This new Irish business is designed to help musicians and bands everywhere
A brilliant idea...
This is a great initiative designed to help bands and musicians maximise their earning potential.
In our latest installment of conversations with innovative Irish start-ups, we speak to Simon Cogan, one of the brains behind Subwoofr to get his views on all things business.
JOE: So Simon tell us, what is Subwoofr all about?
Simon: Subwoofr is about giving musicians the opportunity to make more money.
It’s no secret that musicians are no longer making a return from recorded music and it’s now almost a necessity that they have to give content away for free or near-free prices.
Subwoofr will help musicians and bands change this.
First and foremost, Subwoofr is a website-builder and content management system where artists can create their own site with no technical expertise. Musicians and bands need a home where the musician has complete control over the brand and offering.
Musicians and bands can really build a connection with their fans and sell to them directly on their site at prices they choose. In essence it’s about giving the artist back control, trying to help them turn followers into fans and converting that to revenue.
JOE: How did the business start and what inspired you to go out on your own?
Simon: The Subwoofr concept is the brain-child of our CEO, Joe Lennon. I completely agreed with how he felt the music industry and music consumer were changing. A few coffees and a lot of thought later we decided to go for it!
Part of the inspiration comes from loving music and wanting to make a positive impact on the industry. The other part of it is that life is short - you need to try these things, once you think the business idea is right of course!!
JOE: How competitive is the market you’re in?
Simon: I think platform fatigue is the word!
There is a music platform for everything… and music is still effectively broken. Some of these are competitors and some are not. Artists need to build their brand and take control of their revenue streams, but there are not many tools available to the artist to achieve this - most available platforms are built on exploiting the artist.
This is the reason Subwoofr really works. Subwoofr is about giving artists their own branded site and the tools to control it, allowing them to set their own prices and manage their own vision.
We see Subwoofr as complimentary to the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, with a Subwoofr site more directed to the superfan of the musician and band, the fans who want to consume more than just the music of their favourite acts.
JOE: How has business been? Is there a certain demographic you find really take to Subwoofr?
Simon: Subwoofr’s customer is a musician or band who wants to make money from what they do. It’s for musicians who can interact and engage with their fans, and there are more and more of these bands out there than ever before.
It’s very early days for Subwoofr and we have just released an early version of our product. Feedback is really positive. We have a number of bands already live and using Subwoofr, the likes of Pa Curran, Jack O’Rourke, Marlene Enright and Ye Vagabonds.
We also offer a label and music manager solution. These early bands and labels have the advantage of being able to feedback into our product directly which will make Subwoofr very powerful.
JOE: What does the future have in store for Subwoofr?
Simon: We aim to build a happy customer base by providing musicians with the opportunity to make more money. We want the musicians themselves to be our greatest brand advocates.
By giving artists the tools to take their music forward as a business we believe we will benefit through positive word of mouth referrals. We are also currently fundraising in order to build out our full product vision.
2016 is going to be a really exciting year for us.
JOE: You’re one of the rare and brave breed of young Irish entrepreneurs, do you think more Irish people should go out there on their own or is it a case-by-case basis?
Simon: I think it’s nearly fashionable to be part of a start-up these days, but you need to be very careful about this. We sat down and clearly thought through our business model.
I think when people tell you how hard it is you should really listen. A start-up can consume you and you really need to think out every aspect before you take the plunge. Saying this, however, to have control and to work towards a vision you truly believe in is phenomenally rewarding!
You can find out more about the company by visiting their website here.