At Spacebar we set out to help musicians better directly connect with their fans, and to build a mobile platform for fans who wish to support the artists they love.
The idea behind Spacebar came to Gregory Miller one night in 2012 after hearing a local band play in a small club in San Francisco. After the set, the band encouraged buying one of its $15 CDs as that provided supplemental income vital to support their passion for playing. Gregory would have bought one, but his MacBook and iPad didn’t have a drive, and devices with drives were become fewer and fewer. This seemed a genuine problem. Advances in technology looked to be trending toward hurting, rather than helping artists beginning their careers. Musicians’ take from current streaming services are modest, at best. Gregory wondered whether a product could be crafted that would backfill that lost income, and showcase what these artists were most proud of — their live show music.
A team of Gregory Miller, Jonathan Cottrell, James Nash and Joshua Kobak set out to challenge a few assumptions and build an app from the perspective of musicians. What would an emergent artist want? Why was it local bands were heard only locally — a question key for artists beginning a multi-city tour. Their answers were simple tools for fans to alert their friends of new bands, that were convenient for listeners on the go who might only have 10 or 15 minutes free time. Bands might want their music to help draw fans into the venue (thus, a location map), and new fans might want to support continuing the music, including with tips. And, the product should support the venues – the small businesses that give artists the stage. It needed to promote the bands and clubs, and not cannibalize the gate receipts. Spacebar launched in May 2013, invited to present from the NYC stage in the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield.
Spacebar is still in its infancy, but we believe it is a good product that is addressing a real challenge. One day, we hope a listener will be able to hear live music any hour of the day, ranging from a small club in Reykjavik to the streets of Ghana. That’s a long way off, and there are several issues to address before broadcasting can be truly global. But that’s the goal. So far, Spacebar has streamed over 1000 shows from 113 venues in 73 cities, to global listeners tuning in from over 1000 cities in 64 countries.
As crazy as it may sound, we also see live music as an art form that transcends country borders and might, if successful in reach, share more cultures around the world and bring people a little closer together.
Our focus is principally to support independent musicians playing their own songs, working their way up the ladder.
Wish us luck.