Fast Company

StageIt Founder And CEO Evan Lowenstein Lets Performers Play On Their Own Terms

The music business has been on edge since Napster. But in 2012, global revenue spiked for the first time in 13 years. These industry innovators see a rockin’ future.

Evan Lowenstein

Founder and CEO, StageIt
He was half of the pop duo Evan and Jaron. Then in 2009, Lowenstein founded StageIt. The model: An artist picks the date, time, and ticket price for a live performance; sets up a webcam wherever he is comfortable; and then broadcasts the event. Fans can even tip.

The Artist-Entrepreneur

1. FIND NEW WAYS TO DRAW IN AN AUDIENCE
"MySpace introduced this notion where fans became artists' friends. The letters went from 'I know you'll never read this' to 'Hopefully you'll read this' to 'Hey! Where the hell are you?' I thought, Social media has done an excellent job of bringing fans close, but there has to be a more meaningful way to interact with them."

2. TIME SHOULD EQUAL MONEY
"Artists record an album for six months and expect you to spend $10 on it. That process doesn't always resonate. Why pay for something you can steal? But you cannot steal a live performance in real time. With StageIt, I'll give 30 minutes of my time to play. What's that experience worth to you? Fans get that relationship."

3. FANS HAVE MORE INFLUENCE
"We've had to start reevaluating what a star is. A star can be someone who has 50 million YouTube views, even if they don't have a recording contract. Fans are now A&R people in that way. They're a part of the discovery process."

4. CREDIT THE MOST GENEROUS TIPPERS
"We try to connect the artist and fan in a way that brings the highest dollar value. We did a lot of research on tipping and the psychology behind it. People tip more when they know that the recipient knows where the tip is coming from. On StageIt, we play up the tippers."

[Photo by Jessica Haye & Clark Hsiao; shot on location at Redbury at Hollywood and Vine, Los Angeles]

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