“The Pet Sounds Playback Experience™ was great. It was cool being able to look back and remember making that very special album. Everyone was great and I think the fans really liked it.”
~ Brian Wilson
The idea for the Playback Experience™ started in the early 90’s when co-founder Herb Agner began working in recording studios as a student and experiencing the power and mystique of these unique spaces firsthand.
Fast forward a decade later: Recording studios were losing business due to the impact of ever-cheaper home recording technology. Due to massive and unanticipated digital disruptions, the record business was also experiencing the biggest loss of revenue in its history. Simultaneously, as record sales were dropping, fans were going to more live music events than ever before.
As a longtime record label executive who had the good fortune to experience hundreds of album playbacks and visit dozens of historic recording studios in the US and UK, Herb saw an opportunity to create a unique new fan experience, combining elements of the recorded music business and the live music business, while also offering artists a new revenue stream and venue to showcase their work, past and present.
In 2013, Herb partnered with a former music industry friend Doug Richter, both of which were Marketing Managers at BMG Entertainment. Over his career, Doug had produced many entertainment events, mainly in the words of music and culinary. He was now the head of business development at an established event agency whose role was to create partnership marketing opportunities between entertainment properties and brands/sponsors. Doug saw the potential of marrying this unique event format with a brand partner to offer them a proprietary value proposition that also created a new marketing channel for artists.
The inaugural Playback Experience™ event was held at Capitol Studios, Hollywood in October 2014, featuring rock legend Brian Wilson playing back “Pet Sounds” which is #2 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. This historic event captured all the qualities that make the Playback Experience™ unique:
• Iconic studio with decades of history
• Landmark recording that has influenced millions of fans globally
• Legendary recording artist
• Intimate acoustic performance
• Exclusive audience
• Concert quality production
Audience members were stunned – some actually cried.