Hello, World: Gigmor Wants to Be a Facebook, or LinkedIn, for Bands

David Baird, founder of Gigmor.

Courtesy of Gigmor
Name: Gigmor
Founder: David Baird
Founded: 2011
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Launched: October 2013
Business sector(s): Web, Social Media, Digital Music
Key Execs: David Baird, Founder/CEO; Tracy Eumont, VP Product; Venk Tatineni, CTO; Blake Kuehn, VP Marketing
Funding: $200,000
Investors: David Baird
Strategic Partners: Fluence, Backplane, SongCircle
Website: gigmor.com

Gigmor is an online social network that helps musicians find other musicians. Think LinkedIn, the business-minded social network, but for the millions of musicians in the United States and around the world. Musicians create profiles, post examples of their music, and follow other musicians. Musicians can join for free. According to chief executive David Baird, the service has grown fivefold since coming out of beta in October of 2013.

TARGET CUSTOMER

Freelance musicians, indie bands and hobbyist musicians.

REVENUE MODEL

Gigmor is free to use. "When you're creating a network, the biggest challenge in early days is getting sufficient critical mass," explains Baird. To generate revenue, the company may eventually adopt a freemium model that will retain the free tier while adding some paid, premium services.

ANALYSIS

Elevator Pitch: Gigmor is a LinkedIn for musicians, bands and industry professionals. Connecting musicians to other players and playing and gigging opportunities.

The arrival of Gigmor marks a sensible evolution in music startups. Entrepreneurs have already upended the ways people experience music, the ways musicians communicate with fans, and the sales and distribution process for recorded music and merchandise, among other things. But there hasn't been a popular, effective social network aimed specifically at musicians.

Baird, who calls himself a "semi-professional musician," found that finding compatible players was a challenge. He considered Craigslist, where musicians went after the decline of ads in print publications, to be a Web 1.0 solution. He thought the problem of finding musicians needed "a more frictionless solution" built on advancements in technology.

Gigmor arrives at a time when musicians are using do-it-yourself tools more than ever. The independent musician is a jack-of-all-trades responsible for a wide variety of tasks. The idea of using Gigmor for career development shouldn't be a stretch. "People have to take charge of their careers now," says Baird.

Niche social networks can work. From dating to religion, many social networks exist to serve a particular focus. Academia.edu targets academic researchers. Tvtag, formerly GetGlue, focuses on television shows. SoundCloud is a social network for audio. 23andMe, a DNA analysis service, is like a social network based on ancestry.

The size of the opportunity is quite large. Gigmor is the type of service that can scale and go across borders. Consider that SoundCloud has roughly 40 million registered accounts worldwide, many of them semi-professional, amateur and hobbyist musicians. That body of creators is basically Gigmor's target market. And it's more than big enough to sustain a music-focused social network.