Tech-Powered Trends In Live Music 2019 With PEEX COO David Johnson

David Johnson
– David Johnson
COO of PEEX, a technology that enables concertgoers to control the audio mix of the show

More than ever, fans are expecting more memorable and intense live music experiences, and it is technology that’s going to be driving those experiences, says David Johnson, COO of PEEX.
Johnson may be biased, seeing that he’s operating a music tech startup himself. However, the increased implementation of augmented and virtual reality, mobile apps, blockchain, wearable devices and more at live events speaks for itself.
Johnson thinks, that various forms of technology will expand the breadth of and enhance the live music experience, increase the globalization of local live music, enable the continued rise of what he calls the “fan content creator”, and also increase the personalisation and protection of fan data.
According to Johnson, “the traditional gig experience is broadening to include meaningful fan to artist interaction before and after a show. No longer does the gig experience start when the fan reaches the venue. Apps with interactive features, streaming playlists, unique content, bundles with extra opportunities are enhancing the experience for fans. This trend is becoming more widespread.”
He cites the O2 in London as an example: “The arena is offering fans a single platform to engage with an upcoming show pre-event via exclusive offers, behind-the-scenes content, merchandise offers and even tech-enabled features like augmented reality, where fans were able to pose with Michael Bublé for selfies.”
Fans could expect more opportunities to relive any given performance, he added, through accessing digital content post-show, which may also allow them to leave their smartphones tucked away and focus on the gig – although a study commissioned by Eventbrite suggests that smartphones are an important part of the concert experience, particularly for young gig-goers.
As Johnson points out, “venues are now collecting crowd data to help shape new forms of interactive and original content, which will deliver the best engagement with the fan.” Pollstar took a look at one recent example of a venue implementing crowd data and driving revenues
Johnson thinks that advances in video tech will only make the hologram tour more appealing, allowing a younger generation to experience older artist as they were originally remembered. 
While he believes that virtual reality in combination with advancing wireless technologies will increasingly appeal to fans unable to attend a show, he acknowledges that technology is limited.
According to Johnson, “live music is a social experience, offering a challenge for distant attendees. Virtual worlds will continue to look to replicate the excitement of attending a show with friends, meeting new people and being part of fan communities.
“Expect to see traction in the virtual world, although the obvious differences between real and virtual experiences, will undoubtedly create challenges for them to be replicated, e.g. will new tech features be developed to replicate those enjoyable elements of the live music experience, such as pushing within the crowds and spilt beer?”
Johnson calls bockchain a “promise”, which will “continue to gain momentum within live music,” seeing that the questions of how information was captured, structured, tracked, and protected as “paramount.” 
While its use to its fullest potential was still a few years away, blockchain technology could help ensure the true identification of the ticket purchaser, helping to combat ticketing fraud. Pollstar will delve deep into the current state of blockchain and its merits for the industry at the upcoming Pollstar Live! conference, which runs Feb. 11-13 at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton.
“We can expect to see more personalisation in this area next year, also with facial recognition for tickets and identification, as well as voice-activated platforms and chatbots,” Johnson added.