'I'm a big fan of AR': UTA's Joe Kessler on how technology can enhance the live music experience

'I'm a big fan of AR': UTA's Joe Kessler on how technology can enhance the live music experience

UTA's Joe Kessler has told Music Week about the opportunities new technology can bring to the live music business.

The exec is the global head of UTA IQ, the global talent and entertainment agency's research, analytics and digital strategy division.

Kessler (pictured), who is one of the panellists at today's (October 8) Music Week Tech Summit Together With O2, said: “I’m a big fan of AR and how it can potentially enhance the user experience in the venue. I’ve seen a lot of exciting stuff going on in that area that could change things, not only for music, but sport and a whole bunch of other live experiences.”

The opportunity for the audience to dictate setlists is a really interesting thing

Joe Kessler


Kessler said that technology can help drive the in-venue experience and provide additional information for consumers during the show itself.

"I go to a lot of music shows and wouldn’t it be interesting, when I’m not exactly sure what the song is, that I can have some sort of vehicle, whether that’s audio or visual, that affords me the opportunity to learn something about that song?," he said. "We’ve all had that experience where you’re waiting for the hit so you’re trying to learn about this new song that they’re playing.

"The opportunity for the audience to dictate setlists is also a really interesting thing. We’ve seen an ultimate legacy band, Steely Dan, programming concerts based on social media polls over the past couple of years. The next logical step in that would be that if enough people in the arena want to hear a particular song then a message can get to the band to put that song in the setlist."

Prior to joining UTA in 2017, Kessler was president of digital marketing agency Deep Focus. He previously worked at CAA as president of research and insights firm The Intelligence Group (IG), publisher of The Cassandra Report on consumer trends.

He added: "I went to a festival a couple weeks ago in San Francisco called Outside Lands and we were marvelling at how a couple of the acts were using the stage as an environment to create imagery in ways that they couldn’t do before. So I think there’s a long way to go in, pardon the pun, that whole arena of the customer experience. The companies responsible for that are are working very hard to figure that out and we’re going to see lots of interesting change in that area going forward.”

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