Back in February, we introduced you to EvntLive, a new startup backed by Silicon Valley veterans that’s on a mission to create a scalable platform for broadcasting live concerts, from arenas to small clubs, backed by a library of recorded shows, profiles and music info. Of course, a platform for live concerts isn’t exactly a new idea. In fact, it’s been floating around for years, but those entering the space have been hamstrung to an over-abundance of friction stemming from royalty and licensing issues and having to convince venues to install the technology and hardware — among other things. As a result, live online music has been slow to take off.
But the EvntLive founders see a new music industry beginning to emerge, in which the new scale of online consumption and distribution channels now allow artists to tap into much larger audiences. In turn, with digital music moving towards free, artists now make most of their money from touring, but because they can only tour so much and play so many venues, the access to new audiences and ticket sales afforded by a live, online platform is becoming more appealing.
EvntLive isn’t the only startup looking to capitalize on this shift. While it remains in private beta, services like Concert Window, StageIt and Qello are live and finding traction. Concert Window co-founder Dan Gurney tells us that the startup is beginning to hit its stride, having quadrupled revenue over the last five months, added a handful of employees and is now broadcasting over 100 live shows each month.
The startup has been able to do so by broadcasting live concerts over the Web, allowing you to listen and watch as the concert happens from the comfort of your couch. To address the friction for venues mentioned above, Concert Window attempts to take the work out of the hands of venue managers — all the venue needs is an Internet connection.
The startup provides the equipment, camera and cables, and its system controls the broadcast remotely, so, after the initial setup, venues can just kick back and stream whenever they please. No production team required.
On the user experience end, Concert Window has done its best to keep online ticket prices low (under $10, depending on the concert), and distributes two-thirds of ticket sales to the venue and artist, making it a comparable revenue split to iTunes and app stores. Both the video and audio quality are high, which is a must for online concert services, and if you have a good sound system and are lazy like I am, it almost beats being there in person. By addressing these barriers, Concert Window has been able to stream 2,000 concerts with 1,500+ artists at 15 partner venues to date. To really make a dent, it will be key to offer more selection, but it’s a pretty good start.
From the beginning, Concert Window has dealt with licensing and rights hurdles by focusing exclusively on livestreaming, rather than offering both streaming and archiving. This leaves a gap in the experience, and down the road, the startup that takes the cake in this space is going to do both (and do both on mobile), but it will be a long, uphill battle to work out all the minutia with rights holders.
Since launching last fall, Concert Window has been focused on building relationships with venues and artists, meaning that design and its UI have taken a backseat. But, today, the startup officially launched a platform-wide redesign and new branding. The startup now offers an HTML5-compatible site, allowing viewers to tap into what it claims is the largest concert volume of any live music platform from their computer, smartphone or tablet.
By offering a mobile experience, a relatively steady stream of concerts and allowing fans to chat with each other and leave feedback for artists, Concert Window hopes its v2.0 can give it a leg up on the competition.
Find Concert Window at home here.