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a-swift-half

What is karaoke venues?

July 2021

Sitting down for a cheeky swift half with KaraokeVenues.co.uk founders Steve, Dave and Ben…

In a series of swift halves, we look at what is automated karaoke and just how does self-managed karaoke work? We talk about karaoke in pubs, what are the best days to run a karaoke? How can pubs earn more revenue and more.

How did automated karaoke come about and how did you define what the service should be?

Steve - “The idea came about a few years ago way before the pandemic, if you can remember those times! It started with the seed of an idea based on some really key principles. For the venue it must be a service that is easy to adopt using audio and visual gear that most already have. It must be a service that could be turned on and left to work so they can just get on with their job. It had to be a fraction of the cost typically associated with old style karaoke and to provide functionality for the venue to make it really feel like their own.

Then from the customer perspective, it must be super simple to join in, quick to use, engaging and interacted directly with from their own phone, all without having to download an app! Just a couple of principles right?”

Ben - “Well, it wasn’t exactly a short list!”

Why no app?

Dave - “Well you don’t want customers sat in a pub using loads of their own mobile data plan to download a huge app. It had to be really simple. A few taps on a phone and anyone at that venue can join in.”

When did you know an automated approach would work?

Ben - “To begin with, we didn't! We carried out trial runs with friends during testing, but it wasn't untill that first time that we were sat in a room full of people in a pub, people who had never used it, and watched as they instantly got it. They were singing away and having a fantastic time, whilst the bar staff just got on serving customers, it was simply brilliant to see, we knew right there and then it was totally the way forward.”

Steve - "Yeah and if you remember on the second time that we went back to see them, the pub owner bought us all a drink!"

Dave - “Because they were taking more money behind the bar, without the expense of hosting a normal karaoke night!”

What’s wrong with an old karaoke with a DJ?

Ben - "Absolutley nothing. We don't see the service as a replacement."

Dave - “The service can be run by a DJ or KJ if the venue prefers. Whilst everything is automated, there are controls for admin to be able to fully manage the karaoke session if they want to. But ultimately it’s really not necessary.”

Steve -  “That’s right and it’s a much more hands-on experience for their customers when they themselves interact. People feel more ownership when it’s direct, it’s a better connection to the whole thing. Also with it being self-managed the venue chooses when to run a karaoke. The service never complains, never charges more for bank holidays and is available at the drop of a hat.”

Ben - “It offers more, but costs the venue less, a lot less.”

So this is a service for UK venues? And you are a Uk business?

Steve - “Absolutely. We’re a UK business and we all love our Great British pubs, they’re an institution aren’t they? Meeting up with a few pals, having a sing, that quiet drink on a Sunday afternoon or testing the old grey matter in a pub quiz, love it. But yeah, everything about the service, the development, the support,  it’s all handled by us in good ol’ blighty and If a venue has questions they can contact us and speak to us directly.”

You mentioned the Pandemic earlier and that you had launched before Covid had gripped the country, exactly how did the pandemic affect you?

Dave - “Yes. Much the same as it affected not just our clients, but every pub in the country. It was unbelievably tough! Our business just stopped overnight. It was difficult to fathom at first but we regrouped, continued to develop more features on the service and thankfully here we still are and ready for action.”

Pay As You Go is now a feature, why is that?

Ben - “The biggest selling points of the service is it's flexibility and simplicity. So after the waves of lockdowns and reduced capacity our venues had, we wanted to make sure the they had complete control. So by introducing a pay as you go method the venue only pays for what it has used, and allows them to pick it up and use it at anytime."

Dave - "The subscription can also be cancelled at anytime".

So, what do you say to owners of venues thinking about automated karaoke?

Steve - “I’d say give it a go of course! Try it free!”

Dave - “Yes, we’re giving venues 100 PAYG credits on us so they can give it a test drive without spending anything.”

Ben - “If you've got any questions, get in touch. You will talk to one of the three of us.”

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