Over the past several years, developers have released a spate of mobile apps geared towards helping live music lovers get the most out of their concert experience. While the majority of these apps have been aimed at the consumer, a number of developers have successfully made their appeal directly to leaders working in entertainment venue management. As a result, larger venues have turned to branded mobile apps in order to drive customer engagement and increase revenue.
These branded apps are essentially custom-built to serve the specific needs of the venue. Some venues opt for the more economical white label app, which is basically a generic app with the venue’s branding added on. Either way they do it, these venue-specific apps are good for a lot more than selling tickets. Utilizing location-based services, a branded venue app can lead a concertgoer to his or her seat, point out the nearest merch table, and even offer in-seat concessions.
While app developers have been working with entertainment venue consultants to bring real value to both venues and customers, many concertgoers would prefer an app that isn’t attached to any specific venue. Sure, it’d be great to have a Coors Light delivered to your seat when you’re at a show, but you have to actually know where the show is before you get to enjoy that perk. That’s why any concert app worth its salt is going to boast a robust set of tools for show discovery and ticket purchasing.
A number of apps have come and gone over the years, but competition has been fierce. While there are many reasons why apps like Preamped’s Concerts and Superglued have failed, we can identify a few general themes. Incomplete databases, poor search capabilities, and bloated, yet pointless social engagement tools all sounded the death knell for these once-promising concert tools. Conversely, apps that have stood the test of time are those which could provide the user with a comprehensive, yet easily searchable database. Survivors like Loudie also learned that social networking is only helpful in small, organic doses.
Here are three of the most helpful apps on the market that have stood the test of time:
Songkick intelligently syncs with your social media accounts, Spotify, and Apple Music in order to find the artists you’re most likely to go and see live. It then distills that information into a calendar-style interface so that you get a clean, crisp representation of who’s playing where and when. Integration with Ticketfly lets you purchase tickets conveniently within the app.
Bandsintown is the highest rated concert discovery app on Android (also available on iOS). Like Songkick, it scans your library and then keeps track of which acts are coming to your area. Unlike Songkick, BIT sports an intuitive cloud-style interface that allows you to cut through the huge swathe of local shows and get straight to the artists you really want to see.
Loudie got its start about 5 years ago as something like a “twitter for concertgoers.” When its developers realized that people wanted to spend more time enjoying the show and less time sharing their pictures, Loudie was retooled to shift its social focus to what happens before a concert. By linking up with fellow Loudie users and promoting concerts within the app, users can gain points to be used towards discounted (and sometimes FREE) tickets.
The future is wide open for concert app development. With the recent craze over location-based games like Pokemon Go, app developers will surely need to find creative ways to incorporate those elements into concert apps. Their challenge, however, will be to stay focused on the most important thing – the performance itself. At the end of the day, people want something easy to use that will help them keep up with their favorite bands’ live shows. If a concert app can pull that off well, then it’ll survive.