In the last few years, ticket sales have become a feast-or-famine operation. Popular acts that can attract a large, young audience, like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, have sold out renowned venues multiple times, as they did at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York, respectively. But, with prices for tickets, parking and concessions rising and our home entertainment devices constantly improving, the allure of staying home and skipping a show has never been higher, which greatly affects lesser-known acts to sell out shows on the road. Stagester, a startup created by Alvin Mullins, now based in Seattle, is hoping to merge the thrill of live events with the convenience of home life.
Stagester offers live streaming video of concerts from around the world, all in HD. People can watch the concerts from their TV, computer, iPhone or iPad, for a price that’s yet to be determined. The service works for both customers and musicians. Customers can watch their favorite bands at home, regardless of where the band is actually performing, allowing for muusicians can add an extra source of revenue to their tour that never existed before, since a percentage of the profits will go directly to the artists.
In a recent podcast with Grantland’s Bill Simmons, Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard discussed the strange business model that Ticketmaster and all ticketing services have. Once a venue is sold out, customers aren’t able to pay money for something they clearly want, which is unique to the ticketing world. Hubbard believed that Ticketmaster had to find a way to offer an alternate product to people who weren’t able to buy what they wanted and capitalize on the heavy demand for certain products. If lesser events weren’t going to sell well, Ticketmaster had to find a way to make money from the popular events beyond the certain amount of seats that an arena can hold. Stagester could be part of the solution.
Going forward, Stagester will have to offer something that can’t be found anywhere else in order to succeed. The brand claims their streaming software offers better sound quality than at the actual show, but that’s yet to be proven. But if Stagester can offer a unique experience to music fans, and set a price point for its concerts that’s fair to the artists and not too steep for average consumers, this could be a major breakthrough for the concert industry.