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Episode 33: Why House Concerts Help Local and Touring Musicians

Episode 33: HomeDitty

September 13, 2019

Different from what you get at most live music venues, a house concert is a listening party. The musician performs an acoustic set, often tells personal stories to the audience and provides a specialized party to music lovers instead of what they’d get at a generic live music venue. This is what creates the one-of-a-kind atmosphere you can get at a house concert. The house concert payment structure is unique as well, with a “passing of the hat” or a host paying for the musician to play. Katie Byers talks about how her house concert small business has grown with Mike Colwell, Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

The Beginning of HomeDitty

Thousands of independent musicians were looking for house concert hosts. Katie saw this issue but found the supply for hosts was small. Katie says 99% of people she meets don’t know anything about house concerts.

What began as an idea for a local booking agency soon became a national software company — HomeDitty. The evolution to launch took about a year. The realization that she needed to hire an ongoing software developer was a turning point for the company.

[Learn how DSM USA can be the house concert capital of the world.]

Benefits of HomeDitty

Connections and lifelong fans are part of the draw of house concerts. Musicians are always trying to figure out how to get to the next level and grow their fanbase. The magic of a house concert is that attendees form a more personal connection to the musicians and seek more of the band’s shows after the house concert.


In the past, musicians made money through album and record sales. Now they make money from touring and live performances. However, CD’s sold at a house concert are like a souvenir. You can get it signed by the band and when you listen to it later, it brings back the memory of the house concert. House concerts are the exception to the idea that people don’t buy CD’s anymore. Katie explains how the experience factor comes into play and how a push toward unique VIP experiences will continue to drive artist success.

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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.