A Conversation with Concert Window Founder Dan Gurney

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Dan is a co-founder of Concert Window, a place where people around the world can watch live concerts from the best venues in the United States, every night in real-time. Concert Window taps an exclusive, hand-picked venue network and sends two-thirds of all of its profits directly to musicians and venues. Dan is in charge of the website, directing strategy and doing front-end design. He earned a B.A. in music from Harvard and plays traditional Irish music on the accordion.

By Chloe Stokes

 kickshufflelogo_300finalHow did you come up with the idea for Concert Window?

It was a simple moment: I said to myself, “Why can’t I watch concerts online?” There wasn’t anything available to do that. So Forrest O’Connor and I decided to build it ourselves.

kickshufflelogo_300finalOnce the idea came to fruition, how was it put into action?

At the time, Forrest and I were living in different places, so we brainstormed for a couple months through email and Skype. We decided to go for it and got an apartment in Boston. Our first big break was convincing Club Passim, one of the top folk venues in the world, to be the first partner venue on our network.

kickshufflelogo_300finalWhile many of the artists featured on your site are folk, do you plan to expand to other genres?

Absolutely. We are currently bringing some fantastic venues on board that deal primarily in jazz and rock, in addition to supplementing our existing folk venues.

kickshufflelogo_300finalHow have artists responded to the idea of concert streaming?

Artists love Concert Window. Forrest and I are musicians ourselves so we understand how it is. It ain’t easy. That’s why Concert Window sends a third of profits to musicians and a third to venues. It’s a significant new revenue source for musicians, not to mention a powerful marketing opportunity.

kickshufflelogo_300finalHow do you go about booking venues and acts for Concert Window?

We form deals primarily with the venues, and then webcast whichever musicians come through. Due to our proprietary technology we’ve been able to develop an easy-to-install, low-footprint system that fits in really well at venues.

kickshufflelogo_300finalConcert Window has recently announced that fans will soon be able to review shows through the website. How do you think this will change the social aspect of the site?

We launched this feature only a few days ago and we’re already seeing that people are eager to express their opinions. This is a big feature for us because it begins to break down the “feedback wall” — not only are people watching, they’re also contributing.

kickshufflelogo_300finalHow do you think the act of live streaming will affect performance itself? Have you seen artists adapt to this style already?

I love it when artists wave to their parents from the stage or give a shout-out to the online viewers. Aside from that, though, it doesn’t seem to affect the performance at all. Performing a live show is such an all-encompassing experience that there’s no time to get distracted by a webcast!

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Kickshuffle is an online news source dedicated to covering the impact of new media on music and music business. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.

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