Could a subscription service change the live music industry?

We have subscription services for everything these days, from the coffee that you drink to the clothes that you wear. So why not one for the gigs that you go to as well?

That's exactly what Jukely are aiming to sell with their new Unlimited service that allows music fans to attend as many live shows as they want each month for just £25 (or $25 if you're the other side of the Atlantic). We caught up with founder Bora Celik to find out more...

Where did the idea for Jukely come from?

I used to work as a software engineer during the day and I used to moonlight as a concert promoter. At the time I was bringing a lot of artists to the city that no-one really knew about and I couldn't promote them off their popularity. My main passion was to introduce the artists I was promoting to new audiences so I was putting on a lot of shows, losing a lot of money most of the time, trying to fill the rooms. And I guess that's how the Jukely concept started, I didn't want to have that in just one city, I wanted to have a global presence and work with other promoters and introduce people to new artists and to get them to go to more shows. We started Jukely as a result.

How has Jukely developed over time?

Before we launched Jukely Unlimited, the subscription service, back in October, we had just regular Jukely the app and website that learns your music taste based on the music services you're listening to like Spotify and SoundCloud and your iTunes library and makes recommendations to you. So we started that in New York in 2013 and started working with venues and promoters, who would use Jukely as a marketing platform because they knew that we had a lot of data on our audience's music taste and would do a really good job connecting our users with the shows that they should be going to. And it was great for promoters because it was filling their shows. 

Then back in October we launched our subscription service in New York and it went so well that in January we launched the subscription service in LA and then San Francisco. And in the next two months we're launching in another 12 cities, including a few weeks back launching in London.

Why did you introduce the subscription service?

Since Jukely started as a recommendation service based on your music taste, we could make recommendations to you all day long. And we could also make friend recommendations too, telling users 'these are your friends who also might like that artist, you should get together and go to their show'. And people really liked that but it was hard to convince people to buy tickets for artists that they didn't know about. People are conditioned to only buy tickets for artists that they already know and love. It was very difficult to break that psychology, so we wanted to reverse that and that's where the idea for a monthly subscription came from.

We see that now with our subscribers, 70 per cent of our subscribers are saying that they have been to see artists that they had never heard of before because they already pay the monthly fee and that turns them into a more spontaneous, more adventurous soul and they don't have to spend extra money on an artist that they don't yet know about but they want to go out. So they think about the service as 'what can Jukely get me into this weekend?' as opposed to 'who can I go and see next August?' It's not a planning thing, but it's more like a spontaneous in the next couple of days thing.

How unlimited is unlimited?

You could technically go to one show a day. You can hold one pass at a time with the £25 plan and once you've attended the show and checked in at the venue it unlocks your next pass so you can get a pass for a show the next day while you're still at the venue. If you have the £45 plan then that gets you two passes at a time, so you can either use it to hold two passes at a time for different shows or you can bring a plus one. If you had the £45 pass, you could technically go to 60 shows a month if you could go to two each day.

What has the feedback from your users been? 

Most people are really delighted that a service like this is possible. It's very positive for the most part. Although obviously it's a big expectation management exercise. When we're saying 'hey, for £25 a month you can go to unlimited concerts' then the first question is 'what kind of concerts?' Some people expected to go into sold out Coachella festival with a $25 membership in the US and they were disappointed when they found out it wasn't possible. A lot of people expect a lot but the purpose of Jukely Unlimited is not to get people into hot and sold out shows for free or cheap but it's for people to go out and see great artists. 

But isn't the subscription only as good as the artists you can go and see?

Jukely Unlimited is designed for emerging artists who are on their way to being really hot, maybe next year but they haven't built up enough of a fan base yet to generate that buzz yet. If the shows are selling out, you probably shouldn't expect to see them on Jukely because £25 really is not that much especially if the tickets are not even available to the general public. However, people are always pleasantly surprised that when you're browsing you see some established artists in there every once in a while. The majority is really directed towards emerging artists who are really good and who are on their way to more success. 

Basically our mission is to get people to think in a little bit more of an adventurous way and be more open to discovering new artists. Especially new music lovers who haven't turned into concert goers, a lot of people just listen to music and they never go out. But once they start going out they realise it's such a delight to add to your lifestyle and we really encourage people to be more spontaneous in that sense.

To find out more about the subscription service, head to the Jukely website.

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