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Gigmit makes hires in Germany, the UK

Online talent booking platform Gigmit has promoted Anna Lüneberg to chief marketing officer and hired Pedro Ricardo as product manager.

Lüneberg, who previously worked at Gigmit in the role of growth marketing manager, is now leading the company’s growth team.

“After we succeeded in doubling the artist community on Gigmit in the last two years, the goal is to develop Gigmit into a global player in digital live music booking,” says Lüneberg.

“Above all, we want to continue to grow on the promoter side and convince them with Gigmit as a data-driven booking tool. So that more new talents can perform live on the right stages in the future.”

“The goal is to develop Gigmit into a global player in digital live music booking”

Ricardo, who previously worked as content and product manager for sample music database WhoSampled in London, will coordinate the Gigmit product team with immediate effect and continue to push the development of the platform.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Gigmit team and work together on revolutionising the future of music booking!” says Ricardo.

Gigmit CEO, Marcus Fitzgerald, adds: “I am so proud to have two incredible colleagues in such demanding roles. I couldn’t think of anyone better to develop our journey to become a global platform. After working with Anna for years, I know she will fulfill this new path with her skills, knowledge and joy!

“Pedro fights for a better product that every user loves. I am sure that his analytical skills and team management capacities will be loved by our users as they know he is working hard to make artists and promoters achieve more!”

 


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Why the live industry is missing out

Having worked in the live music industry for nearly 20 years now, I can see we are on the brink of change.

During the early years, I discovered that many artists struggled with getting gigs or even a response from promoters. Through these observations, I became immersed in the start-up world, exploring new technology to improve the live market.

The start-up culture feels so vibrant. Everybody wants to help each other. Everybody is coming up with new and revolutionary ideas, and some of them have huge potential.

I see it like this: there are a bunch of people that aspire to improve our world, either the environment or workflows and processes. It became apparent that a new way of communication between promoters and artists could help, that there was a missing link, and this is how the idea for Gigmit was initially conceived: a fast-growing, online platform for music booking that connects artists to promoters, and therefore helps to make live better.

While attending many conferences through our EU-funded INES project, I realised that there is very much a one-track mind in the live music industry, and maybe beyond live.

What has happened? Two years ago, I met up with a German concert promoter who stated that their margin is usually only about 5–10% profit. If they want to expand their business, they just need to do more and more concerts, and, of course, grow by running after bigger and bigger acts. In comparison, within the same industry, Gigmit has been running for six years now, and fortunately we have an average annual growth of 80%, and based on the registered artist-user amount, the biggest online live music booking platform in Europe. So it’s clear that fresh ideas can take off.

During last year’s Reeperbahn Festival, I noticed that there is an increasing sense among the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the concert promoters, that the biggest music companies are taking over. They feel that these big companies come into markets and take control. This is because they have the money, they can. It can prevent the SMEs from starting out or flourishing, as often financially they cannot compete with the big fish.

Recently, something unusual has come to my attention, which could be a contributor to the shortcomings within the market. I have met so many great entrepreneurs with fantastic technology and teams but all of them seem to be struggling to find somebody in the live music industry to partner up with who is prepared to take a small risk and try something new, something that hasn’t happened before. These SMEs are unable to find the right partners.

What would have happened if DHP Family and SoundCloud had been connected in the early days? Or Spotify and FKP Scorpio?

Eventually, the big players agree to invest in or buy the successful projects because they can, but only because there’s nobody else. I got the same impression when Sony Music invested in our company. There wasn’t a long queue of SME concert promoters approaching me beforehand, and it’s not that I didn’t chase them…

Nowadays, 40% of tickets to live gigs go unsold, concert promotion is a big issue, and traditional publishing companies in the music space struggle a lot. So isn’t now the perfect time to embrace the uncertain, the technology, the maybe unconventional ideas of young start-ups within the industry?

The music industry needs to embrace this fresh outlook, these innovative methods. People are not usually in it just for the money – it’s their passion.

We started out because we wanted to help artists and promoters to get more gigs with less effort. In our team, we have the mentality that we will never, ever give up. While we work on the use of our large database to predict ticket sales for gigs, and help with the perfect match between artists and promoters – think of it like Tinder for gigs! – I still hope that we will find some brave music companies to partner with on the way, and for other start-ups too.

One thing is for sure: there are still so many things in the music sector that can be improved or even revolutionised through technology, and there is enough money in the sector (not just with the biggest players) to take risks and get it started.

Imagine what would happen if concert promoters met the innovative tech people. What would have happened if DHP Family and SoundCloud had been connected in the early days? Or Spotify and FKP Scorpio? Perhaps the music world might look a bit different, and quite possibly work a bit better.

What we need are more alliances between these SMEs, on both ends, technology and music, in order to create unique projects, and the kind of value that no money in the world can buy.

 


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INES showcase fest network to launch at Reeperbahn

The Innovation Network of European Showcases (INES), a new association of showcase festivals backed by €2​ million in EU funding, is set to launch at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg later this month.

According to Marcus Rüssel, INES project manager and CEO of German booking start-up Gigmit, which is supporting the initiative, INES will “sustainably link the European music market through digital innovations and human relationships and strengthen them for the future. The aim is to empower the existing ties between showcase festivals in Europe and to establish new connections between musicians, music professionals and institutions in the industry.”

In addition to providing a funding and exchange programme for artists and industry professionals, the four-year project hopes to also contribute to the “digitalisation of the music industry” by recording and cataloguing all showcase performances in an online library.

Member festivals are Liverpool Sound City, Waves Vienna, Sonic Visions, Live at Heart, Spring Break, Monkey Week, Westway LAB and MENT Ljubljana (pictured), along with Gigmit.

“Working together in this way is only going to become more important in years to come”

Rebecca Ayres of Liverpool Sound City – the sole UK event – comments: “Sound City has always been about giving local artists and businesses more opportunities, both at home and abroad. Industry executives have gathered under the Sound City banner across the globe to see the best in upcoming talent, and we’ve taken artists to showcases all over the world.

“As a result, we have great relationships with our international colleagues – but this initiative will help bolster our efforts and create even more cooperation between music markets in different territories. Working together in this way is only going to become more important in years to come.”

Reeperbahn last month finalised its festival and conference agendas for 2017, announcing the dates, times and venues for all events, as well as a special conference strand – Raise Your Voice – focusing on music and political engagement ahead of the German general election on 24 September.

Reeperbahn 2017 takes place in Hamburg from 20 to 23 September.

 


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Sony Music invests in booking platform Gigmit

Sony Music Entertainment, one of the ‘big three’ record labels, has expanded its presence in the live industry with a six-figure investment in online talent booking platform Gigmit.

The Berlin-based start-up – effectively a digital booking agency with more than 40,000 artists available monthly to venues and promoters – has since its founding in 2012 processed close to €5 million in offers and supplied acts to Melt! Booking and the Sziget and Deichbrand festivals, among others..

Marcus Rüssel, Gigmit’s CEO, says: “I’m really happy as strong a partner as Sony Music by our side. This is our biggest deal to date.

“The Gigmit business model and our expertise in developing new talent sustainably are a perfect match”

“Through the effective use of synergies, Gigmit will be able to refine its content, which in turn will allow us to strengthen our position and increase our influence in the German-speaking market.”

Philip Ginthör, CEO of Sony Music GSA (Germany, Switzerland and Austria), adds: “The Gigmit business model and our expertise in developing new talent sustainably are a perfect match. Through this partnership we will generate both artistic success and economic growth. We are really looking forward to working with Marcus and his team.”

 


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