With Teeth: In Praise of Live Nation Labs

Ever since Live Nation snapped up Big Champagne I’ve been following their movements to see how this story would to develop. Its been incredibly interesting too: having brought in Eric Garland and his team, they then hired former Warners CTO Ethan Kaplan. Since then they’ve also acquired Setlist.fm, a service archiving and retaining gig setlist data – a perfect fit for the world’s largest ticketing company. And that’s just the first investment, as the newly-named Live Nation Labs has been allocated an investment fund to further seek out and acquire complementary services.

It feels strange to apply terms like “bold” and “visionary” to this move on Live Nation’s part. In many respects – at least to myself and my peers in the tech/music arena – this isn’t either of those; if anything it seems like the most obvious move in the world to make. But look around: is anybody else doing this to this scale, or with such focus?

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With Teeth: Introducing The Tour Scrapbook

This week I thought I would put my money where my mouth is and write about something I have developed with Martyn Davies of Six Two Productions. Anyone reading this column knows that an ongoing bugbear of mine has been an obsession marketeers have with gimmickry and the fact that often marketing campaigns seem to be more about jumping on the latest bandwagon (Pinterest, anyone?) than creating something that genuinely deepens the connection between artist and fan.

I realise this is leaving me open to accusations of abuse of position, in the sense that I’m using With Teeth to write about my own product effectively, but the point here is not self-aggrandisement as much as demonstrating something I think *does* create a stronger connection between artist and fan without descending into gimmickry for the sake of it.

So, let me present The Tour Scrapbook.

The elevator pitch goes something like this: on a band’s tour, every gig is given a unique hashtag. Then, when fans create media all they need to do is tweet that media with the hashtag in question, and the content will be added into the virtual scrapbook for that specific gig. Fans can then visit the scrapbook page on the artist’s website and view all the media posted from their gig – and all other gigs on the tour.

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