Tech in the Commons: A Toolkit for Place-Based Nonprofits
Case Study – The Boom Room
How a music studio found a new way to tell its clients' stories.

The Boom Room Studio operates a little differently than most recording studios: The Fishtown, Philadelphia business is also a performance and event space, which makes for a mean source of lively visuals and good vibes.

How to best tap into that energy and promote the space to potential clients?

Eight months ago, founder Gary Dann found his promotional niche in live video. It “really completed the whole package of the studio,” he said, allowing visiting musicians to instantly broadcast their work to the world.

Raymond Baylor’s livestreamed performance at The Boom Room. (Screenshot via YouTube)

While it’s possible to stream on YouTube or Twitch, the drummer and multimedia producer said Facebook is particularly effective in reaching intended audiences because 1.) it already has millions of users, and  2.) a user’s friends automatically receive notifications when they go live.

Dann has A/B tested this: He filmed a video of a singer’s performance and livestreamed it, then took the same video and uploaded it on Facebook in the traditional way. The live version received something like 500 percent more views than the uploaded version, he said.

For all the videos he’s streamed, Dann said that collectively, they’ve garnered about 60,000 views on Facebook.

Musician Sabrina Cuie’s livestreamed performance at The Boom Room. (Screenshot via YouTube)

What makes people tune into a live video more than a pre-recorded one?

It’s tough for Dann to say. There’s certainly an immediacy that viewers are attracted to, he said, which may play into modern humans’ need for instant gratification. Or maybe it feels more intimate to viewers, as if they’re in the venue with the performers. (It’s worth noting here that it’s possible to livestream pre-recorded content, but Dann has still found that debuting a pre-recorded video live “will get so many more views” than uploading the video on YouTube first.)

And there’s a certain anticipation that something could go wrong — “There’s still that, ‘Oh my god, anything can happen’ [feeling].”

Connect with Gary Dann for further advice on live video at garydann@gmail.com.

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