Behind The Scenes is a series of interviews and guest blogs, where artists give us insight about their work in a specific industry. Here, we have a guest post from Mark Williamson, co-founder of London based live music start up, iconic.fm. Mark explores the birth of his idea and how iconic.fm intends to improve our experience with discovering live music.
iconic.fm helps you to discover and go to live music with your friends. We’re exploiting the online “social” revolution to create new ways for you to discover and get excited about live music - above and beyond the usual “tell us who you like, where you live and we’ll send you an email” way of things.
HOW IT ALL STARTED:
It probably started with Napster - the scourge of the music industry! The sudden access to random B-sides, bootlegs and music, that you’d never have got your hands on otherwise, was awesome. Since then, I’ve always seen the web as by far a bigger opportunity, than a threat, for music.
Fast forward a decade or so and I think the “revolution” that Napster started is finally kicking in - guys like Spotify, SoundCloud and BandCamp are taking music out of the hands of the majors. In the absence of big advances to just a few bands, live music is striving and feeding the industry again. The live trend combined with the way the web is moving so quickly bought about the ideas for iconic.fm.
I’ve worked in tech for a while and it was when I met my co-founder Luis, who is the technical brains behind things, that the idea for iconic started to come together. We’ve both dabbled as “musicians”, listen to a lot of music and are avid live fans and we both saw an opportunity in this space.
DEVELOPING THE SITE:
The general idea for the site had been brewing for a while - I was actually at an Australian Pink Floyd Show in early 2010 when I decided to leave my job and start it in earnest. (re: Oz Pink Floyd - if you haven’t seen them, make sure you do, it’s incredible experience!)
Since then it’s been amazing to see it go from idea to actual working application. At the same time though, we’re a small startup with a big vision and sometimes the limited resources can be frustrating. In the end though, we’re determined to achieve our vision, however small we are right now.
THE BIG IDEA:
We want iconic to be more than a gig alert service. Our vision for iconic is to become the place to go not just to find out about these gigs but to connect with bands, venues and other people who are into gigs.
It’s great catching your favourite bands, but we want iconic to help you find out about the free gig in the basement down the road. The ‘next big thing’ playing a free in-store. To know what gigs your mates are going to and to engage directly with bands and venues.
Ultimately, though, we want iconic.fm to help make live music more fun, more social, more rewarding & easier to do.
We’ve got a long way to go to achieve the vision we’ve set out, but we believe we’re starting to touch on some of the cool stuff we’re aiming for. Right now though, we’re looking to reach out to hardcore music fans, people who will let us know what they think, feedback and help us shape the future of iconic.fm.
So if anyone fancies checking it out, head over to iconic.fm (you can sign in with your Facebook account) and have a play! Also, we’d love to hear from you, so get in touch via the links below or on our feedback page on the site.
Contact iconic.fm on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on iconic.fm here and on his personal Twitter.