UK: Startup Gigseen.tv - Streaming Video Of Live Performances
While in the UK I met with Neil Reed, one of the founders of Gigseen.tv (above), and San Francisco based music industry consultant John Coon, who specializes in music licensing.
Gigseen is planning its launch in the spring of 2011 with a video streaming service showing archives of live gigs -- from fairly recent ones, to as far back as the 1960s and 1970s. There will also be additional services such as pay-per-view of live concerts; discounted concert ticket sales; streaming of music documentaries and movies; and a weekly interview series hosted by Gen Matlock, formerly of the Sex Pistols.
The UK has a vibrant live music scene. And the audiences have varied musical tastes unlike other markets, such as the US, where people tend to stick with one genre of music.
Mr Reed is a music industry veteran with experience in producing music videos.
Here are some notes from our conversation:
- There is a huge amount of archive footage around and the music labels don't know what to do with it. Producing DVDs is expensive and people have stopped buying DVDs.
- With are talking with all the major record labels, and the independents, and the reception has been very good. We've also been talking with large music magazines who are very keen on sponsorship of live acts and co-promotion based on subscriptions.
- A lot of music labels don't even know what they have, we can become administrators of their catalogs and split the revenues with them.
- There is some amazing footage out there of concerts that have never been seen, or were broadcast just once. For example, the Berne Jazz Festival in Switzerland. It's all professionally produced to the highest standards. We will be able to stream all that amazing footage.
- The time is right for a service like Gigseen because there is now sufficient bandwidth. And people are much more comfortable with viewing streaming video because of services such as the BBC iPlayer.
- There are a lot of people in their 30s who love going out to gigs but they can't manage it because they now have kids and other responsibilities.
- By the time we launch we hope to have more than 2,000 hours of live performances.
- We also want to promote lesser known acts and nurture and develop bands, especially those that are from abroad and are trying to break into the UK music scene.
- We have our own studio and video crews so we can go out and capture live performances ourselves. We know how to do this and get it up on the site very quickly with a professional finish -- no jerky handheld cameras. We want to emphasize professional production.
- We haven't decided on subscription pricing just yet but it will be around 60 pounds a year (about $96), which is about the cost of just one major concert.
- Our target market is 30 to 65 year olds.
- We will also add material to our web site such as images of old tour programs. People will also be able to add their images and stories to the archives.
- One large record label told us they had spent nearly 2 million pounds (about $3.2 million) in the past on a similar venture to Gigseen and had to abandon it. We've spent about 200 thousand pounds (about $320 thousand) and are close to launch.
- We are currently bootstrapping the venture with help from family and friends.