Our Philosophy

Our vision for Showasis is ultimately to introduce and enable a participatory culture in live music. We seek to accomplish this by facilitating transparent conversations between bands, fans, and venues while equipping the industry with the data and insight necessary to deliver better products to its customers. Our philosophy is built on three primary trends, which are described in detail below.

Concerts Are the New CD’s

The music industry is upside down. Fans are pirating digital music at an unstoppable rate and consumers are beginning to expect that recorded music is free. Meanwhile, companies like iTunes have made selling digital music largely unprofitable for musicians. The actual earnings an artist gets from the sale of a song on iTunes is next to nothing. Bands are therefore more dependent on revenue generated from live events than ever before.

Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters’ Guild of America, says that, “People think we’re making a fortune off the Web, but it’s a tiny amount. We need multiple revenue streams or this isn’t going to work.” (link) Carnes is not mistaken; according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple keeps about 30% of the price of each music sale. (link) That means artists, their record labels, and all the other middlemen involved in recorded music have to split approximately 30 cents on every song sold.

With recorded music generating marginal profits, live music has become the primary source of revenue for artists. Singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen describes this new paradigm in the industry when he says, “You don’t tour to support your record. You put out a record to support a tour.” (link) Artists are now dependent on live music to make a living, where they can sell merchandise, event-exclusive albums, and more tickets. Fans refuse to pay for digital downloads, but they still fork over the cash for a unique live musical experience.

The question then, is how do artists generate more revenue from live music events that successfully and sustainably cater to a fan’s desire for a unique experience?

Participatory Culture of the Internet

The Internet is credited with empowering consumers as a result of easier communication and more information. We now know that brands are not just built by advertising, but are shaped by the individual opinions and actions of the online community. Each online conversation is a contributing factor to the health and perception of a brand. Meanwhile, crowdsouring now plays a prominent role in the marketplace. Consumers can come together to invent products, create Super Bowl ads, own soccer teams, and buy in groups to receive mass discounts.

The music industry is not exempt from these trends. The Internet has created a participatory culture that the industry can either choose to ignore or embrace. Consumers want to be a part of the products they consume. We believe at this critical crossroads there are dozens of startups innovating to embrace this culture and shift the power of control from big companies to individual fans. Showasis is one of those companies.

As a result of this culture, being a passive fan is less appealing than it used to be. People don’t just want to own a record. They want to have the T-shirt, own the album before it is released to the general public, Tweet from a concert, meet the band, and then reminisce with them on Facebook the day after. Fans want to help shape the experience and be a part of the “supply chain.” Thus, live music must also accommodate this trend if it is going to be the revenue driver artists need it to be. We must find ways to better integrate fans into the live music experience from start to finish.

Analytics & Actionable Data

“In our conversations with record companies and band managers, it has become apparent to us that the industry is craving data, metrics and reports that take into account the next generation of music consumers.” – Jason Mendelson, quoted on the Foundry Group blog.

Our philosophy on live music is handcuffed to a focus on data and analytics. We believe the music industry could benefit tremendously from data that helps venues, bands, and fans make better decisions about the bands they book, the shows they perform, and the events they choose to attend, respectively. In fact, we believe it is a lack of the right data and insight that is holding the industry back from delivering the type of live music experiences that fans expect in this participatory culture.

We believe our role in bringing a new breed of data and analytics to the music industry is to first champion quantitative concert reviews that can be used to forecast the quality of future events. Secondly, our role is to equip bands and venues with quantitative data that they can use to better understand the preferences, tendencies, and demographics of their fans in order to deliver customized experiences and ultimately increase the lifetime revenue per fan. Along with the other great companies bringing a fresh analytical perspective, we can take into account the next generation of music consumers and deliver products and experiences that revolutionize not only this industry, but how business is done as a whole.

The End Result

What do we expect to happen as a result of the aforementioned trends and our role in embracing them?

  • More spontaneous, customized, and localized live music events.
  • More bands being discovered as a result of their talent, not their marketing budget.
  • More people attending concerts.
  • More people attending more concerts.
  • More efficient purchase decisions for consumers.
  • More efficient investments for venues hiring bands.
  • More fun.