Techdirt has been writing about artists and bands enabling concert-goers' use of smart phone video
since its article URLs still ended in numbers. But this has always been something of a gray area, where for every band that likes amateur films promoting them, there's another band (or copyright holder) who hates it.
Perhaps that's about to change. Business Week has a fascinating story of a new smart phone application being created by Joe Sumner, bassist for the rock band Fiction Plane, to sync multiple crowdsourced movies into a single experience
. The idea came to him when his band was touring Lithuania and he noticed that there was a ton of amateur video of the previous night's concert up on YouTube. A ton as in 450 or so videos. And, rather than freak out about people being able to see the band for free on the video site, he created a company, Vylcone, to design an application that would empower and enable those same fans by creating something to link all that footage together and make something awesome.
"Its free program debuted in Apple’s (AAPL) App Store on July 18 and lets two or more people in close proximity shoot video with their iPhones, upload the clips, and view a movie automatically spliced together from different angles. To recognize that multiple users are filming the same scene, Vyclone tags each video with the location where it was shot using GPS. To synchronize the clips, it lines them up by the date and time they were shot, regardless of when they were uploaded. A simple-to-use video editor lets users play director, toggling from one angle to the next with the tap of a finger."
If you're feeling that tingling sensation in your naughty bits, don't worry, that's normal. As music moves through the digital age and bands recognize that the concert experience is where they need to really be making significant money, they and the music labels that will now want a piece of that action had better get on board concepts like Sumner's. Commenters often ask why people would continue to pay the rising costs of concert tickets; this
Concerts have always had the draw of the social experience, but now you're talking about deepening the social aspect of a concert by encouraging fans to contribute to a crowdsourced concert movie. Something they will feel a part of. Something that will create a connection between the concert goer, the band, and other concert goers. And the app is (GASP!) free!
And it does look as though people in the entertainment business are paying attention:
"The startup is based in Los Angeles and London, and has 13 employees. Lassman is chief executive; Sumner, chief creative officer. They’ve raised $2.7 million from [Guy] Oseary and [Ashton] Kutcher’s fund A-Grade, along with movie studio DreamWorks, concert promoter Live Nation (LYV), and VC firm Thrive Capital."
Technology that helps artists connect with fans and gives fans a reason to buy (concert tickets, merch, etc.). Concerts may have just gotten more interesting.