The story of Gigsy, the website where you pay to watch talent
Back in 2014, when Vikram Parthan was doing his post-graduation at IIM, Bangalore, he realised that he needed to find a way to follow his passion for music and monetise it at the same time. Vikram is a musician himself, having played guitar for bands like Quasar and Grubby Halo, and knowing that a very small percentage of talented people in the country get recognised at a national level, decided to launch a website called Gigsy. A subscription-based website/app, Gigsy allows creators and artistes from multiple fields to upload their work online and give, not only their existing fans but also new interested followers a chance to follow their work on the go, with frequent videos of performances as well as masterclasses. But what’s in it for the subscribers? Turns out that the platform’s latest version has introduced a bunch of perks — rewards, merchandise, ticket sales and more. As the year-old platform readies to launch Gigsy Gatherings soon — a series of meet-greet sessions for the creators themselves— we caught up with Vikram, who shared with us his story and more about his goal to bring talented people from around the country under one roof.
What’s the USP of the platform? What are the most popular features that users of the site love so far?
The USP of the platform is that we do not act as middlemen as is the case with most other platforms. Creators can control the price and then offer rewards that appeal the most to their fans. Gigsy has helped creators, coaches and solopreneurs with not just online content, but also events and workshops, and it is also free to be used. We only charge them a commission of five per cent when a transaction actually happens; the rest is for the creators.
What are the biggest advantages for subscribers?
Creators who make money, we have found, are even more deeply committed to re-invest to create better content and offerings for their community. Gigsy provides subscribers (we label them as champions) a means to become a part of a creator’s inner circle and enjoy exclusive content, experiences and rewards.
How much has the platform evolved from the first day to now?
When we were building the initial versions of the platform, we sat through creating, editing and uploading content and doing marketing for the content all on our own, in collaboration with the creators. This meant that even before the creator side of the platform was ready, we were actually helping creators make money by letting fans buy their content, and attend their workshops and events. With the creator-side platform built to scale, we are now building better tools and richer features for creators and subscribers to build closer, deeper and more long-lasting relationships directly.
What are the processes in place to monitor the content that is finally shown on the website? What are the requirements for qualification?
Every creator goes through a review process when they set themselves up on Gigsy. We review their details and their offerings before approving them on the platform, and in many cases even help them refine it. We want everyone to be a creator, but they need to be able to define their offerings clearly to the subscribers. In a subscription model, creators need to be able to demonstrate and provide value to their subscribers month after month. It is by no means an easy task, but it is enjoyable because the creator chooses to do what they love, that too in a manner where they can grow their community. So, subscribers keep the creators honest in the long run to deliver on their promises.
Are you impressed with the content so far? Do you interact with the content creators directly? What are their thoughts and feedback on the platform?
From our early days, we have been lucky. Enterprising creators on our platform have been pretty experimental in finding their niches. Since creators do not pay anything to set up their online presence and earn, they can afford to be experimental. Content and offerings, in general, are always improving. Better incomes help creators provide better quality. It is a virtuous cycle built within the system.
We do interact with content creators directly. With our creator base growing leaps and bounds, we are bringing in systems to communicate and collaborate with them on a larger scale. This is the next interesting challenge, and we are committed to taking in as many creators as possible.
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