Mass-rating sites are nothing new. Yelp, Trip-Advisor, the comments section on Amazon and iTunes, to name a few. ShowScoop aims to become the Yelp of live music. It’s difficult to say whether the concept will take off yet, since the site is only weeks old. But, there isn’t a precedent for this exact concept, that I know of. The site format is succinct; you can sort by artist, date, and user profiles. Each review is basically an aggregate of 4 ratings and a short paragraph. There is an option for including photos, like on Yelp and similar sites.
The immediate question that comes to me is how this could affect music journalism and bloggers. Will people be drawn away from blogs and webzines in favor of this? I would venture yes, but not enough to put bloggers out of a meaningful role. Bloggers’ roles could shift. A blogger or journalist’s reputation will continue to be helpful in launching the careers of up and coming musicians. When the lay music fan is curious about a new artist there may not be anything to reference other than the blogs, since ShowScoop only seems to be directed at casual concertgoers. Bloggers could incorporate ShowScoop scores into their reviews as well. Similar to how some sites have user rating averages and reviewer scores side by side (such as Indie Vision Music) this could be an interesting way to respond to the show. People like experiencing personality online, so they could find such a side-by-side comparison for concerts entertaining. Think about it – some personal blogs are huge. Why read about the lives of strangers? It’s entertaining. Furthermore, columnists continue to review movies despite the existence of sites such as IMDB, and other aggregate sites like MetaCritic and Rotten Tomatoes depend on the existence of freelance reviewers. It follows that music bloggers and journalists ought to be excited, not threatened by the existence of ShowScoop. I’m excited; just last week there weren’t even 100 reviews up yet, and now there are over 30 pages worth of reviews.