A new online music events service is helping artists get more work.
The music industry is catching up to the digital era. There are a slew of music industry-friendly websites out there helping bands join the 2.0 world (even if its with vintage leather jackets, greasy hair and unplugged guitars). To name a few, MySpace.com is still the go-to home website for many up-and-coming bands, CD Baby, an online distributor of indie music and FanBridge, which helps bands manage e-mail lists and fans.
Now Gigmaven, which beta launched in July 2008 is gaining serious market traction as a new way to help musicians and venues book gigs online. The service essentially streamlines the booking process, helping venues cut down on miscellaneous applications and musicians find open venues. Founded by Yale grad and classically trained musician Howard Han to “help artists book more gigs,” Gigmaven, which is run by 6 guys out of an office in Manhattan’s East Village, now operates in 8 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and D.C with plans to roll out in new cities over the next three months.
How Gigmaven Helps Artists
Gigmaven currently has 7,000 artists signed up with an average of 1,000 signing up each month. Gigmaven provides the artist with complete venue information and an easy to fill out online form. In essence, they are like a dating website for small time bands.
“What we do really well,” explains Han, “Is find appropriate venues for artists who can never get into a big venue like The Bowery Ballroom, whether it’s a small club or a coffee shop, we match venues with bands.”
They plan on moving into the college territory soon, which promises to be a huge hit.
How Gigmaven Helps Venues
Venue talent buyers sometimes receive hundreds of requests a day from bands wanting to play a gig. Many of these requests are from artists who apply without filling out an application or who apply without the necessary qualifications like crowd draw and style of music. So talent buyers are increasingly turning to sites like Gigmaven, encouraging artists to apply through the Gigmaven widget on their site, which saves the venue time, and helps them find new bands with a friendly user interface. Gigmaven currently charges venues a subscription fee and may roll out a per booking transaction fee in the future.
Gigmaven’s main competitors are ReverbNation, an all-encompassing online music marketing platform and Sonicbids, which has been been helping artists make professional connections since 2001 and booked over 71,000 gigs last year alone. For now, Gigmaven is focusing on the relationship between the artist and the venue and building brand recognition. In New York, venues like Le Poisson Rouge, the National Underground and Sullivan Hall use Gigmaven as well as The Roxy in Los Angeles.