New Technology: The Fitness Test
Always one of ILMC’s most popular sessions, the New Tech panel will feature half a dozen presentations this year, giving delegates a heads up on some of the hottest new products and services that are set to make a big impact during the next 12 months. Ahead of Steve Machin’s tech masterclass, here we provide a quick preview of this year’s contenders…
The team at Amplead loves live music and understands that arranging, performing, and promoting shows has its challenges. Subsequently, Amplead’s mission is to provide an ever-expanding toolkit, designed for the live music industry.
By working alongside like-minded organisations and industry professionals, Amplead’s aims are: to help venues run more efficiently by growing attendance at shows and increasing turnover; to help new and established artists manage their events, explore their potential, and grow their audience; to help promoters find the perfect line-up, expand their reach, and sell out shows – every time; and to help industry professionals connect and collaborate whilst building a strong community.
bipass sees two vastly experienced leaders in cashless event tech joining forces to solve one of the live industry’s biggest problems
bipass sees two vastly experienced leaders in cashless event tech – Steve Jenner and Paul Pike – joining forces to solve one of the live industry’s biggest problems. Every year, event organisers leave millions of pounds’ worth of turnover and valuable customer data on the table because they have no direct connection with their audiences before, during, or after an event. bipass, working in collaboration with US Web3 trailblazers Vatom, have created Digital Lanyard to join the missing dots, empowering organisers to engage with and monetise their audiences all year round, in ways that were never before possible.
Finally, consumer brands are able to measurably convert ticket holders into high-street retail customers, any time of the year. If you run an annual event, you can now kiss goodbye to seasonal ticketing income and erratic cashflow, as the full consumer power of your audience is unlocked and placed in your hands for significant returns, all year long.
CUE is a live event and mobile engagement company that creates engaging and memorable experiences
CUE is a live event and mobile engagement company that creates engaging and memorable experiences.
Founded in 2017, with the goal of providing an offline, network-free communications protocol using high-frequency, ultra-sonic audio as an alternative to Wi-Fi, cell service, and Bluetooth for short-range communications to create synchronised fan engagement experiences that otherwise would not be possible.
Utilising existing speaker infrastructure, a proprietary ultra-sonic communications protocol, and the hardware fans bring in their pockets, CUE routinely synchronises crowds of all sizes to capture the world’s largest simultaneous selfies, choreographs spectacular cell phone light shows, and hosts massive multiplayer trivia games.
Aloompa, a division of CUE, introduced the first-ever mobile app for a music festival in 2009, effectively replacing the paper guide forever. Today, Aloompa is the market leader in mobile app development for live events around the globe, driving innovation in live event technology for some of the world’s largest and most iconic events and brands. They provide a turnkey, customisable solution for events of all shapes and sizes.
Millions of live event attendees download and engage with CUE’s products each year.
Dutch Digital Collectibles assists in the development of digital collectibles for the music industry
Dutch Digital Collectibles
The multidisciplinary team of Dutch Digital Collectibles assists in the development of digital collectibles for the music industry. The organisation works with artists and music venues to bridge the gap between their creativity and the possibilities that the world of Web3 and immersive tech offers them. This creates digital value creation to enrich and renew the cultural sector.
With the development of a widely applicable Web3 strategy, tailor-made digital applications and top-notch virtual reality worlds, Dutch Digital Collectibles creates a new form of digital merchandise and innovative (live) experiences around artists. These not only create a new and stable source of income but also a direct connection between the artists and their fanbases. Therefore, the company views digital collectibles as a valuable addition to what the music industry and the cultural sector already offers its fans.
The soon-to-be-released VR show 8 Miljard Ikken (8 billion versions of me) of VR artist Nemo Vos and musician Spinvis, is the first out of many VR shows to be released. It entails a virtual journey by Vos through six musical worlds with live sound designs by Spinvis in which viewers can interact with each other and the artists. At the end of the show, visitors receive a physical collectible. This is the key for onboarding Dutch Digital Collectibles’ digital platform, giving all attendees access to claimable digital collectibles with perks preselected by the artists.
Howler & Woov team up to bring the worlds of event payments and mobile engagement together into a connected experience
Howler x Woov
Howler & Woov team up to bring the worlds of event payments and mobile engagement together into a connected experience. Howler provides organisers with an end-to-end platform encompassing ticketing, access control, cashless payments, rich data, and on-site operations. Apart from being elrow’s global ticketing partner, Howler has worked with leading brands such as Sónar, Monegros, Kappa FuturFestival, Ultra South Africa, and many more.
Woov provides festival organisers with an all-encompassing app with rich features like personal timetables, 3D maps, communities, and direct communication tools. Woov works with leading brands such as Boomtown, Kappa Futur, We Love Green, Exit Festival, Nature One, Mysteryland, and many others…
Woov’s unique user app drives customer engagement and interaction at all touch-points of any event. With millions of users, they are the leading festival engagement platform on the market.
The New Tech session at ILMC will see both CEOs present their view on how engagement and payments come together.
Ristband is a metaverse platform where events taking place in the real world can have a digital twin of the physical world
Ristband is an award-winning metaverse platform where events taking place in the real world can have a digital twin of the physical world happening in real time, combining the excitement of a live event with the power and reach of digital social experiences. Accessible on Mac, PC and mobile.
Launched in September 2021, Ristband is an Epic MegaGrant recipient that has since received the award for “Best Designed Metaverse’’ at the Paris Metaverse Summit, described as “a product of the modern age” by Music Ally, and reviewed by Forbes as “the concert of the future.” Ristband brings the metaverse to global events. The team has previously created bespoke immersive experiences that take place at physical venues and in virtual worlds simultaneously for the International Festival Forum, Unboxed Festival, SXSW and London Fashion Week.
Founded by a team of artists and technologists, Ristband is designed especially for the live entertainment industry, bringing together audiences across gaming and music culture. Platform features include cinematic quality graphics, gameplay, a marketplace, real-time technology, data insights, professional interfaces for industry and brands, and templates and tools for artists to seamlessly create and deploy high quality interactive experiences.
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Q&A: Anne McKinnon, Ristband
In the most recent issue of IQ, we talked to some of the architects who are helping to shape the industry of the future, to quiz them on their blueprints and predictions for how we may all be operating in a few years’ time. In this final excerpt, we hear from Anne McKinnon, co-founder and CEO of Ristband, a metaverse platform for creators.
IQ: You have an international reputation for technology journalism. How do you see various tech breakthroughs coming together to improve live events in the future?
The metaverse isn’t just one form of technology. It’s the amalgamation of a series of technologies. I think we’ll look back on this period as a really magical time, where the convergence of Web3, VR/AR, cloud computing, etc, reshaped the world.
The a-ha moment for me was the first time I saw Miro Shot perform their mixed-reality concert in Paris, blending gaming tech and virtual worlds in a genuinely powerful and credible live experience. The show stood out because it wasn’t about some kind of novelty technology. At its core it was a live concert, with that magical connection you get from being in a space with an artist performing.
It was one of the key inspirations for me to launch Ristband. We spent a lot of time experimenting with different ways of capturing the excitement and energy of a live performance, but it quickly became apparent that trying to ‘simulate’ a concert would be a waste of time because nothing will ever compare to it. But the question is, “Why do hundreds of thousands of people watch Glastonbury on TV? Why do people who are not in a stadium still enjoy the World Cup? And more to the point, how can we harness the possibilities of these emerging technologies and fuse them with the core of what a concert is? This is the code that Ristband is trying to crack.
“Travis Scott reportedly earned over $20m in revenue from digital merchandise sales for a single concert in Fortnite”
The live music industry operates on slim profit margins. Are there additional revenue streams that the business is missing out on by ignoring metaverse opportunities?
Absolutely. Live music is incredibly expensive to put on – the logistics of huge gatherings of people, security, health & safety, legal implications, lighting rigs, backlines, and transportation costs. The advantage of operating in a virtual world is that these overheads are dramatically reduced. To reiterate, this isn’t about replacing live events. However, being able to exist in the physical and virtual world simultaneously represents a huge untapped revenue stream for the live music industry and artists in general, not to mention other positive aspects such as sustainability and accessibility.
The revenue models of the metaverse are also familiar extensions of the models that already exist in the real world, such as ticketing, merchandising, and memorabilia, combined with revenue models of the gaming industry that churn out mind-blowing returns that have previously been inaccessible to the live music industry.
For example, digital goods offer an amazing extension of the merchandising business. Travis Scott reportedly earned over $20m in revenue from digital merchandise sales for a single concert in Fortnite, in comparison to the $1.7m he made from a single night for his Astroworld tour. This is just a small fraction of the revenue opportunity that’s available. In 2021 alone, over $100bn was spent on in-game digital assets.
What is new here, is how these models are applied in the emergent metaverse where, for the first time, music and gaming culture are colliding en-masse. At the centre of it all is a shared fandom and love for music with a new generation of fans who crave new experiences – an opportunity that cannot be ignored.
The likes of livestreaming and metaverse platforms offer fans who, for whatever reason, cannot attend live shows an ideal way to connect with their favourite acts. How do you see the metaverse developing in terms of concerts in the next five years?
Approaching the music metaverse from a music industry perspective, it was clear that no one in the tech and gaming space had spoken to artists, booking agents, promoters, or the music industry as a whole. We wanted to build a tool that focused on the way people who work in music discover, nurture, and promote music to help artists reach the audiences they deserve.Our early stages of R&D were about working out how we could use the granular data insights the metaverse offers to help artists and their teams find ways to use the metaverse in a practical sense. The idea that the live music industry is about to be ‘disrupted’ is total nonsense. The metaverse is a new tool to extend its capabilities.
We’re in the earliest stages of music in the metaverse, and also the metaverse itself, and what we’re noticing is that it’s actually the merging of music culture and gaming culture to create something entirely new. It’s not just a game, and it’s also not just a concert. The world is changing, and the industry is adapting.
“There’s a huge opportunity for the music industry to capture market value and for emerging acts to hone their skills, build their audience, and get discovered”
How can Ristband help in the development of emerging talent to help create the next generation of headline acts?
Very early on, we realised that live venues and festivals are dramatically underserved by the technology and gaming industries. We experienced this first-hand when we showcased unsigned artists at our launch at the SXSW music festival this year, where 23-times the number of physical attendees joined remotely in Ristband.
More broadly, we’re also seeing kids who grew up on Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft looking for what’s next in popular culture. It’s natural they’re looking for the next step in music culture in virtual worlds, and this is where there’s a huge opportunity for the music industry to capture market value and for emerging acts to hone their skills, build their audience, and get discovered.
Take Splash, for example, a Roblox game that 21m kids had played by 2020, each making use of an in-world tool to create a track and then getting in line to perform on a digital stage. While kids in Roblox aren’t yet the age group for going out to experience live music (the majority are under the age of 16), these kids are already making music, performing, and playing games. They are the next generation of fans, and some of them will go on to build successful careers touring stages and festivals in the real world. In the same way that internet culture transformed the music industry, immersive virtual worlds are bringing an entirely new dynamic to what it means to be a music fan, artist, or industry professional.
Long term, how different do you think the live music business will operate compared to how it does now?
There are lots of exciting approaches and innovations in the metaverse and Web3. It’s not just about artists getting paid the maximum amount, it means agents and promoters can operate more efficiently and artist discovery becomes more authentic.
As much as these emergent approaches and technologies are exciting, we have yet to see a solution that is genuinely efficient, effective, and profitable. The future of the music industry, the metaverse, and music culture itself will not be decided by a technology company or based on hype or votes, it will be dictated by the same energy that has guided the music industry since the beginning: song writing, incredible live concerts, and the profound connection that is shared between a fan and their favourite artist as they walk onstage for the concert of a lifetime.
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