If you know any serious musicians, you’ve probably heard them talk about the challenges of finding people to play with. You might also have seen those “drummer seeks band” ads in coffee shops or newspapers (or listened to that great segment about those ads on This American Life). Well, a startup called Giggem aims to make it easier for musicians to find bands, for bands to promote themselves to fans, and hopefully to eventually get signed with managers and labels.
If you’re a musician, you create a profile on the Giggem site showing off your interests and experiences. For example, founder and CEO Emir Turan is a musician himself, so on his profile he lists the type of music that he plays (alternative rock, alternative metal, glam metal, and more), the instruments he plays, his level of experience, and what he’s looking for (i.e. a band in his city). He also includes videos, audio tracks and photos of his performances.
Turan said the profile functions as a résumé for musicians, and there are similar profiles that can be created by bands, songwriters, music labels, managers and fans. Once you’ve got a profile, the Giggem algorithm kicks in and starts recommending people you should connect with. Because it knows your interests, experience, and what you’re looking for, it can make pretty solid recommendations about users who’d be a good match.
Of course, this kind of matchmaking algorithm can’t account for the human element of, “Hey, am I going to get along with these people? Is there any chemistry there?” Turan acknowledged that Giggem can’t handle the entire selection process for you. However, it can take care of that first step, helping bands or musicians filter down to the most likely candidates. Many of those candidates might be people they wouldn’t have found otherwise. And if they aren’t happy with Giggem’s suggestions or just want to cast a wider net, they can conduct their own searches on the site.
Giggem has been live for months, but today is the official launch. I was a bit surprised that there isn’t anything similar out there already, but Turan insisted that there isn’t. There’s Indaba Music, but it’s more focused on helping musicians collaborate on specific projects. There’s Fandalism, a social network where musicians can connect with other musicians and showcase their work, but Turan noted that it doesn’t focus on matchmaking the way that Giggem does, nor does it allow other industry pros to become members on the site.
I also wondered whether musicians are going to stay active on Giggem after they find a match. Turan noted that bands can also use the site to promote themselves, and in a follow-up email, he added that there’s an enormous amount of circulation in the industry and among bands, due in part to the “human factor” that we discussed earlier.
“So, Giggem will always be a useful tool for a band to find a new member quickly, anytime they need,” he said.
Turan has currently invested $600,000 of his own cash into the company. He eventually plans to make money through advertising and by offering pro tools.