Bruce Houghton, president of Skyline Music and editor of influential music industry blog Hypebot, here gives his first MidemNet Blog post. Enjoy; and feel free to comment!
The fuss in live music lately has been over ticketing – fees, secondary markets and paperless have dominated the discussion. But the net is also broadening the live music landscape in ways well beyond dockets. Just as the net revolutionized the creation, marketing and distribution of recorded music, a growing number of companies are extending that revolution to live music. Start-ups and established players are changing how concerts are booked and promoted as well as the fan experience during and even after the show. Along the way they’re offering marketing and monetization opportunities that could make secondary ticketing seem like a secondary issue.
A quick tour of the live music internet landscape:
- U2 encourages concert-goers to raise mobile phones in the air as the 21st century equivalent of the cigarette lighter, but text messaging turns these same phones into interactive tools and profit centers. Interactive Messaging Unlimited, Club Texting and Text2Fans provide turnkey solutions. At an Anastacia concert, fans sent multiple texts to screens to see their names and send the artist messages. The promoters charged 1 EUR per message and 10% of the audience participated.
- Sites like Ustream.tv enable artists to stream live public and private concerts and can extend the evening with online after-parties complete live video and chat.
- MySpace and Facebook have opened ad platforms that enable bands and promoters to launch targeted marketing campaigns for a little as $25 USD. MySpace ads target by age, location and genre. Facebook drills down further adding keywords so marketers can even target fans of other specific artists..
- OurStage offers a music discovery platform and opportunities for gigs. A recent alliance with Live Nation provided several hundred opening act slots for new artists.
- Sonicbids is based around an emailable electronic press kit (EPK)and has deals with major music festivals and conferences globally to offer performance opportunities.
- ReverbNation empowers artists to get their own gigs and then market them via email, street teams and viral campaigns and is used by both developing and established artists.
- In fact, Live Nation owned Music Today links to ReverbNation for street teams, but offers established acts from Dave Mathews on down its own suite of services including fan club ticketing (a “must have” for artists building a touring base) and merchandise.
As with all things digital, the is just the beginning. What companies serving the live music space do you find intriguing?