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Dice App: Best Gigs. No Booking Fees. Rolling the Way to a Live Music Revolution [Update]

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Shoreditch high street presents: Dice; an app on track to revolutionize the live music industry. Simply put: "Best gigs. No booking fees".

Since being founded in 2014,  Dice has moved from strength to strength, whipped ahead by an image and ethos as fresh as a bagel, and a fearless team with nothing to lose.


We caught up with Dice's very own Founder and CEO Phil Hutcheon, who, kindly as a cat, answered our questions...


So how did the company start out? Who came up with the idea?

 "My background is in the music industry (running Modular Records and Deadly People) and Sinx and Mills are the founders of ustwo (the digital studio that brought us Monument Valley). Live music ticketing is a really murky business but I never understood why it had to be that way. I came up with the initial idea and spent months talking with Sinx and Mills. It was a huge challenge and we decided to really go for it. That meant we’d partner equally, bring together a team and fund the business ourselves for version 1. The goal was simple, create something that looked beautiful, was simple to use and totally transparent. Our aim is to give fans and artists alike the best experience possible."



How would you describe the DICE app to fresh ears?

"I often laugh about this. The concept sounds so straight-forward, browse a selection of the best gigs, push a button and that’s it, you’ve got your tickets. Yet it so complex behind the scenes.

So to explain I ask the questions “Do you go to gigs?” and “How was buying the tickets?” which is when most people start ranting. DICE lets you discover great live music and book in a few taps."

Nice and concise! So, do you have direct relationships with the artists/festivals, or are you working off the back of primary ticket selling sites?

"We have direct and strong relationships with the artists, promoters and venues that we work with. This is an industry where relationships are really important so we work hard to make sure we’re delivering on our promises both to musicians and fans alike. Secondary ticketing isn't something we participate in and as such we’ve built DICE in a way that protects artists who don’t want to see their shows resold on secondary sites."



Did it begin as a business venture, or did success come as a bonus to creating the app for its own sake?

"I’m dedicating my entire working waking life to this and so are the rest of us here at DICE. We’re working hard to create a global business that transforms the entertainment industry in a fair, exciting, transparent way. That’s hard but we’re already seeing a change."

How long did take to turn the app from concept  'to the real deal? Do you feel that it has become the app that you and the team intended to create?

"About 10 months of research, meeting key players around the world, getting their feedback etc. Once we’d gathered all that info we created a prototype to demonstrate proof of concept and see how real people would use it. After 8 months of testing we launched DICE in London in September 2014. The DICE back-end took the longest to build, it’s not just a pretty app, there’s some serious plumbing behind the scenes that we needed to get right.

We’re still way off where we want it to be but I’m happy with the reaction so far. The one thing we’re very strict on is new features, you have to focus on what’s important, having something which is simple, beautiful and easy-to-use is always our top priority."



How do you cope with the flourishing and forever changing nature of the app world? Apps seem to be constantly updated and developed, functionally and aesthetically, it must be hard to keep up! 

"When you work with a musician or band you create an album and that’s a time capsule of a creative achievement. With an app you’re constantly building towards something that has no end in sight. You always want to improve things and the team are relentless."

Thomas Curry, Marketing Manager, echoed respect for the team, enthusing:

"We have a fantastic team of designers, developers and engineers led by our CTO Mio Nilsson who keep DICE looking and working beautifully. Thanks to their hard work we already have the functionality to handle 70,000 bookings per minute (meaning we could sell out Wembley Stadium in just 60 seconds)."



Impressive, to say the least! To finish, tell us a little about your team and the general ethos of your group.

"When someone joins DICE I tell them that they’ll never be bored."


It seems the Dice team are our (music-lovers) Knights in shining armour (ignoring the implications of the crusades, of course) here to slay the ticket-pimps who have been abusing and confusing, what should be, the simple process of buying a ticket to see/hear someone you like perform.

They have many-handedly offered up a safe place for musical consumers and creators alike to revel in each other's services, free from the shackles of passionless exploitation. Thanks guys.

Big thumbs-up from The Social Songbird.

All that there's left to say is: Get it! It's really good.


Ever wondered what would happen if you gave a half-crazed, semi-concussed, unstoppable maverick a platform to write about social media? Follow him @LeoAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Dice App: Best Gigs. No Booking Fees. Rolling the Way to a Live Music Revolution [Update] Reviewed by Leo Donnelly on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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