How Garth Brooks became a Facebook Live pioneer
Garth Brooks has never been one to live life standing outside the fire. The country music legend, 56, always looks to find new and exciting ways to interact with his passionate fans. So when his team was approached by the team at Facebook about taking advantage of their new streaming video capabilities, Brooks jumped at the opportunity.
"They said, ‘Look, we're looking to launch something called Facebook Live — but we can't even call it that yet — and wanted to know if you're interested in it," Brooks tells EW.
First the singer introduced Opening Night, which was an ongoing series that went out live from the opening night in each city of Brooks' tour. That soon evolved into Inside Studio G: A Monday Night Conversation, which allowed Brooks to interact with fans on a more regular basis, answering their questions, giving them exclusive behind-the-scenes access, introducing them to some of the most important members of his crew, and giving them a place to hear the latest news on him and his music.
"I love how it's all very instant, instant feedback and support and suggestions. That's what I love about our Inside Studio G family," says Brooks, who initially found social media too one-sided. "Its not criticism, it's suggesting better ways to do it. I enjoy that family aspect. I wanted to take it to a two-sided conversation."
Now Brooks is celebrating his two-year Facebook Live anniversary with an initiative to improve the technology used to put the show together, with the ultimate goal of seamless connectability.
"I want it to seem like we're having an in-person conversation at all times," he says. "I think if the whole world spoke one language, it would knock out a lot of the obstacles of us all getting along. The more we can rid of the hurdles and technology walls, the more we can have better conversations."
Brooks' Facebook Live milestone isn't the only anniversary the singer is currently celebrating. It's been 25 years since the release of his iconic In Pieces album, which included singles "Ain't Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)" "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association" and "Standing Outside the Fire" among others.
"It's kind of odd, those songs I thought they worked back then," he says. "But they're even wilder today in the live shows than I remember them ever being when they were new!"