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Arts / Startups

Gigit: LA live music booking startup moves to BK, soft launches voting platform

Technology is giving brands more and more way to engage users in the events they put on to build brand affiliation.

Kid Sister, a screenshot from a Gigit artist page. Used by permission.
A previous version of this story described Gigit's revenue model as a cut of the performer's fee. 1/29/14 5:10 pm.

Tegan Gaan launched her music startup Gigit in May 2013 aiming to match venues and performers, helping smaller spaces and musicians get connected, along with established names. Barely six months in, she’s refining the value proposition, launching a new product focused on generating buzz for upcoming events while letting their users vote on which performer the brand hires to play at its upcoming event.

“I would go to live events and saw that no one cared about the DJ that Microsoft brought,” she said of poorly matched music shows. “It was all based on mates. Someone who knows someone who knows someone.”

The new feature is called Engagement Voting Pages, letting brands get input on who their users want to see at events. The level of interest can dictate what a musician gets paid for a gig. (Gigit adds a surcharge atop a band’s fee to the venue or brand hiring and also originally pitched making money by offering equipment rentals to indie venues)

“We tell brands to pay performers well,” Gaan said, “because you’re not just paying the artist to play, you are paying the artist to share his social footprint.”

Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, recently used the platform to get input on which band to play at his birthday party in Mexico. He settled on ASTR.

Take a look at an Engagement Voting Page the team set up for Technically Brooklyn. No immediate plans to do a concert, but you never know.

By engaging their user base and that of the performers, brands learn something about their audience, gaining important long-tail insights about a brand’s community and reaching new potential users through the audience the artist brings. Its a model similar to that of Togather, which has been working with companies to crowdsource interest in an event before the date is even set.

Gigit will fully launch its voting platform at SXSW in March — if you won’t be in Austin, by the way, we’ll be announcing a #notatSXSW party here. There, they will also roll out an app that lets brands reward users for uploading content to the cloud during Gigit powered events.

Gaan launched her company in Los Angeles, but saw all the traction for her product in New York, echoing many of the same sentiments about Brooklyn’s music scene that we heard from Shoutabl. She relocated to Fort Greene this month and hired a developer here, bringing the team to four people total. She’s looking now to build a full time street team — dubbed Gigit Groupies — of three, to begin bringing venues into the Gigit network.

Gaan said that she hopes to start seeing at least one Gigit gig a week, with a heavy emphasis on events in New York City, within the next quarter.

“Monetizing an artist’s life is what we aim to do,” Gaan said, “The discovery and support of local up and coming talent … bringing big brands back to the organic homegrown importance of small taste maker communities.”

Here’s a video from an early Gigit gig in Brooklyn, featuring The Bones of JR Jones:

http://youtu.be/1QrQwzy8ZRI

Series: Brooklyn

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