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IROCKE Relaunches With Visions Of A Much Bigger Future For Live Streamed Music

Irocke-logoIROCKE launched in 2012 to provide a hub for live streamed concerts. First they figured out how best to navigate the data from a variety of sources to provide both an upcoming schedule and embedded streams of those shows. Recently, in response to user feedback, they redesigned and relaunched the site with a shift from a user interfact that emphasized show listings to a more graphic and quickly navigable interface that connects people directly with upcoming live streams. But meeting current users needs is just the start for IROCKE.

Yesterday I spoke with IROCKE CEO Karl Rogers about what they've been doing since I wrote about their beta launch back in late 2012.

At that point the newly launched service was a bit glitchy and the guide to shows looked like this. Rogers says they were much more focused on figuring out data sources and getting the whole thing organized since their goal was to be the world's guide to live streaming music concerts.

Relaunching IROCKE

Once they got a handle on that, they began looking more closely at user reponse and realized that people didn't want listings of shows, they wanted to watch shows. Sounds simple but sometimes such a lightweight sounding phrase can lead to major changes.

In the case of IROCKE it led to a more graphic interface with the addition of visual images and other touches which make it easier for people to jump right in and see what's happening. After clicking on a show or channel, you'll also find related shows that are upcoming as well as featured shows that emphasize shows about to start.

Rogers revealed that a big shift for the site has come with the combined growth of live streaming and the increased capacity of IROCKE. Now there's usually a show about to start when one show ends and that opens up the possibility for IROCKE to be less a place one goes to see a single show and more a place to hangout or keep open for ongoing listening.

This development dovetails nicely with a growing move towards audio streaming. IROCKE is streaming an increasing number of audio-only live shows and that's been well-received. Musicians can provide a hi def audio stream much more cheaply than a live video stream and audio-only likely ties in with multi-screen viewing.

Rogers says the bulk of their streaming comes via electronic music and jam band fans which nicely draws in both youthful fans as well as die-hard fans of bands that have somewhat of a cult following.

While electronic acts and djs tend to release long mixes and jam bands often release recordings of live shows, Rogers emphasized the commonality of being in the moment and experiencing the present whether it's the djs actions or the jam band's improvisations.

With the redesign doubling time on sight and halving bounces, IROCKE seems to have found an approach that's working.

The Future of IROCKE

So I had to wonder, was that the goal of IROCKE or were there even bigger possibilities ahead?

Rogers shared his vision of the future, one in which the growth in live streaming meets the user with every possible song accessible via her or his phone to make live streamed music the new differentiator that every music service will need.

With IROCKE becoming the leader in the space of aggregating such shows, a next step might be the creation of IROCKE-branded channels that could then be licensed to sites and services that need daily ongoing live streams of music.

If they take such a course, they've got a lot of work ahead but the analysis and potential response both make a lot of sense. Not only does it tie together trends such as the growth of live streaming and the need for ever new content even after seemingly infinited catalogs of music are readily available but the fact that people seem to prefer radio-style curated streaming which relates much more closely to live streaming than do services such as Spotify.

And that's open up new territory for IROCKE's benefit.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.