In a world where musicians often struggle against an online world in order to make a living, an Adelaide duo have found a way the internet can make money for artists.
Enter: Netgigs, an online viewing platform that puts money directly in the musicians’ pockets.
The innovation came from a backyard conversation between musician mates and live gig enthusiasts, Joe and Dean, who were shooting the breeze about what musos need.
From that conversation Netgigs was born and is launching this Saturday night.
“The idea came about from working in the music industry and watching our friends releasing records on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play and finding out how much [those platforms] were taking,” Joe says.
“I come from the music industry and there are two parts: the live performance and the record deal,” Dean says. “Live performances don’t pay, so musicians want the record deal. There are a lot of music artists out there who work extremely hard but can’t make any money. So they chase a record deal, which they hope will give them a spot on the radio, and once that happens they might be able to make a career out of music.
“Unfortunately it’s highly competitive and not many people make it that far, but to me performing musicians are just as valuable to society as a mechanic or anyone else who contributes to the economy. The live performance industry grossed $140 million last year which is more than all sports in Australia combined but musicians make very little from that. Netgigs seeks to change that. It’s not a threat to the industry, it will contribute to it. Netgigs will take away the need for bands to have to chase that elusive record deal because this will do everything a record deal will do without having to fight for it.”
With several bands in South Australia and even overseas already taking up Joe and Dean’s offer to be part of the Netgigs revolution, Joe, who was behind iSA online radio station, says the concept is set to give artists a real pay day and a wider audience.
“We make individual deals with individual musicians. 100% of net revenue from the shows is going directly to the bands. So 50,000 views on a show by $5.00, that’s $500,000; take out the cost and musicians can walk away with $100,000. So all of the revenue of the shows is pushed back to the musicians,” he says.
And Netgigs doesn’t only benefit the artist and Dean says it won’t threaten the live music scene, either. It’s a great way to catch the gigs you can’t get to for one reason or another.
“If you look at the statistics, the average person spends about $300 to go and watch a show and yet they still sold millions of tickets last year,” he says. “The fact people are spending that means people are wanting to go out and see shows. Netgigs will reach people who can’t go out because they can’t afford it, people who miss out on sold out tours.”
“We’re streaming live for the people who can’t get out due to financial reasons, family reasons or can’t make it out because they’ve got kids,”Joe agrees. “They can experience the show live and message the bands. The shows will remain online indefinitely so the people who saw the shows live can come back and watch it again at their leisure.”
Once Netgigs launches this weekend, the guys say they have a long list of goals they are set to accomplish to take the concept to the world.
“We are talking to local artists, national artists and as of recently, international touring artists to perform on the Netgigs platform,” Joe says. “In six months’ time, we will have Australian Netgigs Venue Centre here in South Australia. By the end of the year, we want to have our first overseas Netgigs Centre, probably in the United States. Then we will franchise that model and take it global.
“The international touring artists we have spoken to so far love the idea because they aren’t making money from selling music online anymore, so the only avenue open for earning is live performance. What Netgigs does is allow musicians to reach an unlimited audience and actually earn an income from their art. And for only $5.00, audiences can sample the band in all their glory and then they’ll know they want to invest in future gigs from the band; they’ll know what they’re getting.”
Netgigs launches this weekend where you can catch Fell at Ten, Ice on Mercury, Funky Monks and No Audio Dialogue live online and be part of the online music revolution.
By Libby Parker