“I wish I could have gone to that concert” is a common refrain amongst music fans. Spacebar can’t teleport you to the venue, but it can stream the audio to your mobile device so you can listen along for a dollar or two. Launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt NY with 15 local clubs and musicians like Kanye West on board, Spacebar’s app could give bands a new revenue stream they desperately need.
The idea with Spacebar is to let artists earn more money off of what they’re already doing — playing concerts. Musicians sign up with Spacebar’s iOS app, connect their mobile device to the soundboard at their concert, and stream the show in real-time to their fans. They can give the show away for free, or offer free five-minute previews before asking listeners to pay one or a few dollars. Spacebar has a partnership with Lady Gaga’s management label, and Kanye West and John Legend are signed up to stream shows this year as well. Their clout could help Spacebar surpass more established but clumsier competitors.
After paying Apple its 30% fee, Spacebar splits the money equally between itself, the artist, and the venue if the concert is broadcast from an established spot. Artists can also stream straight from the studio, their tour bus, a garage, or a house party to up their cut. Fans can also tip the band some extra digital cash if they’re really impressed with the sound. Plus, Spacebar hooks up artists with data about who streamed their shows. That means artists could book a show in some little town if they found out lots of people were streaming them from there.
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