Elton John Allows Fans To Create Their Own Live Mix At Select Shows With PEEX
PEEX is a patented technology promising to personalize the live music experience by allowing fans to control their own five channel mix of the live concert sound.
PEEX consists of a wearable piece of hardware containing the technology, and an app. It’s a two-part offering. PEEX Live “allows fans to experience the highest quality audio wherever they are in the venue and create their own perfect mix of the live concert sound – in real time,” according to the announcement.
The second part of the offering is called PEEX Relive: Fans can download past live shows – and future PEEX Live shows – and mix them on five channels via the app.
Users control five channels, which they can mix in real-time at the concert
The first artist to take PEEX on tour, albeit only on select dates, is none other than Elton John, who’s gearing up for his mammoth farewell tour, which kicks of Sept. 8 in Allentown, PA.
His fans can also purchase and download five so far unreleased recordings of classic Elton John shows: Gröna Lund, Sweden (July 2, 2017), A Day On The Green, Australia (Oct. 1, 2017), The Meridian Centre, Canada (Nov. 15, 2017), Henley Festival, UK (July 6, 2016) and The Twickenham Stoop, UK (June 3, 2017).
“With the mixing desk in the app, fans can boost Elton’s vocals, turn up [Davey Johnstone’s] guitar solos and tailor their sound to their preference during playback,” according to the announcement.
Elton John himself said: “Throughout my 50-year career, playing live has always been so important to me. I am passionate about giving my fans my best possible performance and making sure they get the best possible experience.
“Over the last three years I’ve been working with the talented team at PEEX, who have developed an incredible new technology that will revolutionise the way fans listen to live music. Make sure you check it out.”
Pollstar sent PEEX co-founder and CTO Graham Tull a few questions via email, to find out a bit more about the technology behind his invention.
Can you explain to a layperson, how the PA system communicates with the device, and how the blending of the digital mix and live sound works?
The PEEX Live system utilises a proprietary radio solution in order to take audio inputs directly from the stage and mix them to five focussed channels for broadcast to the audience, via our wearable technology, the PEEX rX. The rX device pairs with our free companion app via Bluetooth, and this all allows audience members to receive the channels to their earbuds and adjust the mix to their personal preference. Boost blistering guitar solos or enjoy the crystal clarity of your favourite singer’s voice – it really feels like they’re singing just for you.
Wherever you walk in the venue, you won’t notice a lag or delay or glitch in the sound, because of the patented way that it automatically synchronizes the two audio sources of the ‘digital’ and ‘analogue’ sound. Without this capability, the combined sound would be unlistenable. With this capability, your audio experience is perfectly enhanced and augmented to allow for the best possible sound, no matter where your seat is or if you walk to different locations in the venue to see friends, grab a beer, etc.
We carefully designed the PEEX Live experience so that it enhances your live music experience, and allows a deeper connection to the artists and the music, rather than isolating you from the crowd and the visceral energy of a live performance. The PEEX rX powers a set of attached earphones, which are designed to allow some ambient sound from the room to reach you, while also offering sufficient volume to allow the ‘digital’ audio to blend perfectly with the PA’s ‘analogue’ audio. So, by design, the system augments the natural sound perfectly rather than replacing it. It’s true augmented audio reality.
The PEEX announcement promises “content and business opportunities for the whole of the music industry.” Can you specify?
We are passionate about live music and helping better connect fans to the artists and experiences they love. With PEEX, the size of the “pie” increases for everyone instead of adjusting the sizes or adding new “slices.” A few examples of new content and business opportunities include:
Artist connection: PEEX is about sound augmentation and adding an exciting new way to experience live music. Boosting the guitar solo, lifting the vocals, etc. at a live show is something you have to experience to understand the full impact. It’s a new level of experience and connection with the musicians on stage.
Fan engagement: PEEX provides a one-to-one connection with fans and artists before, during and after a live show which opens new experiences and messaging (e.g. contests, promotions, special invitations, premium experiences).
Venue enhancement: all seats have the best (and personalized) sound. PEEX creates more value in the “cheap” seats and a better experience for fans and artists (e.g. pricing models, increased utilisation, enhanced experience)
Music content: new music download revenue utilising an innovative 5-channel format with mixing capabilities. PEEX provides opportunities to unlock value in past live recordings, reinvigorate stagnant sales of past live albums, and adds new revenue for future live shows. Experience it yourself with a free demo in our iOS or Android app.
New bundled offerings, accessories and branding opportunities: PEEX provides many ways to connect to fans and live music communities (e.g.VIP upgrades, corporate packages, custom messaging on PEEX devices)
Do artists/labels/rightsholders receive royalties?
We are really interested in adding value to the music industry ecosystem, and we want to properly recognise the value of the artist’s creative talent – so the royalty rates via PEEX Relive downloads are in fact significantly higher than streaming royalty rates for artists, labels, and rights holders.
How much does the PEEX device cost?
We’ll be publishing prices for both sale and rental when the PEEX rX devices are available to pre-order later in the summer.
Do you plan to sell, say, ticket bundle offers?
Our plan is to be open, listen to the fans, and respond to their requests in the best ways we can. There have been discussions around VIP bundles in which the PEEX rX is included in the package price. We are also considering other bundle options where a download of an attended show is included.
What is your core demographic?
Our core demographic is passionate live music lovers of all ages. Our extensive market research showed us that the most motivating factor for interest in PEEX was not age, country, or spending patterns, but a strong desire to have an improved live music experience.
Who do you think will be most interested in this technology?
Regular gig-goers and music lovers, technology fanatics, and those who want to have an entirely new experience that’s never been possible before.
Can you name any other A-list artists you’re working with?
Discussions are ongoing, and we have a number of artists on our upcoming roadmap. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out who they are though.
How do you intend to scale?
The PEEX system is already proven at a touring tempo and as a fixed installation in venues. We expect that over time it will become a regular part of live music production and are already discussing creative ways to provide the technology for both tours and venue operators.
Which venues have PEEX as a fixed installation and how does that work in practice?
There are two primary models for PEEX. First, the tour model where PEEX is embedded as part of an artist’s production and available at a number of venues during their tour. Second, the venue model where PEEX is permanently installed at a venue and supports the various performing artists that come through a single location.
There are a number of premier venues throughout Europe that we are actively engaged. This includes permanent installation of our supporting infrastructure. Stay tuned for joint press releases later this summer.