The Music Industry’s Sleeping Giant
Whether or not streaming is profitable for artists, it has made the process of getting music from its source to its audience remarkably streamlined over the past few years. This is less true where live performance is concerned, however, and the process of putting on a show remains convoluted and inefficient.
Guest Post by Danny Fiorentini on Medium
Let’s talk about “layers.”
With all this commotion about streaming, it’s interesting how much live music is still neglected in terms of efficiency and technology.
“This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows.”
That point went almost entirely unnoticed.
Now, “T-Swizzle” has the luxury of being one of the biggest stars in the world, playing in stadiums to millions of people, so she definitely has a well-oiled-machine-of-a-team behind her. It’s likely as efficient as possible.
But I think the point is — live shows support artists financially, throughout the industry, more than ever. And it’s still an inefficient mess for the 99%.
There are still a ton of layers.
Let’s think about the music industry from an infrastructure point of view…
From Apple Music to SoundCloud, major or independent artists can release their digital artwork directly to fans via technology. Source to consumer in the same step. Pretty simple, right? Efficiency at its finest. And no matter the contrasting opinions of monetary implications — if you obtain “peak efficiency” in any industry’s infrastructure, you’ve got a positive outlook.
So that’s one half of things.
I think most people are unaware that live music booking is about as efficient as cassette tapes. We continuously (mistakenly) think of “live music” as ticketing companies, forgetting about the plethora of work involved for those behind the scenes, booking the show and engrossing ourselves into the mind-numbing, inefficient world of manual data entry.
The booking processes involved have been unfortunately neglected in the tech world of music, as the focus has been allocated mainly on recorded-music distribution.
There are still too many layers in live music.
We’ve eradicated inefficiencies on one side of the industry, and live music is next in line. Just as there once were too many layers in recorded music distribution, only technology can help live music reach peak efficiency.
Finding the right venue. Getting the right date. Negotiating the deal terms. Accumulating data. Reaching the right fans. Making the right decisions. The list goes on.
Faceless, fragmented emails and spreadsheets are the primary tools used to get the event to happen in the first place; with expensive, slowly iterated in-house programs used higher up the chain.
This is logistically the same concept as the pre-internet days of recorded music, whereby, only the bigger players had access to manufacturing, radio stations, publication promotion, etc.
And alas, ticket fees are nothing more than manual labor taxes. Ticketing companies spend money on acquiring people like me to use their technology, so I can re-input my data to them, so they can generate a ticket for you. While I use their platform for “free”, the ticketing fees that you pay go straight to ticketing companies’ marketing & customer acquisition costs (and profits).
This isn’t the ticketing companies’ fault either — there just hasn’t been anything to streamline everything I do before I need them to offer a ticket to you.
The industry books shows through a fragmented array of internal, manual tools of which we jump between to distribute it all to fans. There’s added layers to music booking that don’t inherently involve the same logic as current day recorded-distribution: source to consumer in the same step.
The music industry’s “sleeping giant” is about evolving technology to remove unnecessary layers in live performance booking, help it reach peak efficiency, and allow it to parallel its recorded-music-distribution counterpart.
There are some amazing live music startups out there — from Bandsintown, to Parlour, to atVenu, to WeDemand, to Jukely, to WillCall & TicketFly— all helping to support the evolution of live music as a whole. And all doing a fantastic job.
Over at Muzeek, we hope to contribute to this progression by adding a much needed element to the fight — automating the booking infrastructure itself.
I’m so very happy to finally reveal our platform today (via Product Hunt), and showcase the technology of source to consumer in the same step; something I think will help the live music industry reach “peak efficiency.”
Our platform automates most of the booking processes as a whole, and integrates seamlessly with the channels to promote the events once they’re locked in. All from one spot.
Our ultimate goal is to reduce friction & overhead costs for independent venues and spaces, help artists and their teams make more money, and pass the savings back to fans who attend their shows. We’re tackling the heart of the inefficiency problem within the global live performance industry by providing a beautiful, automated process-solution to the outdated side of music; where a digital evolution is needed most.
We have a lot of work to do – but I think we’re on the right track. :)
We’d love to hear your feedback so far: hello[at]muzeek.com