Live concerts have remained a profitable part of what has generally been a decade of digital disruption for the music industry. Recent studies have concluded that projected growth should more than offset expected losses from recorded music sales in the years to come, highlighting just how important the success of the live sector is.
Now, an ambitious video start up hopes to fuse the best of both worlds and give artists an intriguing way to involve fans in the show.
How to Crowdsource a Concert
FanFootage is a Dublin, Ireland-based video music startup with a deceptively simple concept, taking the live recordings of concert goers and piecing them together into a full account the show. The results are intriguing, taking what can be a very hit-and-miss experience for music fans and turning it into a creatively crowdsourced online event.
While we’ve all grimaced at the awful sound quality that can accompany otherwise attractive live fan footage on YouTube – or even now brief clips on Instagram – FanFootage addresses the issue by syncing a high-quality audio recording of the show to the various videos sourced from fans in attendance. The more footage that fans submit, the more angles the service can offer, making the experience all the richer for both those who went to the gig and those just catching it online.
Although the show must still be selected so that the audio can be organized, it isn’t beyond the capabilities of modern recording equipment to imagine a band recording their own concert to obtain great audio, then coordinating with fans to upload, view and share the results. If all goes to plan, such services have the potential to bring the community and relationship that comes with a live show to the homes of those too far away to attend. The collaborative element also builds relationships with those who attended, making the experience even more memorable.
The interest in FanFootage is part of a wider renaissance for online video, which for many years was locked into the desktop environment and limited to popular platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Those sites remain dominant, of course, but a new generation of social video startups like Vyclone and Viddy are vying for attention, alongside the offerings of established platforms such as the aforementioned videos on Instagram and Vine, Twitter’s foray into short form social video.
No single platform has come to dominate this relatively new space as yet, but the demand from users is clearly in place. Music has a lot to gain from this phenomenon, as the cost of content for artists could plunge dramatically if services like FanFootage can offer affordable ways to bring a full, quality concert experience to fans, regardless of location. At the other end of the scale, imagine the best of hundreds of fan videos being pieced together for a superstar act at Madison Square Garden, alongside professional footage taken in and around the stage, and the potential for all angle online access becomes immense.
Of course, not everyone appreciates a smartphone being raised aloft during a live show, and there may be some push back on the trend from those who simply want to take in an event with their own eyeballs. Even so, technology is not easily deterred and will find a way to serve a demanding user base, if video is what it wants. Executed well, it could lead to the creation of new experiences for fans and, hopefully, new revenue for artists.