Future of concert technology

"Live music. Some says it’s thriving; some say it’s dying." The kickoff to our new blog series on different verticals in the London tech scene focuses on the future of concert technology.

This picture depicts public transport, but it could be a concert, right?

Live music. Some says it’s thriving; some say it’s dying. With festivals like Glastonbury selling out in minutes, it’s hard to imagine that live music is anything but a winner for musicians, venues, and promoters. But the reality is starker, particularly for independent artists and smaller promoters and venues that “are struggling to make a profit on each show due to high artist fees and small marketing budgets.”

The answer – as with most things, it seems – is technology. From the nuts-and-bolts tasks such as booking artists, selling tickets and turning fans into marketers to leveraging wearables and virtual and augmented reality to enhance the fan experience, the opportunities for venues and promoters to improve their bottom line via technology are vast.

But, which technologies will reap the most benefits?

Eventbrite recently interviewed “20 music and technology leaders who are on the cutting edge of concert technology…and surveyed nearly 50 live music venues about their top challenges, and how they’re using technology to solve them.” The findings have been compiled into a report on The Future of Concert Technology, making eight key recommendations for how promoters and venues can “get smarter about how you use technology to produce and promote live shows.”

While some of the predictions are based on technologies and platforms already available and in use, many aren’t. So what opportunities are there for start-ups to disrupt and innovate in this highly lucrative area?

 

Integrating profession and fan video streams – before, during and after show

We’ve all had friends who post concert photos on Facebook and Instagram feeds (ahem, guilty), but the report’s findings show that with Facebook Live and Snapchat quickly becoming ubiquitous in the live music environment, there are opportunities to give fans a more holistic and immersive live concert experience, despite not being physically in the venue.

Making viewing experiences interactive can make fans at home feel more like they’re part of the live experience. This could be done by integrating performance videos from both concert goers and a band’s official stream with behind-in-the-scenes and fan footage. RFID and drones can be used to zero in on specific moments and people.

What’s missing, though, is a platform that can successfully bring all these elements together.

 

Leveraging data to improve marketing, retention and rewards

More than any other industry, the music industry has seen an exponential increase in data generation, due partly to streaming and digital downloads. This data is already being applied to choosing touring destinations and identifying fans, but many promoters and venues have yet to tap into this and their legacy data to pinpoint customer patterns and repeat visitors, and market to them accordingly. 

“The most strategic way for venues to target their advertising in the future won’t be using data from other sites — it will be using their own data more effectively.” Many venues use generic CRM systems to analyse ticketing patterns, but what if they – and artists and promoters – had access to an open platform that gave them access to ticketing, streaming, and social media data? “Fans could receive the most targeted info about tours and artists coming to town. This open platform approach could enable the use of artificial intelligence or machine learning that understands fan behaviour and delivers recommendations that feel hypercurated for them alone.”

 

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality

With Pokemon Go taking augmented reality mainstream, businesses are scrambling to find ways to implement the technology into their offering. The music industry is no exception, but as of yet “no one in the music industry seems quite sure yet how these hot topics will affect live shows.”

Possible applications, however, are plentiful. “Venues could use AR to activate challenges within the venue for rewards, or artists could tour with 3D glasses and use a 3D screen behind the performance. Or, the performance itself could become part of games that fans already know and love.”

Still, it appears that the music and technology industries have yet to land on a way forward, or find a way to package these technologies for an end-to-end approach.

Are you currently working on an API or a back-end technology that meets the needs laid out in the report? Get in touch with us to chat about bringing your start-up to the next level of its evolution.

 

Gayle Kennedy

Guest writer
Gayle O’Brien started her writing career during Web 1.0 and still appears to be standing. After multiple stints in-house and agency side, her writing now focuses on start-ups, technology, and innovation. A dual citizen of the US and UK, Gayle divides her time between Massachusetts and south-east England.