Fan Experience

Chatloop deal aims to set fan engagement benchmark for Co-op Live

Featured image credit: Rob Ridley

Manchester’s Co-op Live has agreed a new partnership with shared experiences app, Chatloop, which aims to extend the live entertainment experience through forward-thinking fan digital technology.

The agreement announced today (Wednesday) marks the Manchester tech startup’s first collaboration with a live music arena. Named as Co-op Live’s official shared experience partner, Chatloop will look to revolutionise how audiences interact, share, and remember live events now that the 23,500-seat venue – the UK’s largest indoor arena – has opened.

Co-op Live will be utilising Chatloop’s innovative experience-sharing technology within its website and app to give fans the chance to contribute their live experiences to a collective story, amplifying an event’s impact.

By scanning QR codes around the venue, fans can instantly upload ‘Loops’ – photos, videos, mentions and comments – directly onto Co-op Live’s website, for the world to discover, engage with and share. This aims to contribute to a collective, ever-growing story long after the artist has left the stage, or an event has concluded.

Chatloop’s technology turns brands and businesses’ digital real-estate into immersive digital spaces, seeking to bridge the gap between online content and social sharing, and creating a new way for brands to connect with customers the moment they land on a website or app.

It launched in public beta mode last year, and its shared experiences app has already been awarded default browser status by Apple, the only UK third-party app to achieve this accolade, and one of just nine worldwide.

Andrew Barlow, CEO and founder of Chatloop, said: “The partnership sets a new benchmark for how technology can create more engaging, interactive and memorable experiences for fans worldwide.

“As the shared experience partner, we plan to bring innovative digital sharing to every event, bridging the gap between the in-the-moment experience and online community interaction. We’re not just about enhancing the event however, we’re creating a new experience where every fan is part of the story, every moment is shared and every event sets the stage for engagement.”

Co-op Live officially opened its doors on May 14, with Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of Oak View Group (OVG), stating that its price tag had reached close to £450m (€533.5m/$572.9m).

Following the delays and postponements that blighted the arena, it was a local band that commenced proceedings, with Elbow, who hail from the Greater Manchester town of Bury, playing in front of a crowd of around 12,000. This was then followed by a gig from The Black Keys.

Co-op Live is a joint venture between OVG and City Football Group, the parent company of Manchester City. It forms part of Etihad Campus, which houses the Premier League football club’s Etihad Stadium.

In April, Co-op Live secured an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event as its first sporting attraction. With UFC president and CEO, Dana White, stating earlier that the English city would host an event, the mixed martial arts promotion confirmed that Co-op Live will be the destination for its first European fight card of 2024, UFC 304, on July 27.

The UFC’s sister organisation, wrestling promotion WWE, last week announced that it would head to Co-op Live for an event on October 16.

Commenting on the Chatloop deal, Leiweke said: “Chatloop’s innovative expertise in fostering shared experiences makes them the perfect fit for Co-op Live, one of the most innovative live entertainment venues in the world.

“Together, we are setting a new standard in how audiences engage and connect, not just with live events, but with each other, as part of our drive to offer an unparalleled experience before, during and after their visit.”