They times they are a-changin’. Just as with the accommodations industry, where tech managed to disrupt the status quo maintained by the powers that be, the ways of doing business in the music industry are altering dramatically. Forget the epic squabbling over distribution for a moment, and witness a better bookings system in the making.
Started in Australia, Muzeek is a booking platform that simplifies putting together live performances for artists, venues, and everyone in-between. A digital “Book” button might hold the startup’s top billing, as it is embeddable nearly anywhere on the Internet and directs traffic to an easy-to-use, Airbnb-like booking system.
In a industry where connections rule, Muzeek serves as a friendly contact for multiple players. The site offers a search and discovery catalog, handles scheduling and payments, plays matchmaker, streamlines communication, and provides an array of tools for promoting events and engaging fans.
Already in 107 countries and used by 17,512 venues and performers, Muzeek is off to a rockin’ start. The latest $250K in seed funding should only continue to lift the young company up the charts. Co-founder Danny Fiorentini tells us more:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
Muzeek is here to parallel the existing transition of digital music “sales” with the neglected live performance half of the industry, as the distribution battle has really turned the attention away from where artists make the most money – booking shows.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
We have introduced and patented a booking process that includes the first embeddable “book button” in the music industry, which can be placed virtually anywhere online. This allows for the internal booking process of Muzeek to be accomplished externally from our platform as well.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
At one point, Dave blurted out the word “Muzeek,” which was either a brilliantly thought-of name or a drunken entanglement of the word “music” in an awkward French accent –which we like to think is the latter.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
Cup of coffee and read Grantland.com or a music aggregator site.
When do your best ideas come to you?
Gym, after surfing, or when on my third beer.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
The 4 of us [Danny Fiorentini, Dave Robledo, Todd Andrews, Roel Pollers] have over 45+ years experience in our industry. We each represent a vital corner of the live performance industry – a label owner/agent, an artist, a venue booker, and a fan. We knew exactly what to build to make all of our lives easier.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
There are no words to describe the amount of time, stress, and work involved with starting up. Rationing ramen noodles daily and living with holes in our shoes. Once we raised seed funding the clouds parted, and we don’t regret a single thing.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
Surfing and having at least 1 or 2 hours a day for reflection and relaxation. The biggest professional frustration is waiting for others to work as fast as we do.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
Music at all times – we listen to our own users! Lots of coffee and ping pong.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
The Airbnb of the live performance industry.
The Co-founders of Muzeek
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food?
Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Rick Rubin and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared-water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowdfunded?
Self-funded and seed funded by members from The Sydney Angels.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Find an in-house designer and developer.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Buy a lot of Top Ramen.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
Learn to sky-dive in a wing suit and travel to space on Virgin Galactic.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur? If not, what’ll make you feel successful?
Yes. Because I learn from mistakes and look at failures as learning material.
What is your music streaming player of choice, and what are you listening to right now?
Rdio – UX & Design
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? (And why that country?)
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter?
Where else should our readers find you online?