I’ve been very impressed with Evan Lowenstein’s philosophy to his company, Stageit: “Where performers can broadcast LIVE and interactive experiences directly from a laptop, while offering unique fan experiences that are never archived.”
There is a lot more to the company’s appeal than those few words would suggest. For those of us who have actually toured to places like Waco, Roberval, Jacksonville, Lake Charles, Thunder Bay–as well as the centers–have had too much exposure to real fans in real places who come out to experience the artist live to believe that YouTube is the answer. Why?
Because live music is not just a scarce good–it’s a mysterious good. Great live music is an even scarcer good and emphasizes the mystery of “how do they do that?!”. No Autotune, no samples, no drum loops. An artist, a handful of instruments and–great songs. It is no accident that towns like Nashville, Austin, Toronto and many others all celebrate songwriters and live performers.
Stageit actually recreates that mysterious scarcity, not because it profits anyone particularly, because there is nothing more egalitarian than a ticket price. But because for a lot of fans, what is important is that direct connection with the artist that really only comes from the live show. And rather than the sites that promote taking the artist’s recorded performance and either give the end user a way to avoid respecting the artist or forcing the artist to be heard in an amateur recording environment so that new fans have a sub-amateur sonic or video experience–Stageit let’s the artist be heard as the artist wants to be heard.
And then it’s gone–no archiving. (And yes, I know that streams can be hacked.)
Stageit is a beautiful, beautiful, thing. It uses the Internet in an artist friendly way and respects everyone’s rights, starting with the two who should be the most cherished if you ask me: the artist and the fan.
It’s not about the Silicon Valley fantasy of “endless choice creating unlimited demand” or “get big fast”–it’s about get good faster.
Because art doesn’t scale.