Live Music 2.0: Concerts and the Social Web

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Over the past few years, as this whole web 2.0 thing has really grown and progressed, we’ve seen a number of new sites launch that are specifically geared towards live music fans on the web. In a sense, all of them exist to help fans track and follow their favorite touring bands/artists in a variety of ways, but with a focus on their live shows rather than their studio output (which is amply covered by a slew of Music 2.0 sites and services).

While a lot of these sites have not yet emerged into the larger music business landscape, there’s no doubt in my mind that web technologies in general will continue to affect and disrupt the live music space, as they’ve already been doing quite drastically with the recording industry. Back when I was able to dedicate more of my free time to Live Music Blog, I was really interested in exploring this space in depth. Although Justin and I have occasionally posted about some of these sites — mentioning iLike.com and ShowClix or talking up the latest feature from JamBase — we’ve never really focused on them directly as a key topic. We’d like to change that. Since we are a site dedicated to live music, it only makes sense to look at the related web services and sites that serve all of US as a community of fans. I’d like to finally re-visit my original idea and dig a bit deeper into all the sites and services that form what we call “Live Music 2.0.”

In exploring the Live Music 2.0 landscape, we want to look at what all these sites are offering — or, in some case, what they’re not offering — and to try to get a sense for which ones our readers and live music fans in general actually use. We’d like to specifically dig down into some of the individual sites, point out new features, and look at the area where these companies can be most innovative. Also, where possible, I’d like to talk directly with site owners/founders to get some information straight from the source. Most importantly though, we want user feedback. I really want to know if anyone else out there is really using these sites for tracking their favorite bands. Have these sites really started to seep out into the masses of concert fans? Do live music fans even really know they exist? Am I only into this kind of stuff because I’m a live music web nerd? We’ll see.

In one sense, this is mainly an administrative note about a new site topic. But it’s also an intro to the overall concept to give a sense for what we’re actually referring to with the Live Music 2.0 label. Although the term can apply to a large swath of companies in the online space, the sites we are currently interested in exploring typically offer some kind of combination of the following:

    Tour Dates and Tracking

  • Ways to track your favorite bands’ tour dates and your personal live music calendar
    Social/Sharing Features

  • Integration with Twitter & Facebook, iCal, email alerts, RSS
  • Widgets for listing on blogs, sites, and social networks
    Favorite Artists and Import Options

  • Ways to Import your favorite artists (upload your iTunes library, link to Last.fm profiles)
    Portability

  • iPhone and other mobile apps
  • Widgets and calendar display
    Ticketing

  • Links to third-party ticketing services
  • Their own ticketing options/outlets
    Streaming Music and Artist Info

  • Basic bio about artist/bands
  • Streaming music and video(like more traditional Music 2.0 sites imeem, myspace, spotify etc…)
  • Links back to artist pages, merch, music samples, etc…
    Concert-Specific, Archival Content

  • Setlists, Photos, Reviews, and other archival info
  • Webcasts, live streams, and live downloads

Considering that Live Music 2.0 is a fairly niche concept, the large number of start-ups in this space is actually pretty staggering. I put together a quick-list below just to offer some examples:

The above list by no means includes all of the sites that fall under the larger Live Music 2.0 umbrella. But what’s interesting is that while some sites have been around for more than a few years, we continue to see new/similar offerings popping up every six months or so. In fact, just today I learned about another new site called: Gigulate. Although I definitely think the concept of Live Music 2.0 is here to stay, I really don’t see how this many different players can exist in the same space for very long.

All of the above is really just a primer about the overall space and concept of Live Music 2.0. In future posts, we’ll dig into more specifics and see how the overall space is developing. But if you have any general comments about the sites you’d like to see us cover or about the overall space, be sure to add your comments below.

Much more to follow…

WHITperson -- aka Marc Whitman or simply "Whit" -- is a long-time LMB contributor known for his in-depth posting style and his knack for crafting interesting podcasts. Whit currently resides in Brooklyn, where he's building up his web development chops and hoping to put his technical skills towards something interesting in the music world. Follow his updates over at whitperson.com and on twitter @whitperson.
  • Ross

    In terms of concert tracking, good old non-Web 2.0 Pollstar remains my top choice. I do very much like the JamBase ability to add your calendar to Google Calendar etc, but it doesn’t catch *all* the bands like – many of whom aren’t listed in the JB db.

    And I’ve read a bunch of rumors (which are, of course, just rumors) that Google is going to enter the music space in the near future, which will be interesting to say the least.

    • whitperson

      hey Ross, thanks for the comment!

      Yes, Pollstar is a good option. I sort of see it as the old-school standard. Sure, they’ve made some updates and they certainly have the necessary tour dates, but it’s still very web 1.0. Also, I’ve just always found Pollstar a bit lacking in layout and tracking abilities. Overall, I just think there’s so much more potential in this space, so it’ll be interesting to see if these newer sites give it some good competition.

  • Ross

    In terms of concert tracking, good old non-Web 2.0 Pollstar remains my top choice. I do very much like the JamBase ability to add your calendar to Google Calendar etc, but it doesn’t catch *all* the bands like – many of whom aren’t listed in the JB db.

    And I’ve read a bunch of rumors (which are, of course, just rumors) that Google is going to enter the music space in the near future, which will be interesting to say the least.

    • whitperson

      hey Ross, thanks for the comment!

      Yes, Pollstar is a good option. I sort of see it as the old-school standard. Sure, they’ve made some updates and they certainly have the necessary tour dates, but it’s still very web 1.0. Also, I’ve just always found Pollstar a bit lacking in layout and tracking abilities. Overall, I just think there’s so much more potential in this space, so it’ll be interesting to see if these newer sites give it some good competition.

  • http://www.enterplayment.com/ Blu-ray DVDs

    Thanks for the info Ross about google’s entering into music space, I think they are already into it, youtube, dont you think so…?

    • whitperson

      Yes, as for Google, you could certainly make that argument that YouTube already puts them into the music space.

      However, I think Ross was referring to the recent news that Google appears to have some kind of music service in the works with Lala and iLike. Details are still sketchy, but it looks like they’ll be changing their search results pages for music-related terms so that they include streams and purchase options.

      I’d say it’s definitely big news because it’s Google, but also it’s not likely to be a huge game-changer. It’s also a big win for LaLa and iLike.

  • http://www.enterplayment.com/ Blu-ray DVDs

    Thanks for the info Ross about google’s entering into music space, I think they are already into it, youtube, dont you think so…?

    • whitperson

      Yes, as for Google, you could certainly make that argument that YouTube already puts them into the music space.

      However, I think Ross was referring to the recent news that Google appears to have some kind of music service in the works with Lala and iLike. Details are still sketchy, but it looks like they’ll be changing their search results pages for music-related terms so that they include streams and purchase options.

      I’d say it’s definitely big news because it’s Google, but also it’s not likely to be a huge game-changer. It’s also a big win for LaLa and iLike.

  • Ross

    @whitperson –

    Yeah, pollstar is very web 1.0. And it is still seriously lacking in layout. I think it’s worse now after the redesign – fewer listings per page (which is a SERIOUS hassle when you’re looking at shows in NYC.

    But I do like the email notification system.. Anyway, yes I totally agree there’s a lot of room in that space, maybe pollstar will get it together and come out w/ mobile apps and a better site.

    Here’s one article about the upcoming Google music service. It seems to think it’ll be a very underwhelming product, but I can see Google beefing it up over time.

  • Ross

    @whitperson –

    Yeah, pollstar is very web 1.0. And it is still seriously lacking in layout. I think it’s worse now after the redesign – fewer listings per page (which is a SERIOUS hassle when you’re looking at shows in NYC.

    But I do like the email notification system.. Anyway, yes I totally agree there’s a lot of room in that space, maybe pollstar will get it together and come out w/ mobile apps and a better site.

    Here’s one article about the upcoming Google music service. It seems to think it’ll be a very underwhelming product, but I can see Google beefing it up over time.

  • http://livemusicpodcast.net Ryan

    I’ve been using Bandloop to track upcoming concerts. They have an IPhone App too but I haven’t tried it since I am sans IPhone :(

  • http://livemusicpodcast.net Ryan

    I’ve been using Bandloop to track upcoming concerts. They have an IPhone App too but I haven’t tried it since I am sans IPhone :(

  • http://phishandthedead.blogspot.com/ Sammy

    great article.
    very thought provoking and true…..
    the key is to see not whats next, but what will be the next feature or facility provided in this web space of music 2.0 after whats next.
    think 4 – 6years away instead of next year.
    nice job.

  • http://phishandthedead.blogspot.com/ Sammy

    great article.
    very thought provoking and true…..
    the key is to see not whats next, but what will be the next feature or facility provided in this web space of music 2.0 after whats next.
    think 4 – 6years away instead of next year.
    nice job.

  • http://phishandthedead.blogspot.com/ Sammy

    May I compose a direct link to this spefic column on my blog?

  • http://phishandthedead.blogspot.com/ Sammy

    May I compose a direct link to this spefic column on my blog?

  • whitperson

    hey thanks sammy.

    I agree. In a sense, I’d like to look at both near-term and long-term features and challenges (as I said, I don’t see how all these players can last, so they may not all last more than a year or two). But the long-term possibilities are endless and quite exciting.

    RE your link:
    as long as it’s on topic, sure thing. link away.

    keep in mind, you can actually use html tags like I did with the Techcrunch post above.

    cheers, mw

  • whitperson

    hey thanks sammy.

    I agree. In a sense, I’d like to look at both near-term and long-term features and challenges (as I said, I don’t see how all these players can last, so they may not all last more than a year or two). But the long-term possibilities are endless and quite exciting.

    RE your link:
    as long as it’s on topic, sure thing. link away.

    keep in mind, you can actually use html tags like I did with the Techcrunch post above.

    cheers, mw

  • http://www.ItsGreatToBeAlive.com Luke

    Looking forward to this series and the possibilities of what web 2.0 could bring.

    Pollstar is the old favorite for me too. The new changes were better when I figured out the travel distance thing on the notifications.

    There is nothing worse than waking up on Sunday after sitting around at home Saturday night and seeing a show posted on bt.etree.com.

    I’m also hoping that a service comes out the gets people out seeing more live music, finding new live bands and creating buzz for musicians.

  • http://www.ItsGreatToBeAlive.com Luke

    Looking forward to this series and the possibilities of what web 2.0 could bring.

    Pollstar is the old favorite for me too. The new changes were better when I figured out the travel distance thing on the notifications.

    There is nothing worse than waking up on Sunday after sitting around at home Saturday night and seeing a show posted on bt.etree.com.

    I’m also hoping that a service comes out the gets people out seeing more live music, finding new live bands and creating buzz for musicians.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hipsterresistance alexb

    sam bro your hilarious asking to link to someone! This article is very intelligent should be on mashible, please write more of these! it is all about live music 2.0 for us bloggers. what’s going to be your idea for a site justin? let me know ill follow you till the end of the earth. as far as these sites go. jambase is the original and best in my opinion. have been using it for over 7 years.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hipsterresistance alexb

    sam bro your hilarious asking to link to someone! This article is very intelligent should be on mashible, please write more of these! it is all about live music 2.0 for us bloggers. what’s going to be your idea for a site justin? let me know ill follow you till the end of the earth. as far as these sites go. jambase is the original and best in my opinion. have been using it for over 7 years.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hipsterresistance alexb

    p.s I got you on all the social sites (digg, reddit, stumbleupon)

  • http://www.myspace.com/hipsterresistance alexb

    p.s I got you on all the social sites (digg, reddit, stumbleupon)