One of the biggest problems with many technology companies trying to monetize music is that they are run by tech execs, not music people. Enter, StageIt, founded by pop/rock artist Evan Lowenstein (of Evan and Jaron fame – the brother duo scored three Top 40 hits, including the Top 10 song “Crazy For This Girl”). Evan took the future of artist monetization into his own hands with StageIt, a web-based platform that allows artists to give live interactive performances to their fans, and get paid for it. The goal? Evan says, as a performer, the best part is playing live, StageIt “brings back the romance” of how artist truly interact with fans.
Evan talked to The Comet and explained:
“With StageIt, not only can artists take the stage and perform live from their computer, regardless of their location, but they can also monetize these performances. StageIt also gives them access control since artists can choose when they want to perform, for how long and how much they want to charge. The platform also greatly complements and activates other traditional and digital promotional and networking tools artists are already using.”
Fans buy StageIt currency called ‘notes’ and an artist can decide how many ‘notes’ a performance costs.
To make it truly feel like a live show, StageIt enables Live Chat with the fans and there is even a Tip Jar, where fans can give real time tips (in ‘notes’) to artists.
Artists are coming out in droves to try the service, including the Plain White T’s.
Evan is no stranger to the new media world, before StageIt he served as president of HookUp Feed, a social networking and mobile marketing company whose clients include The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, American Airlines, Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery.
Check out Evan’s keynote address during BMI’s a one-day symposium entitled “Content, Copyright & Commerce” as part of the Digital Hollywood Fall 2010.
The terms “brilliant” and “genius” are completely overused, but I feel justified in applying them in my description of StageIt. I might also add “addictive.” Boy howdy.
This is what happens when someone (in this case, Evan Lowenstein) sees a gap in the system and designs a way to fill it. It’s a live concert experience without the hassle and expense of travel (for both artist and listener) and yet it is a wholly different experience in that it usually leads to a much more intimate interaction than when you are bumping shoulders with a bunch of other fans in front of a stage. The live chat feature allows the performer and fans to communicate in real time and give/get immediate feedback, which is an experience you absolutely DO NOT FIND anywhere else. You can attend a live concert, in your pajamas, with your cat/dog/parrot by your side WITHOUT being escorted off the premises and threatened with institutionalization.
Bottom line: You just have to try it. But beware…it will hook you.