Friday, October 18, 2019

App Wizards and Beer Indices: How Viberate Generates Festival Mobile Apps and Landing Pages with Robust Data

Festivals may come in all shapes, styles, and flavors, but they all struggle with one problem: How to keep on top of the flood of information about lineup artists and how to organize festival information in easy-to-navigate ways. Websites are expensive to build and update. A custom mobile app is even more so, with development costs reaching into the five figures. 

“By what we've seen during our market research, official festival websites often suck. There's no way of saying that nicely,” notes Viberate co-founder Vasja Veber. “They might look pretty, but information is lacking or hard to find. They often present a lineup by simply uploading the festival flyer and that's it. Then it's up to us potential festival goers to zoom in and read the names and look up those artists unknown to us.”

Viberate has been building a better way to present and maintain detailed festival info on one short, sweet landing page, one that festival organizers can use to generate an effective, inexpensive custom mobile app for both Andriod and iOS. An app wizard is rolling out soon, to guide festivals step-by-step through the code-free process. Viberate-generated sites and apps are powered by a large, robust database, made from a mix of key data points from socials, streaming services, and ticketing company APIs; contributions from users; and information verified by a legion of professional curators around the globe.

On the Viberate platform, entities are organized by event, festival, artist, venue, genre, subgenre, city, and country. Entities are crowdsourced with the help of over 20,000 contributors, and each and every entry is then curated by a team of 70 full-time database curators. Viberate also taps into the API’s of major ticket vendors, which provide tens of thousands of events daily, adding to manually contributed events users put up on the platform. Artist profiles are also rich with content and always up-to-date, since Viberate sources the content from entities' official sources and enriches the content with metadata.

“A couple other platforms offer easy creation of mobile apps, but what sets us apart is that we source all Artist and Venue data into the app directly from our database. Festival promoters don't have to deal with content,” a major headache for festival organizers wrangling farflung artist and label teams, Veber explains. “Artists are presented with all the information we collect. That means when they upload new content on their channels right before a major tour, say, it will pop up in the appropriate festival’s app.”

Viberate has already tested this concept with five mid-sized festivals in Europe, including Metaldays and Sea Dance Festival. The goal: To get 30-40% download rates for the festivals’ mobile apps. The results were surprising, as 80% of festival goers downloaded the apps, creating a new and highly valuable channel for festival organizers to reach and target their audiences. The price point was right for festivals, a few hundred dollars a month with no additional costs or fees. 

"We've just wrapped up the sixth edition of Sea Dance Festival, marking our first collaboration with Viberate,” says Igor Vidović, marketing manager at EXIT, which runs several European festivals. “The Sea Dance app proved to be very useful for all our festival-goers, providing them with up-to-date information at any given moment, allowing them to chat with their peers and giving them access to their own festival timeline. In conclusion, we are looking forward to working with Viberate in the future as we're certain we'll easily tackle any upcoming challenges."

The crowdsourced aspect of Viberate’s data mean festival goers’ experiences are captured on the profile or in the app in unique ways. Perhaps the quirkiest is a recent feature added to Festival and Venue profiles, the Beer Index. Festival patrons can use the Beer Index to budget for their big splurge, or to pick a less pricey festival destination with similar music.

“This is a fun metric that we are testing right now and it's completely crowdsourced. Visitors can report an average beer price in a venue or at a festival. Beer price is the universal indicator of the overall price range of a certain destination,” says Veber. “We got the idea when everyone was complaining that in Ibiza, they'll charge you 17 euros for a beer. At the same time, people really enjoyed festivals in Poland or the Czech Republic, in part because beer there is really cheap. If you compare prices of everything else in those destinations, you'll see that the ratios are similar, and that can change how you approach a festival and what decisions you make. It’s all about using data to enhance music experiences,” reflects Veber.

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