Switchcam has come a long way since it won HackLolla as Veokami at Lollapalooza in 2011 including receiving over a million in funding. But the concept remains the same: Switchcam takes YouTube videos of concerts and offers multiangle views of the whole event where possible. Soon they'll be offering tools for musicians to take control of the process and even embed entire concerts and tour on artist websites.
Switchcam is an awesome concept and a fun product that suggests interesting possibilities for the future. Currently they focus on fan videos of music concerts, gathering them from YouTube and connecting them in a concert-specific dashboard. You can watch concerts from the beginning and are offered multiple angles from which to view the show allowing you to find the best footage.
As you can see from this Childish Gambino concert options are often limited and the footage is mostly amateur hour. The concept is basically what they had last year but they've added additional features such as creating your own event and generally solidified the product. In addition, they've been developing new possibilities that should soon be launching.
My one other observation about the current site is a minor gripe. Since they want people to immediately grasp what's happening, they have an overlay that appears when you first go to a specific concert. It's very simple and clicks to close. That's all good but every time I went to a new concert it popped up again and rapidly became quite annoying. Maybe that goes away if you log in but they should really make it appear only once per visitor.
That said, the future looks bright for Switchcam. Not only did they participate in the 500 Startups accelerator during the winter, they are now accelerating further as part of Turner Broadcasting's Media Camp. Plus they announced $1.2 million in funding from Mark Cuban plus a bunch of other people shown on AngelList.
Musicians can look forward to the launch of Switchcam for Artists with such features as:
- Concert pages and tour diary
- Ability to remove "cruddy" videos, specific songs and whole concerts
- Ability to embed individual shows or complete tour diary on your site
- Option to replace audio with your own soundboard recording
Though they do have plans for other forms of content, such as protest footage, and also opportunities for sponsoring brands to extend their reach, the public site is clearly focused on music videos. It does make you wonder why their publicity seems targeted entirely to tech outlets but that often happens with music startups raised in Silicon Valley and similar settings. It's part of what I call "Silicon Tunnel Vision" including the fact that tech investors tend to privilege tech media over domain-specific blogs and news sites.
Nevertheless, I'd suggest signing up now for Switchcam for Artists to get in on the launch of what should be a powerful tool for musicians to connect with their fans while building a stronger web media presence.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.