GigsWiz Officially Lands In U.S. [LAUNCH]
Members of the team will be sharing details about the service with an announcement at NMS in Los Angeles today. Last week I had the chance to talk on Skype with Joonas Pekkanen, one of the three co-founders.
GigsWiz is a ticket promotion service that aims to solve one big problem—most ticket promoters don't have a direct line to the fans of the bands that they're trying to sell tickets for. When I say a direct line, I mean social media.
GigsWiz allows promoters to submit gig details, which, working through APIs, get syndicated to event search sites like Ticketfly. GigsWiz also lets promoters automatically post information about the gig to the Facebook/Twitter streams of the bands on the bill. But the promoters aren't able to flood the stream—it posts once when the even is first listed and again eight days before it. Event organizers can also keep track of sales as they come in.
Bands have two incentives to join. First is that the service helps promote their shows. Second is that they get a kickback when they promote their shows. GigsWiz has set their ticket fees at a flat 15 percent. A $20 ticket costs $23 and no more. From that 15 percent, 10 percent goes to GigsWiz, and the other 5 percent is potential revenue for the bands. It's like they're getting paid to help themselves. For comparison, Ticketmaster has been known to charge upwards of 30 percent.
GigsWiz is based in Finland. They launched in the UK on January 25. Joonas told me that they see the the U.S. and the UK as their biggest potential markets—so that's where they wanted to start. Right now GigsWiz is best geared for the big music middle class—for venues that have decent-sized shows and the bands that play them. They are also incredibly fit for promoting festivals. Promoters are able to broadcast to the fans of every band on the bill.
The GigsWiz team includes the three co-founders Joonas Pekkanen, Juuso Vermasheinä, and Kai Lemmetty. Joonas said they had previously worked on another tech startup and that his background was more of a techie than a music junkie. Also on board is David Hazan—based in New York—and a handful of programmers in Helsinki. Lemmetty and Hazan are both at NMS in Los Angeles today.
Joonas gave me a quick tour of the interface on our video chat. It seems really easy to use. Screenshots are viewable here.