I was watching ‘The Future is Unwritten’, you know the Joe Strummer documenary, and they were interviewing Bono about his first time seeing The Clash. As I was watching this old live footage, I was looking into the crowd and was wondering what their stories were??? What Bono had to say wasn’t as interesting.
I had met Rush in October during the happy hour I planned at Bowery Electric after SoundCtrl’s CMJ Panel. He gave a presentation on the Superglued app and their overall web presence. However, it wasn’t until last week that I really had a chance to dive into the site and I was thoroughly impressed, so I set up some time for us to chat a few days ago.
But let me take a step back because before we spoke, I sent him a few pre-interview questions via email:
-How did you think of the concept for Superglued?
It was from going to tons of shows and wondering who else was there and what they thought. Live music is such a collective experience. There are those moments during a show when we’re transported into another stratosphere. There is no one place to capture those experiences.
-How long from when you thought of the idea did you start building the site/app?
Good question. I started thinking about it in 2007 while working at Meetup.com and began working on it in 2008. We launched public beta in June 2009.
-Are you funded? If so, by whom? Are you currently looking for funding?
We are privately funded at the moment.
-Are there any other apps/sites out there like yours? How do you find yours different or superior to theirs? (ie jambase.com)
I don’t believe there is another service as focused as we are on the live music experience. Concertgoers can engage before, during and after the show. We work with existing content and social platforms such as FB, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, YouTube, WordPress, Bandsintown to aggregate content and discussions. There are other services such as Jambase, Songkick and HotPotato that have similar features. They are all great. But I think we differ in that our focus is on the community around specific shows.
-What have you done to promote the app?
We’ve partnered with festivals such as CMJ and had presence at big music events such as SXSW. Most of our traffic has been via word of mouth up until this point. We are in talks with various festivals, artists and venues about integrated partnerships.
-What’s your site traffic looking like these days?
Between 25-30K monthly visitors
-What countries have the top 3 most registered users? Why do you think that is?
U.S., U.K, and Canada. I imagine much of it has to do with language. We have members in over 35 countries at the moment.
-What are the top 3 benefits for fans to have this app?
1) Full listing of local shows (our listings cover 140 countries)
2) Real-time updates before and during show
3) All the content from the show in one place to browse and discuss
4) Meet people with similar music interests (sorry – had to add a fourth
-How do you plan on monetizing these services? ads by promoters/venues?
We are planning for three revenue streams:
2) ticket sales + other affiliate sales
3) merchandise marketplace
-What sort of a functionality expansion do you have planned that you’re open to discuss?
We’re working on an open API. There are a few others that we plan to announce in coming months.
After reading his responses, I went back to the site and felt that I truly understood the concept better and was able to discuss it in more depth. Since I have a Blackberry and he only has an iPhone app, I focused on the site and online community development. However, since the Droid has just outsold the iPhone, Rush made a point to tell me that there will be a Droid app hopefully in the coming months.
I love Superglued because of its “agnostic” view on music. They don’t tell you what to listen to or tell you your musical tastes suck. They give people a platform to share pictures, videos, and overall sentiment on their live experiences both during the show and after wards. There is an instant connection with people who have shared musically interests, especially if they went to the same show and Rush provides those people the chance to meet online.
So how has he gotten the word out here? Last year they hosted this reeeeally cool program called “50 Show in 50 Days” where two twentysomethings spent the entire summer going to free shows around New York City. I don’t even think I could handle that and I’m a concertaholic. In addition, they had a booth at Village Voice’s Siren Festival and hosted photo contest where the winner won a Brooklyn Industries gift certificate. I was there too with my friend Jo and I can tell you that Built To Spill did not disappoint (note: it was 1 of 7 times seeing them in 2009).
One of the new features that I was extremely interested in was the new email alerts initiative. Whenever an artist you like is coming into town, you’ll get an email with links to buy tickets (which they’d get a cut of as well). In addition, you’ll get weekly updates with shows that interest you and similar artists that you might like given previous shows you’ve been to. In addition, they’ve got some big plans for the summer (surprise!), so sign up for Superglued, keep checking the site for updates.