SceneTap, previously known as BarTabbers, is a mobile application and website launched in 2010 by the social networking company SceneTap, LLC. SceneTap started in Chicago, Illinois, USA and is currently based in Austin, Texas. The app which is currently available for android and iPhone users allows partygoers to view real-time data regarding how many patrons are in an establishment, and more detailed information such as male-to-female ratios and average age.
SceneTap is a finalist at the 2012 SXSW Accelerator Presented by Microsoft BizSpark and is on a mission to help solve the age old question of, “Where should we go tonight.” Below are the highlights of an interview I had with the Director of Business Development at SceneTap, Andrew Nieman.
How did the idea for Scenetap come about?
The idea for SceneTap was the result of a some failed mid-week bar hopping. Going from one place to the next in search of a good atmosphere, spending a ton of money on cab fare along the way. There had to be a better way to preview a scene… and thus the idea was born.
How has the response been since launching?
Overwhelmingly, the response has been “where have you been all my life??” There isn’t one person out there that hasn’t thought to themselves before, “I wish I knew what a place was like before I went there.” It’s a universal question that translates into all languages, and it’s one we hope to answer for people everywhere.
Can you explain the process of how Scenetap delivers it’s recommendations to its users?
SceneTap automatically and anonymously captures activity levels through a network of devices in venues across town, so it’s truly the patrons in these venues that are delivering recommendations to our users, not SceneTap itself. If you’re looking for a place to dance or people-watch, SceneTap shows you where the crowds are. Conversely, if you’re looking to watch a game or go out on a date, SceneTap shows you were you have a good chance of securing a table or a seat at the bar.
Looking at your website it looks like you guys are currently in Chicago and Austin, do you have plans to expand in the near future?
One of the most common questions we hear on a daily basis is “When are you coming to my city??” This is a great sign for us as it illustrates the popularity and market demand for what we are doing. In fact, we have already begun building our network in every major region of the US. Over the next 3-6 months, you can expect to see SceneTap popping up in a mix of both big cities such as San Francisco and Boston and college towns like Bloomington, IN and Gainesville, FL.
How would you explain your service to someone that has never hear of it?
To a consumer, it’s a service that gives you the real-time information you’ve always wanted in order to decide where you and your friends should go on out on a given night. It replaces the old “text and guess” routine with concrete evidence, and unlike “check-in” services, it accounts for everyone in a venue – not just those that have checked-in.
For venue owners and operators, it’s a service that not only tells you everything you’ve wanted to know about your customers and their traffic patterns, but also serves as a great marketing tool to drive people into your establishment.
Where would you like to see your company at in five years?
It’s very tough to predict where such a dynamic technology will be in 5 years – that’s an eternity in our realm. However, I can say that in the near future SceneTap won’t help you decide where to go at night… It will tell you where to go based on where you’ll have the best time. You’ll get a message as you and your friends are finishing dinner together that says, “Hey Kelland, you should head over to Bar X. You’re preferred crowd size of 70% full has just been met, 3 of your top 5 favorite songs are next on the playlist, 4 of your other friends are there and you have 20 SceneTap user points in your account which can be used to purchase the first round of drinks for your friends. This is all closer than your might think.