Head to a concert these days and two things are certain: The music will be loud, and the audience will be a sea of arms upraised to the stage, smartphones recording the show in dodgy, shaky footage that will be uploaded to YouTube within hours. Aussie company Moshcam is providing an alternative, recently launching an iOS app to stream full shows in HD quality.
Beginning life as a web-based concert streaming service, Moshcam has recently exploded onto the international scene. A global partnership with Sony to provide shows for Bravia Smart TVs, as well as a dedicated precence on the US-only Hulu entertainment portal and recently launched in Australia Vevo music channel helped push Moshcam to a much wider audience internationally. But it was the launch in March of a dedicated iOS app that sparked global attention for the little Aussie startup.
“Our aim is to be as broadly available as possible, on as many different platforms as we can. We don’t want to force users to choose certain services to access our service,” says Stephen Peach, Chairman of Moshcam.
“We’re looking to facilitate connections between artists and fans. And we do that by making concerts available on demand.”
There are currently over 1000 full-length concerts available through the Moshcam service, from a variety artists and a wide selection of genres. While the majority of the shows were filmed in Sydney, the company started branching out last year to shoot up and coming artists in Los Angeles, New York and London.
“Every show is recorded with the co-operation of the band and management,” Peach tells EFTM. “We reach out to artists or managers or record labels to see who’s interested, and we get a lot of interest. Then we work out logistics and get out of the way… We try and work from the shadows – we’ve had bands come to us after we’ve shot a show and ask us, ‘Weren’t you supposed to be filming tonight?'”
Understandably given the content, one of the key focus areas for the Moshcam crew is audio recording – having great video is pointless if it sounds like a pair of mewling cats fighting over a dead mouse.
After post-production, every single video is sent to the artist for approval. After more than 1000 shows, Peach tells us that less than 10 have been rejected, and all of those were from the support acts, rather than the headliner Moshcam was there to film anyway.
“There are times when a particular song may not be the best the artist has ever performed it, so we may edit that song out, but we’ve never had a headliner turn around and say no to the end result,” Peach explained.
The launch of the iOS app in March saw a slight change in the revenue model for the company, which had traditionally relied on pre and post-roll advertising and sponsorship to pay the bills. Apple’s in-app purchasing mechanism allowed the Moshcam team begin charging for shows for the first time, offering five free shows with the free app, then offering full-length concerts for $1.99 as a once off in-app purchase.
“Advertising on apps is not a good user experience,” explains Peach. “So we charge a one-time streaming free, which allows you to watch the concert on any device through a single Moshcam ID.”
Because music is such a subjective art, Peach knows that every concert won’t please everyone. But with some of the most popular shows getting more than 150,000 views in the course of a month, there’s definitely a market for the service. With amazing shows from international bands like Band of Skulls, Dresden Dolls and Nine Inch Nails, as well as local acts like Karnivool and Gotye, it’s surprising to hear that Peach’s own favourite performance came from a relatively unknown band called Vintage Trouble.
“It was a screamer of a show at the Sydney Festival this year. It was done in the Spiegeltent, and was played with such a high energy it just stands out,” Peach admits.
That sounds like a pretty solid recommendation – now the only question is whether I’ll watch it on the PC or the iPad…