Toronto’s performing arts and entertainment sector will soon have a new online listings service, one that promises an interactive way to connect artists and audiences.
Site developers say it will feature a dynamic discovery engine to help audiences find performances, events and arts activities in a way that is responsive to their geo-social context, declared preferences and physical locations – or not, as discovery is an art form unto itself.
Artists will also be encouraged to use the interactive system to list their events and use the site as an extension of their current branding and marketing efforts. Ticket sales and other activities are part of the site's planned functionality.
BeMused.ca is starting with a focus in Toronto and GTA, but there are plans to expand to other locations down the line, says founder Margaret Lam.
In an e-mail exchange, she explained that BeMused started as a rethink of the way audiences now engage with the performing arts.
“We concentrated our thinking around how to bring audiences to those empty seats that inevitably exist at most performances, and leverage those seats as a marketing tool. Thus, the idea of designing a service - that connects audiences with different opportunities to attend a performing arts event - was born."
The site’s back-end is driven by a unique advanced cataloguing system for precise geo-social targeting.
“Online listing services at the moment are relatively static affairs that are passive in nature,” Lam continued. “They assume the audiences know what kind of show they are looking for, and where to look. We, however, recognize that people search for events for different reasons without precisely knowing what it is they are looking for.”
The site will launch with listings and services available free of charge, and while BeMused is a for-profit company working to support the arts, Lam says she does not want to rely on traditional advertising models.
“Plastering ads all over the place....is counter to our commitment to a great user experience. Without giving away too much, we do have a revenue generating model that is in the process of development which we will release at the right time.”
Leading up to its formal launch and roll-out of new services, the BeMused team is active on social networks, with a presence on Twitter, Facebook and a company blog.