IROCKE. The #1 Source for Live Streaming Concerts Worldwide
While it's easy to hunt down certain live music streaming events, others often fall under
the radar. Most Phish fans, for
example, know that they can
find official streams at LivePhish.com and unofficial
streams at Hoodstream. Likewise, many fans know they
can hit up a
festival’s home page to see
there is a stream provided for that particular event. However, there are hundreds of
concerts every week across the
country and world available for streaming that you may never know about. Even for someone
actively engaged in
social media, who visits sites such as JamBase and keeps their ears to the ground -
there’s likely a band that you
like streaming a show
tonight that you don’t know about. With the proliferation of live streaming concerts, it
is impossible to keep up with
all the offerings. Impossible of course, unless there was a site that curated all those
events for you and meticulously
cataloged them, arranged by date and provided links. Fortunately, there is such a site.
IROCKE is a fantastic site that takes the drudgery
out of finding live music events available for streaming. A
neatly displayed grid of colored
squares indicating different music genres and arranged by date, display upcoming events.
Live events are badged
with a red “LIVE NOW” icon for ease of finding something to listen to or watch
Google-like search functions
are provided to find events by artist, genre or venue. Further data is
provided such as how many
cameras are expected to shoot the event, video production quality, broadcast quality (SD
or HD) and estimated
I’ve used IROCKE a bunch over the past month and have found streams of a handful of
fantastic shows that I had no
idea were taking place.
I was intrigued with the site and thought it would be interesting to find out more about
IROCKE, the self-proclaimed
“#1 Source for Live Streaming Concerts Worldwide." Charles Walker, Head of Listings for
IROCKE was gracious enough to
answer my questions.
Parker Harrington: How, why, and when did IROCKE start?
Charles Walker: IROCKE didn't start on the web. Almost 4 years ago, at a
concert venue called
Saint Rocke, where Allen Sanford, independent venue owner and IROCKE Co-Founder, was
streaming the venue's
scheduled live shows online as a means of gauging the appetite for live digital
performances. At that time,
there weren't many venues in the US that were doing this. About 6 months later, Saint
Rocke webcast a live show
from their 300-capacity room that was viewed by 110,000 people from 130 countries, with
over 7,250 chat messages
contributed by viewers in only 70 minutes. That's when it was understood where the music
industry was headed.
IROCKE was in its private beta until November of 2012. It was also initially created
around the idea that finding a
truly live concert stream on the internet was nearly impossible to do without solid
research chops, but the live
streaming component was appealing to larger bands, especially from a small venue. Allen
shared his ideas and
passions for music, entrepreneurship, and this new medium with Karl Rogers at the
Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Races.
With Karl's extensive background in leadership, programming, technology and operating
successfully on the macro-
level at Time Warner and Universal Interactive - he provided the necessary insight to take
this whole thing to the next
level. So the initial reason for the birth of IROCKE was to prove that there was a live
digital marketplace emerging
and that it would prove to need some organization. We wanted to bridge the gap between
the artist and the fan, but
we had to get the fan to the live digital concert first. We wanted to show that there's a
new distribution model for
artists, bands and brands - but at the same time prove that there's an entirely new
consumption model in fans of
different genres who are demanding more and more from their favorite acts these days.
PH: Why is the streaming space so ripe for explosion now?
CW: This space is extremely hot right now. It's safe to say that we're
beginning of the mainstream
takeover levels as this medium is introducing to the world. It's powerful. It's
It puts a fan's favorite artist on
their lap or in the palm of their hand, in a truly live fashion, for close to nothing in
terms of cost for the consumer.
It's a new distribution model for artists, brands, bands and festivals. It's a new
consumption model for music lovers
around the world, a model that has proven to generate revenue for artists and lower
their overhead on touring
costs. There are tons of reasons why this live digital era is being ushered in. It makes
perfect sense really when
taking a step back and looking at the musical ecosystem and what's currently driving it.
Festivals and live concert
experiences are a driving force. Technology has gradually become affordable enough to do
Electronic music fans and artists are a leading force in this medium, and that's an
industry that has exploded in and
of itself. In a nutshell, yes, it feels exactly like the next step in the natural
progression model of music distribution
and consumption (i.e. the tipping point: am/fm >> tape >> cd >> mp3
>> recorded video
>> live video).
PH: How are all the shows aggregated? Manually?
CW: We aggregate, organize and curate every live digital concert on the
deliver it free to music-loving consumers via our comprehensive social infrastructure that
digitally reproduces the
physical concert world.
IROCKE has a small team of listings editors based individually around the globe who
contribute listings to our
network by aggregating and indexing all of the live digital concerts online, as well as
using automated methods that
also turn us on to the live event webcasts. We have our finger on well over 2,000 sources
that can range from a
physical music venue or artist website to a virtual venue, festival, producer, recording
studio or artist's mobile device
(and that number of sources grows daily). We also monitor over 2 million artists, and
for us - that's what provides the context for listing the live event on our site.
PH: TRI Studios, Umphrey's McGee, Widespread Panic and Phish - these are
that really seem to "get it" in this
space. Who else is
leading the pack?
CW: These camps definitely get it. They all play to their strengths and
fans. Phish and Umphrey's
especially when it comes to monetizing and consistently bringing superb audio and video to
the screen in the live
fashion. TRI Studios for having literally one of the best live digital studio setups in
the world, inviting fans into that
world of Bob Weir and his buddies, which allows them to hear improvisational jams and
conversations for free. When it
comes to leading the pack, the pack is growing every day with new people entering this
space. Some of the players at
the front of the game would be Nugs.net (powering Phish, Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s
McGee, Leftover Salmon,
etc), Ustream Live, Livestream Sessions, YouTube Live, Be-at.tv, Boiler Room, Beta
Nightclub, MTV, SkyroomLive, Red
Bull, Beatport, Mixmag, NPR, Stageit, medici.tv, ACL Live, Audiotree, American Express
UNSTAGED, CBS Live on
Letterman, VyRT and Thirty Seconds To Mars, Concert Window, and the list goes on and on.
We'll plan to release the
Best of IROCKE 2013 List(s) at the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled in the
future for this.
PH: How will you monetize your business?
CW: We will monetize a number of different ways: by doing paid shows,
online ticketing, live content productions, by creating a live digital music network (and