We could use an IMDb for music. This company wants to build it.

Any movie and TV fan knows how invaluable the International Movie Database can be. Looking to cross-reference anyone or anything in those industries? Chances are the information is there. It’s fantastic.

I’ve often thought it would be great to have something similar for music. Allmusic.com comes close but lacks the incredible granularity of the IMDb. Wikipedia can be helpful, but falls short on the interconnectedness of things and can often fall short when it comes to updates. And then there are the errors and incomplete entries.

A new site called Viberate wants to become the IMDb for music. Using crowdsourcing, the site hopes to gather everything about everything in music in one place in a global database.

And so far so good. Half a million artists, half a million events, 200,000 venues, and 2,000 festivals are participating.

From the press release:

“’The whole data situation is just nasty,’ explains Viberate co-founder Vasja Veber. ‘You can’t develop anything using the current data in the live music business. It’s just too unstructured. It’s also hard to keep information updated. Standardization is our only way forward.’

“Viberate aims to standardize and map the entire global ecosystem for live music, becoming something akin to IMDb, a single, verified and artist-approved source for music information. To accomplish this, the Ljubljana-based startup uses a carefully calibrated mix of crowdsourcing and curation, and blockchain, incentivizing contributors and supporting artist control of assets and information.

“Viberate allows musicians, music professionals, and fans to add profiles of artists, agents, venues, and festivals to the platform. These entries are then curated by a team of around 80 curators, located around the world. Each artist is assigned an individual ID and their profile is updated automatically as social and other content surfaces and catches on. Fans can search by their location or favorite artists, and venues and festivals have a one-stop source for verified info. To speed search and discovery, Viberate will use blockchain to put locally relevant content on users’ computers in return for compensation in cryptocurrency. 

“’The vision is to become a standard in the music industry, embedding our data into bigger services that provide streaming music, ticketing, and other vital experiences,” says Veber. “In the end, we want to serve any platform or service that has to do with artist data. They can embed our venue and artist data and know they are up to date and relevant. From an artist perspective, with your Viberate profile, you can be sure every ticket vendor has the same verified, accurate data, data you can control.’” 

A daunting task, but the goal is extremely noble. Damn, I’d use this thing all the time.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “We could use an IMDb for music. This company wants to build it.

  • September 16, 2019 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    I came up with this idea years ago.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 11:35 pm
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    music brainz, discogs, lastfm, wikipedia (and many more) – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just integrate and cross reference the data

    Reply

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