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Upstart Looks to Become Tinder for Musicians
Get to Know David Baird, Gigmor CEO
We recently sat down with Gigmor CEO David Baird to discuss the impact of merging music and technology, and how his social network is changing the way musicians do what they do best: jam. If you’re not familiar with Gigmor yet, here are the basics:
· Gigmor acts as Tinder for musicians by matching them with other players and bands
· They’re growing rapidly and already have over 40,000 members and have generated over 150,000 matches
· They partnered with new crowdfunding platform, StartEngine, and they’ve reached 13% of their goal in just 3 weeks since starting their campaign which brings them to $150,000 generated from crowdfunding thus far
· They have received their investments from the people who matter most – actual musicians and users of their platform
· Baird is a guitarist and is the former head of AOL’s E-Commerce which annually generated over $1B
What’s behind the name Gigmor?
Gigmor obviously has a literal meaning, which is to gig more, which is really the Holy Grail for all musicians. It’s what musicians want to do the most. It’s fun to jam and rehearse, but there’s nothing like the high of getting out and performing live. And really when you’re looking for a brand name for a company, the domain name has to be available and it should be as short as possible. So, it kind of met all three criteria, where it really meant something and it was a domain that was available, so I grabbed it.
Okay. Who created the original idea for a music networking platform?
MySpace was really the pioneer…They had 12 to 15 million musicians and bands on their platform at one point. And a lot of musicians I know, ironically, really liked MySpace because it allowed them to connect with each other and it allowed them to connect with fans. And once MySpace went into decline, there was nobody really filling that gap.
So, we took a lot of that concept and, while the idea isn’t [new], kind of modernized it and that was really the genesis of Gigmor.
What is the main problem that Gigmor solves?
Connecting musicians with other musicians. Music is a collaborative art form. It’s not too much fun to play in your basement by yourself, so musicians of all levels and all ages are looking for other musicians to collaborate with. So, whether you’re starting out and trying to form a band, whether you’re a singer or songwriter who has a lot of material and you need a band to help you record demos, or whether you’re a working professional, all musicians have a need to connect with other musicians.
So, we’ve focused on that. Where we’re headed to is connecting musicians and bands with industry players, particularly talent buyers who book bands and musicians at clubs, festivals, concerts, colleges, private events. So, that’s what we’re evolving toward pretty rapidly.
How quickly did that idea go from conception to creation?
In the technology world, it’s amazing that you can create something that has a lot of value pretty quickly and pretty cheaply. But like a lot of startups, we went through a series of phases and we went through an evolution from a bunch of ideas on a piece of paper to the site that it is today. So, it’s taken us over two years to build, redesign, rebuild, add on functionality, and so on. So, it’s like an organic entity that’s constantly growing and constantly changing.
What’s kept you motivated during your setbacks?
You have to go back and question: are we solving a real problem? Are we solving a real problem for a large enough group of people that we can turn this into a business? And if the answer to those questions are yes, then you stick with it, because you know behind every success story was all kinds of fits and starts and stumbles and twists and turns and pivots, as the industry terms goes.
How do you think Gigmor has affected its users or will affect its users in the long run?
Well, I know we want Gigmor to be an addiction. We want people to log on every day the way all of us do on Facebook or Twitter to kind of get their fix. And whether it’s finding new musicians, finding new opportunities, growing their fan base, you know, our vision is to create that kind of site. Right now I think we have created a community of musicians who are fulfilling that need that they’re not finding anywhere else.
What kinds of things will the typical user be doing while on Gigmor?
There are two main things. People get online and create a profile and upload their music and upload their pictures. And so, we serve as kind of a directory/social network so that people have a public page that’s essentially free that shows their music and what their aspirations are and what their musical level is. So, people are looking through that directory all the time for other musicians, depending on all kinds of basic criteria, what genres, what location, etc.
But the biggest thing that people use is the matching service, which matches you with compatible musicians in your area based on the genres you play, your instrument, your playing level, and your goals. Nobody is really doing that as precisely and as well as we are, so that’s our principal value proposition.
How successful have users been in connecting with other musicians?
Well, we’ve generated 150,000 matches. We do about ten thousand a month in general. And we hear from our members all the time about they love the site. We hear stories about people who were giving up on playing music, and about to sell their instruments, and we’ve connected them with people in their area and they’re in bands now. Whether it’s musicians starting out, whether it’s experienced players, again, looking for people at their same level, in a lot of cases, we hear how well the site has worked in connecting them with players in their area.
Is it common for high profile musicians to use Gigmor to connect with each other?
It’s increasingly common for high profile musicians to use our site. Some stories that we hear are that recording artists may have a regular band that tours with them, but they’ll have a pickup gig in a city somewhere else and they can’t afford to bring their entire band. So, they’ll use Gigmor to find local players – bass players, drummers, and so on. That’s the principle way high profile musicians use us, because we’ve become this directory and database of musicians, or a LinkedIn for musicians.
What other products and ventures does Gigmor currently have in the works?
The main plan we have is to build Open Table for live music. And what that does is leverages our social network, leverages our matching engine, and it extends those so that we can connect bands with talent buyers who have real gigs. So, that is our focus right now and that’s why we’re raising money, to fund that. We think that is a really exciting next step for us. That and we are looking to build a mobile app. That is critical since the majority of our users come to us via mobile platforms.
I think Gigmor’s future is really bright; we’ve gained a lot of momentum. I think what we’re going to see this fall, is a lot more member growth than we’re seeing this summer, when people tend to check out on go on vacation or whatever. You know, our vision is for Gigmor to become that new MySpace that I referred to earlier, where we have millions of musicians on our platform and tens of thousands of talent buyers, and we’re connecting those two.
For more, visit https://www.gigmor.com.