WPU Music Biz Student Sierra Binondo: StageIt

StageIt Live Stream

A number of you reading this probably know what StageIt is, and some of you may not.  StageIt is a live-streaming website that allows musicians to play exclusive shows for their die-hard fans.  It was launched in March 2011 and has been growing ever since.  The struggle to launch StageIt was long and arduous, but it is beginning to pick up momentum and popularity with musicians everywhere.

WPU Music Biz Student Sierra Binondo: StageIt

Remember this song?

Well, one of those guys is none other than Evan Lowenstein, the mind and ambition behind StageIt AND one-half of the former early millennial singer-songwriter duo, Evan and Jaron.  That song “Crazy for This Girl” was a number-one hit and helped them sell tons of records.  Though, most decade-defining musicians tend to have a shelf-life, and so their music career ended with the flop that was their third album.  Therefore, Lowenstein decided to go ahead and begin work on StageIt; what he believed to be the next big thing.

Evan Lowenstein, CEO of StageIt

It was not an easy start whatsoever.

Evan had a difficult time in finding the most responsible and reliable programmers to create StageIt for the longest time.  The first programmer that he hired took his money and disappeared with it.  The second and third had an enormous price tag and didn’t even meet quality expectations, with a site that crashed too frequently.  He did eventually end up with a reliable team of computer programmers, who were able to get the site up and running in two months.  They were the most costly programmers he had worked with, but there was enough money given by investors to fund the improvements made.

stageit2

StageIt’s primary goal is to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for fans and the musicians they love.  Not only that, but to provide a secondary source of income for musicians; an additional revenue stream to fund their careers.  These live-streamed shows can be utilized for a once-in-a-lifetime show, on a month-to-month basis, or even day-to-day for the touring musicians who have time before a gig for an exclusive set.  StageIt is ideal for musicians wishing to reach a wider audience that may include fans overseas.  So far, Bonnie Raitt, Rick Springfield, Jimmy Buffett (one of the main investors of StageIt), Nick Santino, Mayday Parade and Anberlin have taken advantage of what StageIt has to offer.

Jimmy Buffett's StageIt Show Stream

StageIt’s primary revenue stream comes straight from the viewers who pay for tickets and give tips in “notes,” which are equal to ten cents.  The average StageIt show sells tickets for $12 a person, and each makes $375 in revenue on average. The musicians get to keep a whopping 60% of the revenue while Stageit keeps the remainder.  StageIt is able to stay afloat due to the amount of musicians flocking to this service and putting on live-streamed shows.

Christina Grimmie's StageIt Show

What StageIt does differently from their competitors such as UStream is that the StageIt experience cannot be saved and stored on your computer’s hard drive.  As opposed to services that allow you to keep the entire stream for a fee, StageIt does not give the option.  Evan Lowenstein felt that this commoditized what should be regarded as a special one-time only experience between the artist and the fans.  Not only does that set StageIt apart from UStream, but StageIt is completely ad-free.  The percentage of funds that StageIt makes from shows that musicians play is enough to pay for maintenance costs as well as a small margin of profit that is sure to grow.  This way, musicians and fans get a seamless streaming experience uninterrupted by thirty-second ads

Evan Lowenstein and many of the people at Stageit endlessly stress the importance of using and incorporating social media into the end-user experience as well as promotion.  Social media has worked wonders for promoting StageIt shows, and several tactics can be incorporated into a musicians’ strategy for doing so.

  • If you are having a show, you should share about it at least three times a week on your social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • If you have a mailing list, e-mail blasts should be sent to fans with the link to the show.
  • Most importantly, they recommend using visual media to promote your upcoming show, such as a commercial or trailer to have fans share with their friends. An example would be the video below, done by the band Walk Off the Earth.

By: Sierra Binondo

Class of ’15

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2012/12/07/from-pop-star-to-startup-boss-the-story-of-stageits-evan-lowenstein/

http://www.soundctrl.com/blog/stageit-an-online-concert-venue/

https://www.stageit.com/static/static_pages/marketing_tips#marketing_social

http://howtorunaband.com/streaming-your-music-live-with-stageit-ustream-and-justin-tv/

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