Tech Spotlight: Stageit l A front row seat to a backstage experience.


“‘Your Online Concert Venue’– Stageit is an online venue where artists perform live, interactive, monetized shows for their fans directly from a laptop, offering fans unique experiences that are never archived.”

Created by Evan Lowenstein ( of “Crazy for this Girl” fame ) and backed by the likes of Sean Parker and Jimmy Buffet, enters StageIt.  An online video streaming service that garnered steam last year as it was named one of the “Top 10 Music Startups of 2012” by Billboard Magazine; featuring some of the biggest names in music, including Rick Springfield, Ingrid Michaelson, Jason Mraz, Phillip Phillips, Jimmy Buffet and Jake Owen (to name just a few).

 Its been almost a year since these accolades, but where is Stageit now?

The buzz has gone, and all that remains is a virtual graveyard of the unknown, built upon a platform that rivals the beta utility of Ustream.


It’s no longer new, it’s not cool and it’s failing to adapt.

That’s why the big names aren’t coming back.

Stageit relies on basic features such as  a “tip jar” and a “creative rewards” system, which have been the backbone of donation-based crowd funding since its conception. It lacks creativity and rivals a streaming platform that is far superior in every possible way.

 How does Stageit change? How does it become relevant again?

It needs to be creative, it needs to incorporate one-click options, call-to-actions and an integrated merch interface. And it needs to make the right partnerships (e.g. Topspin).

It needs to be everywhere and needs to not solely exist within the Stageit application.

Unfortunately, these changes should have been incorporated about a year and a half ago, when the big names where there. Now, it looks like Stageit has lost its shot.

It’s going to be an uphill battle, but as a soon as Ustream or Youtube introduces a donation-based system, it’s over. It’s I.S. (Instagram Syndrome).

Simon Cowell

Since my blogs have been focused on X Factor, it’s only fitting to write about the man behind the show.

Simon Cowell’s earnings as of May 2012, according to Forbes was $90 million! That makes him 9th in the money rankings, behind heavyweights like Oprah at no. 1, Michael Bay at 2, Steven Spielberg at 3, Jerry Bruckheimer at 4, Dr. Dre at 5, Tyler Perry at 6, Howard Stern at 7, and James Patterson at 8. What surprised me was that he is ahead of people like George Lucas and Donald Trump. I knew Simon had money but I didn’t think he was up in the top 10! He comes in at no. 18 on the celebrity 100, no.19 in TV/ radio, 28 in press, 79 in social and 84 in web.

Simon got his break into the music industry as an A&R through his dad’s connections (his dad was a music industry executive at EMI). He has created his wealth through television mainly. His time as a judge on American Idol helped him break into the US where he was known for his bluntness and insults. He started his X Factor franchise which has spread across the world and has signed chart-topping acts such as Leona Lewis and One Direction. His other show Britain’s Got Talent has generated other Got Talent shows and the show found acts like Susan Boyle who made a global impact. He also has numerous other shows. All of the acts from his shows are signed to his label Syco which is affiliated with Sony BMG.

Simon Cowell can smell money from a mile away. Where he sees an opportunity he jumps right in and makes a “killing.” He milks that particular project (or cow) until there is absolutely nothing left (e.g. X Factor UK, it really is dying). His most recent project is the Sony X headphones, yes, Simon Cowell has turned his hand to the consumer electronic market. This range of headphones has been seen at every possible opportunity during the X Factor USA shows and they are the official headphone partners of the talent show. His reason for making headphones is simply because he wanted something better than what is in the market today, as if there aren’t enough celebrities making headphones!

Another deal that he stuck is the partnership with Pepsi. Pepsi recently announced that it will be offering the X Factor USA winner a $5million Syco record deal AND a Grammy ad video!! This video will debut during the 2013 Grammy Awards which is the perfect opportunity to launch an artist’s career, on one of the biggest nights in the music calendar. Last years winner (Melanie Amaro) starred in a Pepsi commercial for the Super Bowl which was big but this is not only big but better as it’s music’s biggest night and introduces you to the whose who in music. Pepsi is one of music’s most powerful brands second only to Coca-Cola on Billboard’s 2012 Maximum Exposure chart which ranks the 75 most effective platforms in music discovery (something I will be writing about in my next blog). Pepsi have invested $60 million in X Factor marketing support alone.

Although X Factor UK numbers are dwindling week by week, his American version has been renewed for another season by Fox. It looks like Simon will be laughing all the way to the bank for a few more years.