A new Austin-based app to be featured in South by Southwest’s Music Startup Spotlight makes finding a musical event on short-notice easier.
“Spot Caller” bills itself as the “simple” live music guide. The app is easy-to-use and allows users to find and filter concerts based on date, genre and even neighborhood.
Founder Dave Blue said the idea for the app came from when he was in college and continually frustrated when he’d hear about concerts and events after the fact.
“On other apps, you kind of have to know what’s what just to find events,” Blue said. “You don’t need to be super familiar with all the venues and the names.”
Spot Caller was launched in December after about 11 months of development, Blue said. It’s available for iOS, Android and desktop web browsers.
One of the most attractive aspects of Spot Caller is the ability to view events by area of town. By utilizing a location filter, users can view their neighborhood and see the location of nearby music shows. The app currently offers location filtering not only in Austin, Dallas and Houston, but in cities including London, Berlin and Mexico City.
Spot Caller also “remembers” past preferences in order to make recommendations.
“The more you use Spot Caller, the more it remembers your preferences,” Blue said. “If you click on folk music once, it sort of remembers that. As you use it more in the future, it will put the stuff you like more to the top of the list.”
The app’s “trending” feature classifies events in accordance with how they’re gaining traction on social media. Events can be hot, warm or not trending. Spot Caller looks at all the Facebook pages associated with an artist or event and tracks how fast their likes and RSVPs are growing per week, Blue said.
The app compares that growth rate with other events on the same day to determine whether an event is hot or not. Blue says this helps local acts gain equal footing with larger events.
“There’s so much stuff out there already on social media, it’s hard to make sense of everything,” Blue said. “If we can use tech to make the stuff that’s already out there more accessible, that’s a really good thing.”
Spot Caller will be one of 20 music-related startups at SXSW’s Music Startup Spotlight, which takes place Tuesday, March 15 at Austin Hilton Downtown.
Blue says he hopes Austinites in particular will get a lot of use out of Spot Caller. “The most fundamental thing we can do for people is just make it simple for fans to find live music shows. I think that if simply finding shows was as reliable as finding movie times, people would go out and support local venues and musicians.”