Live music aficionados need three basic things from their live music smartphone apps: finding out where the shows are, firming up plans for said shows, and sharing photos, videos and thoughts when that show hits town.
These crucial matters make some apps necessary for any complete mobile app arsenal, and some better left by the wayside, although developers take a variety of approaches. Dedicated music fans need multiple live music apps to cover all their bases (reviews below).
“You absolutely need concert listings that are relevant to the user,” says Lance Dashoff, founder and CEO of the California-based Loudie. “Whether that’s based on location, preferences, or what they listen to on iTunes, you need that content. It has to be relevant to the person.”
Songkick’s third-party Gigkick app and Preamped’s Concerts app successfully pursue that method. Another option, which Dashoff himself employs with Loudie — and which competing developer Rush Doshi does with SuperGlued — is help people attending the shows connect with each other to share observations and media, and to meet each other.
“Most concert apps are informational, in that they’ll show you who’s playing where and when,” says Dashoff. “[Loudie] is focused on something different… letting the user drive the content and manipulate the site based on what they are about, and what they’re talking about.”
It makes sense that concert apps, once mostly dedicated to show listings, would go social, considering that they’re designed to get you out of the house and doing something in the so-called “real” world.
The geosocial revolution is in full swing, and right now, that largely means encouraging fans to check-in, but Dashoff believes that the continued growth depends on social features.
“The consumer is not quite there, in terms of picking up all this functionality,” Dashoff says. “We’re just getting to the point now where people are getting comfortable with checking in… You’re playing with people’s attention and it’s limited — that’s not easy” added the developer. “Foursquare has recently added a feature where users can leave comments and post pictures, and I don’t see anybody doing it.
“[These social features are] the next step, but the first part is getting people to acknowledge where they are; then you can do all sorts of things.”
Live music occurs at a specific time and location, offering clear possibilities for smartphone apps to create a hybrid between our socially-connected online and offline worlds in ways that other types of apps cannot. These four live music apps warrant consideration (listed alphabetically):
Loudie (iPhone; Android and Blackberry versions “coming soon”)
Preamped Concerts (Android, iPhone, Palm Pre, web, Windows Phone 7)
GigKick (iPhone, web)
SuperGlued (Android, iPhone, web)
(Image courtesy of Flickr/MΛЯK)