Startup spotlight: LiveScene

The company has plans to expand worldwide later this year

Brisbane-based startup LiveScene has launched an iPhone app of the same name that will enable users to discover and promote local live music.

LiveScene founder, Sean Bunton, had a chat with Computerworld Australia about the company’s goal to help revive the live music scene and bring on board new and existing supporters along the way.

What does LiveScene do?

LiveScene is an iPhone application designed to make it easy for anyone to discover and promote local live music, events and nightlife deals straight from their pocket.

LiveScene uses your location to display events nearby in a simple-to-use interface. If you are interested in an event, you can share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter, leave a comment, and even get directions to the venue.

Artists can feature their events in-app and can schedule push notifications (text messages) that are sent to users near the event venue instantly, or 30 minutes before the event begins.

What are the origins of LiveScene?

When you go out, do you visit the same old places every time? I certainly did, and after a while I felt the need to find something new. I love live music but couldn't find a quick and easy way to discover what was on around me. That's where the idea of LiveScene originated.

We also heard talk of live music venues struggling, some even closing, and felt we had an opportunity to help. There can be incredible pressure for artists and venues with no marketing budgets and limited notoriety to get people through the door. So, we decided to add options to promote events easily straight from the app.

While other apps are only designed for the largest artists and bands, we are getting to the grass roots and concentrating on those without the resources and clout. Whether you're a local busker, cover act, DJ, emerging band or international artist you can get on LiveScene.

How did you get started?

I'm a professional digital designer and Web developer and have always spent time dreaming up designs for new products, but the idea of LiveScene just jumped out at me and I felt I had to chase it.

I was encouraged when I began asking friends and people in the industry if they thought the idea was viable. They all loved it and said they would use it, and I really wanted to use it too, so I went for it.

What kind of challenges have you experienced?

Finding the right developers was an experience. I learnt that you should do research and find developers who have proven they can make an app with features similar to what you need. It took some time, but I eventually found the right team.

Reaching out and finding our first users was challenging, we had to start from scratch and do all the footwork ourselves. Approaching venues, promoters and artists was daunting, but in the end it's all been worth it. Plenty of users are adding events weekly and every weekend we see a huge spike in user activity.

How did you overcome such challenges?

After finding the right development team and mentors to help me out, everything started to come together. Mentorship is invaluable to anyone working in a startup, reach out and find people to inspire you and help you make the right decisions.

We are still actively trying to get the word out about LiveScene. Fortunately, many people are discovering LiveScene through social networks and most importantly, word of mouth.

Is it a good time for startups in Australia?

Definitely! Especially if you're involved in software. Australians are incredibly talented and full of great ideas. There is also so much opportunity for us to tap into a worldwide market with the right product.

Australia has been an ideal place to launch LiveScene, we have a thriving music industry and we love our nightlife. LiveScene doesn't have as much competition here as we would in the USA or UK, so we've been able to focus on improving LiveScene rather than worrying and getting caught up in what others are doing.

What else is LiveScene working on?

At the moment, we are focusing on promoting LiveScene Australia-wide and refining our business model. We're also working hard on implementing some great new features.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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