Can mobile phones kill CDs at concerts?

Picture this: you’re at a gig, and you like the opening act. You want to get some of their music – but instead of queuing to buy a CD at the end of the show, you just pull out your smartphone. LoKast is a live music sharing app that allows bands and performers to set up a temporary local network for sharing their music.

What’s the story?

LoKast launched two months ago, and has clocked up a respectable 125k downloads since then. The way it works is through proximity – if you’re a LoKast user with music to share, than any other LoKast user within around 300 feet of you will be able to download that music from your phone to theirs. The entire system is based on technology from NearVerse, a wireless networking company that owns LoKast.

And it’s not just music – you can share pics and videos across LoKast. The number of bands currently distributing music through the system is still quite small. Last week NearVerse finalised a promotional deal with a music marketing company called GiantStep. Including the GiantStep haul, there are now 30 bands who use LoKast to let people at their gigs access their music – and a temporary network set up for the duration of the Coachella music festival allowed attendees to download music from live sets.

What we think?

There are a lot of things I like about this service. First, it gives bands a cheap way to let fans access their music – they don’t have to burn, transport or dispose of CDs. Second, it gives fans an incredibly easy way to get that music. They don’t even have to give up their spot. Third, it’s entirely free. It exists outside of anyone’s creative control. There are no studios here, just people who want to get their music out there.

The biggest weakness of this service is that smartphones still aren’t widely enough owned to make it mass adoptable. The majority of gig-goers still have feature phones in their pockets. But maybe LoKast will be the service that was in the right place at the right time.


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: