Live Music 2.0: Concerts and the Social Web


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 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 profiles)

  • iPhone and other mobile apps
  • Widgets and calendar display

  • 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…