A guide to going virtual for artists and instructors

Instagram Live vs YouTube Live vs Zoom

With the temporary closure of studios and fitness centres, many artists and instructors are starting to turn to the virtual space in order to connect more with their audience as well as generate income for their businesses.

This blog provides a simple guide about going virtual and is written in collaboration with Esie Mensah, who is a dancer, choreographer, and movement director based in Toronto.

There are many options when considering virtual classes, however, they can be grouped into 2 main categories, pre-recorded classes and live classes. This blog will focus on live virtual classes and covers the 3 major platforms which many artists and instructors seem to be using. These are:

All 3 have their use cases as well as advantages and disadvantages and potential monetization strategies for each platform. This blog is not an objective guide but is subjective based on experience and observation and interviews.

We will also look at different revenue models and how to receive payments from viewers

Instagram Live

Instagram live is probably the most popular option amongst instructors who are hosting virtual classes at the moment. It’s based off the instagram platform which means you need to have an account to access it.



Potential Revenue Model

YouTube Live

YouTube live shares similar advantages and disadvantages to Instagram.



Potential Revenue Model


The following wikipedia entry describes zoom quite well.

Zoom Video Communications is a remote conferencing services company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides a remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.



Potential Revenue Model

Revenue Model

There a few ways of generating revenue for virtual classes some of which includes:

Accepting Payments

The main ways of accepting payments from experience is either through an e-transfer or a payment portal such as PayPal.

When using e-transfer, the viewer needs to host e-mail address and there are several steps to get the payment transferred which includes logging to the bank account, adding the teacher and sending the payment.

An easier approach is to use the PayPal.me option where users sends the payment directly to the host’s PayPal account. From their website the steps are:

The only downside with this is that the viewer/payer needs a PayPal account which might take time to set up, but once set up, it’s very easy to make a payment.


We have explored different options for hosting a virtual session. Depending on what you are looking for, this can be done either through Instagram Live, YouTube Live or Zoom.

If you are looking to reach a wide audience quickly, Instagram might be for you, however, a high number of viewers does not necessarily mean high amount of revenue in a live streaming event such as a class session. If you are worried about reaching out to people in the public as well as setting up a Paywall, YouTube and Zoom are good options. However, of all 3, Zoom offers a more intimate setting.

To support teachers going virtual, the Mbele Feedback on Demand application allows teachers to answer student questions for feedback and helps them generate an income as well. Check out our landing page on https://mbele.io/ to find out more

Founder of dancelogue.com, merging AI and dance, as well as mbele.io, Feedback on demand, https://www.linkedin.com/in/markgituma/

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