden and your collective resources to make money. Find other like-minded bands and artists to club in on the monthly cost. One guy might have the sound desk that four bands might need. Someone else might have a tech savvy cousin to handle the camera switching and produce the video. You might have that friendly well-dressed neighbor that won’t mind presenting a slick show.

Don’t sign up right away for the 14-day free trial. Go get your ducks in a row first. Go borrow a few iPhones, that sound desk, the presenter and your master mixer extraordinaire. Work out a proper plan of action and make sure your social media game and communication over email is up to scratch. Then go present a live concert of two with the 14-day trial and go get those sponsors. It might be a long time before you’re up on that stage again…

If you find similar solutions, please let me know. Switcher Studio is just one of them and I decided to feature it. And if you’re still reading, I will get the ball rolling –  as and experiment, I am willing to spend R1000 as a co-sponsor (one of 5) on one proper a South Africa rock/folk/indy band, based in Pretoria or with their majorty fan base in Pretoria (Gauteng is fine, but Pretoria preferred), who wants to do a well produced live show of half an hour and punt my rehearsal studio with shout-outs and logos which I will provide. In other words, as part of my offer, I am willing to share ad space in your video with another 4 non-competing industries. We can talk numbers. Go find those 4 other sponsors and get back to me. Let’s see if you’re a good fit.

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