Jul 10 2010
As any musician or artist will tell you, there is no too far a distance to drive or fly for your passion. Think about it. You have the South by Southwest festival every year in Austin, TX. Bands drive thousands of miles from all over the country just to play. Sure, a small, naive subset of them think that by playing for the right person, they can catch a big break, but the smart ones know otherwise. They know their commercial prospects are nil. Rather, it’s a fun drive and a fun gig. They love to rock and tour!
But if there was money involved? Forget about it. Bands – and most artists, I’d wager – would move mountains to get and play the gig. And in today’s economy, any paid gig is a great one. And if the person paying for the gig could decide between multiple vying bands/artists to get the best bang for their buck? That’s gold, baby! Or, to those in the know, that’s what BidaGig – a platform for independent and freelance artists to find work – does.
BidaGig lets the consumer/buyer, who is seeking to hire artists, live entertainers, and service providers, post their gig – via an RFP platform (Request for Proposal) – with full description, details, and requirements for their event. Artists, in turn, submit their Bid Proposals for gigs of interest to them. This model empowers the artist to go get work, rather than rely on, say, booking agents who can take 20-40% (!) of artist earnings. Conversely, having multiple artists competing for the gig benefits the consumer/buyer: they can pick the best, affordable artist out there.
Example: Let’s say, in some distant, bizarre fantasy world, I get married. I’m seeking to hire a wedding band, so I would post my event details and requirements as a Gig. Bands who feel they meet my requirements can submit their Bid proposals. They can be as competitive as they’d like with their proposal and re-bid at any time if they feel they can beat a previously submitted proposal. The bands are vying for work, but ultimately, it’s my choice: I simply do my due diligence and select the bid proposal I like best.
The home page grabs you immediately: a rotating set of applicable pictures: bands, event planners, dancers, etc. I first dove in under the context of someone looking for a band. I clicked on the Artist tab. I checked out the profile (below) of Hector Cuevas, a performer of Cuban music, based in Rhode Island. I could check out his feedback, areas of expertise, hourly rate, and portfolio, which includes a picture of the band. Artists can upload their video and/or audio; this will naturally be a critical input for any consumer weighing the different artists out there. The artist Audio section displays in their full profile (check out an example here), while the audio can be found in the Portfolio tab. Most importantly, I could “Invite to Bid,” where I could reach out to them and invite them (and others) to play my event. Then let the bidding begin! Meanwhile, the process of setting up a profile as an artist was equally simple. Simply register and away you go. Sit back and wait for the bids to come in, or proactively reach out to artists.
I also sensed a concentration on wedding bands, which is a huge market, and also one that benefits musicians. (Some insider knowledge here: many bands who perform original tunes also have “money bands” – essentially wedding bands covering classic hits, which, not coincidentally, helps pay the rent.) At the same time, certain wedding bands can – how can I say this diplomatically – gouge people, particularly those within a certain geographic area. Again, there are countless bands who’d take a smaller cut in pay and drive an extra hour or two to get the gig, build connections, and impress people. Duh! But, of course, that doesn’t mean the band will be lame. Quite the opposite: BidaGig allows consumers/buyers to review the profiles, portfolios, and feedback scores of the artists that interest them. Once they do their due diligence they select the artist that will meet their needs the best. And again, rather than be beholden to commisson-getting booking agents, most of whom manage multiple artists themselves, BidaGig’s platform empowers independent and freelance artists to control their own destiny. When you stop to think about BidaGig’s business model in totality, you wonder: Bidagig, where have you been all our lives?