This past Friday (May 24), Arty, a trance DJ,added a new technological twist to his show at Marquee Las Vegas. He became the first EDM artists to put start-up social video app, Vyclone at the center of his performance. Here, Arty used his phone to shoot video during his performance and told his fans to do the same becoming the ringleader of a multi-camera, cloud-synched mini film production that documented his Marquee set from various angles.The finished product can later be re-edited on a participant’s phone or online.
Developed by tech investor and start-up vet David King Lassman and musician Joe Sumner (and son of Sting), Vyclone aims to create interaction between fans and artists through the medium of creating a live, shared video.
The origins of Vyclone go back to Sumner’s own touring experience. “I had this epiphany on stage, watching everybody film stuff and at the same time having filmmakers come to me and say hey we should do a live concert DVD,” Sumner said. “I’m thinking, isn’t there a way that all our fans can do a live concert film, crowdsource it, and have it happen instantly and dynamically?”
Sumner approached David King Lassman and the two raised $2.7 million in a round of funding, including an investment from Live Nation. While the Live Nation connection has helped Vyclone work with arena-level artists like Jason Mraz at Madison Square Garden earlier this year, Arty is the first EDM artist to use the app.
Vyclone is eager to establish a presence in the dance music scene and not only because EDM fans seem preternaturally predisposed to be tech-engaged and smartphone-dependent – two of the assumed requirements for Vyclone usage. “You’ve got the lights, you’ve got the DJ, you’ve got the dancing girls, but you’ve also got people just freaking out, being crazy in the crowd,” Sumner explains. “Unless you have a camera crew of 50, you’re not really going to capture it.“
By tapping into the EDM market, Vyclone is not only poised to connect fans to artists, but also to the clubs seeking to build brand loyalty for themselves. In a top-down approach rare for social media start-ups, Vyclone has reached out to these venues, in this case Marquee Las Vegas.
“It’s a concept built around community and we like that,” says Morgan Deane, Marquee’s Director of Marketing. “Anything that engages fans in the Marquee experience, the DJ and the brand whilst encouraging them to engage with one another is appealing to us.”
Deane cautions against necessarily including Vyclone in the club’s future marketing plans, citing the frequency of changes in the digital landscape, but also applauds the start-up’s eagerness in working with brand ambassadors to foster a strong fanbase and foster early adopters.
“It’s an app with tons of potential,” Deane says. “For me, it encapsulates the spirit of true social media. I think once people understand how to use it, it will be a pleasant addition to the landscape.”
While the app has broad appeal for artists and venues, it presents a dilemma for rights holders. “Up to this point, we have done this purely as a creative project with artists and they’re very happy to have waived all those rights just to be part of it,” says Lassman. “We come at it like, let’s make money for the music industry, let’s make something that’s leverageable that you can run ads against or people can buy it. I think we’re in the business of making the technology that’s easy and useful and as ubiquitous as possible. I think the music industry itself has to wake up and say ‘where are the dollars?’”
Lassman sees Vyclone eventually going beyond concerts. “The product transcends music,” he says. “It applies to any circumstance where people are moved to pull out their mobile phones to capture a moment. Whether it’s a birthday party, a skateboard trick on the street, a political rally, or whatever it might be.”