Music Has Never Looked This Good
Exploring VSCO’s Music-Orientated Platform: Venue

Art and Technology company VSCO, known all over the world for their image-based filter app and stunning curation of gifted photographers, has stepped into the music scene ­or rather, has shone a whole new lens on it. While music has always gone hand-in-hand with visual components, what VSCO is introducing with Venue is a whole new way of viewing musical talent. Before we start exploring the potential Venue has as a new means of exploring artists, let’s take a step back and look at the concept of VSCO as a whole, the ethos is represents which is the core of the company, and the reason why any venture it pursues—like Venue—will inevitably make an impact within our aesthetic—hungry cultural landscape.

It was around a year and a half ago when the concept of creating original content exclusive to VSCO was first discussed. Starting off as a magazine, VSCO went on to develop its own level of integrity when it came to photography, which the company solidified as its rulebook moving forward. Anything that came in front of VSCO’s “lens” was met with a regime that followed the philosophy of being expressively true to the artist; there was no room for falsehood or fabricated work. “There was a notion of VSCO being onesided, having a certain aesthetic a certain kind of photography, certain kind of style. With its growth, VSCO pushes itself to express everyone they way they are, and put that into the context of how we create original content” exclaimed VSCO’s team when we sat down with them to explore further the company’s process of content creation. “VSCO puts itself into the shoes of their users as creatives and produce things of interest that are high-level quality. To push yourself to become a better creative by using their VSCO tools and publishing the results.” The concept was set, but what the team realized quickly was that they were restricted by the tangible medium that they were.

Freedom of expression with no limitations.

While printed magazines still remain the top platform to showcase anything visual digital still has a long way to go it does come with limitations, namely its inflexibility. “The idea first started as the VSCO Magazine, but a singular magazine with a singular perspective and voice is not effective enough to show the diversity of people across the globe, and of the different ages, different backgrounds, etc., that use VSCO products” the team told us. So digital it became, and the company has not looked back since. With the freedom and accessibility of being on the web, VSCO could then go on discovering the evergrowing number of talent around the world, and continue to evolve in showcasing who the company thought deserved the highlight. The aforementioned ethos that’s instilled in everything VSCO does could now be used to its highest potential, which helped the company stand out among other editorial entities. “VSCO as a platform differentiates itself from other social networks and platforms. We have an opinion on what’s good and what’s not. Our editorial and original content is proof of VSCO’s skill in understanding what’s of quality and what’s not.”

Fast forward to now and anyone with their own camera and Instagram account will most likely have VSCO as their prestige before posting anything up. Now regarded as an influence on the culture of photography, VSCO continues on to help raise the bar for other artistic facets, and music was the next obvious progression. “VSCO is about translating the diversity of ideas, and Venue is the music interpretation of that.” The role of Venue is the same as its parent platform: integrity and inspiration. When we asked the team why musicians or anyone with musical interest should look to Venue, they put it to us quite simply. “To inspire artists and users to create more content Venue lives on VSCO’s platform in the same format that its community does. Everyone has the same tools to publish themselves, there are all different types of content that coexist together.”

"Venue lives on VSCO in the same format that our community does and was largely created to inspire artists and VSCO users to create more content. Everyone has the same tools to publish themselves."

"Original Content is about translating the diversity of ideas, and Venue is the music interpretation of that."

When we asked them to elaborate more on the benefits for the artists, they reiterated the platform’s ability to offer freedom of expression, with “no limitations,” and to be able to be “true to their voice.” As for how Venue differentiates itself as an editorial site from others that also work by sharing unique music content, “It is widely known that VSCO is a platform without likes and comments, no social anxieties. It’s really a ‘social media renaissance’ with people coming in and simply creating. [There’s a] sense of liberty no social stigmas or hateful comments. It’s a great balance between creation and consumption.” A seemingly utopian digital realm of pure creative content, where all users be it an artist, amateur photographer, or simply those that love good looking things share on equal level the ability to inspire, create, or save what they want. “VSCO intends to lead by example, and to allow people to have the same level of quality of creation.”

In essence, what VSCO is doing with Venue, is level the playing field for artists and their audience while still maintaining a level of quality that the experts behind the company strive for. If chosen by the team, as an artist, you have the opportunity to showcase yourself with no strings attached, and with a guaranteed outcome of compelling visuals a must with anything VSCO does. As a user, this content is there for you to take what you will from it. Discover new artists in ways you’ve never seen before; a candid insight into the musicians themselves through an aesthetically stunning presentation, and get inspired yourself to create like-minded content to then share on your own account. As we all become oversaturated with digital content in general, it’s refreshing to know a place where you can go to see a grassroots approach to well-curated creativity, presented with arguably the best aesthetic sensibility there is right now. Having changed the landscape for photography, and being well on its way to doing the same for music, we’re excited to see what VSCO can offer the other facets of our beautifully creative world.