Protecting Your Image From Concert and Gig Videos Online

Many a musician has come across a recording online of one of their live performances, taped either by unauthorized audience members or by agents of the musicians. If the production value is up to minimum professional standards, all is well. If the production value does not match the musical quality, these videos can actually hurt more than they help. Here are a few tips for taking control of your positive image online. 

Nowadays most venues will do a Google search before booking a new musical act, looking for performance videos. Chances of getting hired are in your favor if the videos that pop up on top are of relatively decent production value, meaning of proper sound quality, sharp, focused and steady, so that you look and sound good. That’s not hard to do. Set up a decent video camera on a tripod, with well-edited performance clips. No shaking, external noise or long, boring “dead air” intervals, for example for tuning up. If you can’t afford a professional, get a friend with some rudimentary skills. Make a decent title slide and assure that your performance is one that you would show to prospective booking venues with pride and confidence. Remember, each video is a reflection of your image and brand. People are used to high production values, but you don’t need anything slick or over-produced, but you want your video to be equal to your musical skills. 

Conversely, poorly produced videos can set-you back if they don’t reflect and equal your musical talent. You have seen those videos. Long tune-ups that nobody wants to see, needless long, meaningless monologues, generally bad production techniques, etc. All that is no fun to watch and detracts from your objective and entertainment value. Often the worst of these are homemade videos by audience members who then post these on YouTube. Those folks are doing you no favors and can even be damaging to your image and thus your career. I know of superb musicians who have allowed really bad, cringe-worthy videos to represent them, believing that there was nothing they could do. The fact is, you own the rights to your name and likeness. If you see an unauthorized video on YouTube, it may be best to exert your rights and ask the party who posted it to remove it. YouTube identifies the person who posted it and it is easy to request a removal. Most people will willingly comply. If they don’t, thank them for being a fan, offer them something in return, perhaps a free ticket to your next gig in town, a signed CD or promo photo. 

I hope this helps you just a little.

Also: Read Frank’s tips on how to self-produce a own video of yourself performing your music.

Frank Matheis is an award-winning music journalist, author and radio producer with an eclectic musical taste that covers the gamut of music from Americana to Zydeco, from Jazz to World Music. He is a regular contributor to Living Blues magazine and other music publications, and the publisher of His radio documentaries have been heard on three continents in three languages.

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