Attending an actual concert still isn’t a good idea in the United States, so Bandsintown is launching a monthly subscription service that will stream a number of exclusive shows directly into customers’ homes.
Called Bandsintown Plus, the $10 monthly service pays for 25 shows a month, according to the company. Artists signed on to play shows include Phoebe Bridgers, Tycho, Flying Lotus, Soccer Mommy, Chromeo, and Little Dragon to name a few. Customers will also receive additional perks, including “intimate chats with artists” and access to performances on other platforms, according to the company. The first show kicks off this month, with artists scheduled through January and February.
Musicians will receive a flat fee for each performance, Fabrice Sergent, managing partner of Bandsintown, told The Verge. Some of the artists are provided with studio access in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, and a select group of artists will be provided with a host for live Q&A sessions for fans to participate in.
While the shows are exclusive to Bandsintown, artists aren’t. Sergent understands that while Bandsintown is experiencing a growth in users (before the pandemic, less than 30 percent of people watched live streams, but that number grew to just under 75 percent by October 2020), there are other platforms with much bigger audiences. He sees Bandsintown as complementary to other streams and to live performances once those return. The pandemic helped prove there was a customer base willing to watch live music online, and that helped spur the monthly subscription offering.
“The reality is that we saw that fans were watching live streams from places that we had never seen people watching live music before,” Sergent said.
Currently, Bandsintown has 60 million registered users. Sergent declined to say how many people use the service monthly or how long they stay on the site. More information about those metrics will come at a later date, Sergent added. Right now, his focus is on building up the subscription service, which is exclusive to the US right now, but the company is hoping to expand it into international territories soon.
Building up the subscription offering also includes finding incentives to get people to sign up, including figuring out better ways to sell exclusive artist merchandise. The goal is to have merchandise natively integrated into the service. Bandsintown’s teams want to find ways to support artists, Sergent said, but the company is also trying to jump on a booming trend and transform it into a revenue stream that exists long after the pandemic ends.
“We’re opening gates to something new that will stay beyond the pandemic, and will be complimentary to an in-person show.”