The music listening experience, for all but a handful of vinyl and CD junkies, has become a fully digitalized landscape. Nevertheless, this shift in technology and platforms does not signify a death for the music industry—but rather a rebirth. This is especially true for the live music scene, which in the push towards digital, has embraced smartphone applications as a way to reinvent and revolutionize its outdated practices.
Here’s a list of applications that are changing the live music scene one phone at a time.
1. WillCall (free download)
WillCall, a new booking app, gained publicity after Napster co-founder and entrepreneur, Sean Parker, announced in August that he, in collaboration with various music moguls, would drop more than $1.2 million into the San Francisco-based startup. What the application has achieved in hype, it has also rightfully earned in reputation—allowing consumers to discover concerts and buy tickets all in one easy to manage program that will ultimately revamp the payment system for live entertainment and get more cash flowing into the industry.
Currently operating exclusively in San Francisco and New York, WillCall acts as the hip, know-it-all friend, providing a list of hand selected and approved local shows to match your interests and location. While this is standard for a concert app, WillCall sets itself apart from the competition with its unique features, which allow users to buy tickets, merchandise, and drinks from the venue, as well as tip the band, at the press of a button.
2. SoundHalo (free to download, varied prices for clips)
SoundHalo is another application revolutionizing the live music scene with a big-name backer: Thom Yorke. The Radiohead frontman—a public critic of Internet streaming services—has endorsed the service application, which aims to combat bootlegged concert recordings that jip off consumers in quality and artists in profits.
SoundHalo employs an in-house production team to capture and record professional video and audio mixes that can be shared in HD format in real time streaming format at staggered prices. Currently, the cost per song is $1.50, or $15 for the whole band’s set, although prices vary.
3. ThrillCall (free to download)
While similar in name and format to WillCall, this innovative music discovery app departs from the usual formula by encouraging and inspiring spontaneity through last-minute show updates and exclusive “flash” deals on events at partnered venues, including the Great American Music Hall. The application also provides artist samples, as well as links to purchase the songs, information on venues and an updated calendar of events in the area.
ThrillCall is currently only available for Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, but is looking in ways to expand its operations, with Seattle on deck.
Other apps for consideration: Songkick Concerts, Concert Vault, Bandsintown, InConcert Ampd.
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