Physical record sales and even digital downloads are dwindling. That is hardly news to anyone who follows the music scene.
The live music circuit, however, is thriving.
In the UK alone, thousands of bands are currently toughing it out on the road, trying to make a name for themselves as the next act to watch out for. There are so many live music events each weekend that it can be hard to keep track and to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
But now, there’s an app for that.
Pepper is a social network entirely dedicated to live music. Artists, venues and promoters can all list their events on the app, which can then be discovered by users.
Users have a whole list of options available to them. They can follow artists, check in at events, and seamlessly share photos to Twitter or Facebook without leaving the app.
The kicker of course is the app’s social media component. Pepper allows you to connect with others, and thus to see the most popular events and learn which artists are currently trending. The idea is that this will help you discover the bands of the moment and the best events to attend.
The app is available on all three major smartphone platforms – iOS and Windows, but is currently only available in the UK.
The interface – the iOS one, at least – is beautifully designed and a joy to use. There are a lot of events listed, and one is really spoilt for choice. Twitter and Facebook integration work like a charm, and the ability to bookmark events you want to attend is really useful.
The app’s major flaw, unfortunately, is that nobody is on it. Without the ability to grow your social network, much of the app’s functionality and the fun component are seriously hampered.
With the right marketing strategy, this could become a really great app. It certainly has good bones. For the time being, however, it has failed a major test for social networks – a suitable number of users to make engagement possible.