We are happy to provide our first thoughts on www.booktheartists.com (BTA) initiative as we are going live at this very moment. The journey towards our vision to provide a great service for both artists and event planners has been exciting in every way and we want to share this journey with you.
Like all journeys, this one started from somewhere, in this case from Steam Hellsinki bar, where we (Sami K, Sami C and Ali C) met summer 2015. We had a chat about where the entertainment business is heading (in addition to streaming, digital stuff and so on). None of us was happy with the current situation of the industry where artists (especially musicians) have been pushed even further down in the food chain in a digital world.
That being obvious, so is the following; 1) the market has been / is / will be heading even more towards the “winner takes it all” type of a situation even though only one out of million can get there and many times with cost of selling your soul and 2) artists are making their income mainly via live shows and merchandise.
In general that was the starting point, which all was supported by our own experience from running an independent record label company 3rd Rail Music for over ten years and seeing the digital disruption very closely in that space while receiving feedback from the market such as;
- I don’t know anyone in the industry / promoters how I can book for example Finnish rappers?
- I need more live shows but my promoter / agent is pretty much useless on this matter
- F***, again I have problems to get my performance fee in a timely manner
- I need a website to promote my art but I don’t know how to do it
- I checked 40 different pages to find a band for my wedding and I still don’t have one
- The promoting / agent fee is a rip off, he just waits someone to call him and he takes 15% off my fee
So, given all this, we came up with a few guiding thoughts on what we could do to hopefully change the game in favour of all parties – artists, people in need for artists and hopefully us, the founders.
- Focus of this new initiative should somehow relate to live performances
- Focus should be on the smaller artists (not just musicians) and small scale events
- It must be an open door policy for different kinds of artists while the event planners (i.e. customers) are the king and queen, not the BTA team
- Digital mediums should be used to provide a hassle free customer experience and to provide a possibility for artists to come up by themselves. Without compromises.
- …and most importantly, it must be transparent and fair for all parties with communal feel
When in a meeting with great minds like us, we came up with the following classical two-sided business model idea taking account the guiding principles above – HEUREKA, we have a solution, problem solved!
We felt that there was something right in the equation as the team was there, the market need was there and we were not able to identify well-functioning players in this scene / segment – and most importantly it felt like a right thing to do at this given time. All this was in our minds, so to be sure right from the beginning, we verified the idea with potential customers and artists and most importantly got great feedback and support from the following helpful entities; Elvis Ry, The Finnish Musicians’ Union, Music Finland, FMS, SLUSH and Iwa Labs – Respect! With all this positive feedback and two new members joining our team (Christel and Rami) we ramped up the www.booktheartists.com – Enjoy and spread the word!
So that’s what we did and this is where we are now. Next steps for BTA includes focusing on marketing activities, to get more shows for the artists and more available artists for event planners to help them to make the events of their lifetime!
In addition to marketing, we are constantly looking for feedback, partners and anything else that makes the service even better. So send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org – Many thanks! In the future the BTA blogs focus is intended to be on the artists and event planners in all different colors of the rainbow – Ideas about blog posts are more than welcome as well!
Sincerely and looking forward!