The Gigmasters.com (Gigmasters) online booking system was developed to help consumers find and hire live entertainment for weddings, corporate events, private parties, nightclubs, fraternity functions, Bar Mitzvahs, grand openings, and other events. The company has built up a database of over 15,000 musicians. More recently, it has expanded its offerings to include other entertainment services such as comedians, dancers, caterers, photographers, etc.
Gigmaster’s online booking system takes advantage of the Internet’s ability to organize and connect the fragmented marketplace of musicians and entertainers into a searchable database that is consumer-focused, and easy-to-use.
Gigmasters is an owner-managed company. The two people who run the site are its co-founders, Kevin H. Kinyon and Michael J. Caldwell. Recently they brought John Sortino onto their Board of Directors. All three of these gentlemen have extensive experience in Web development, business development and financial management.
Gigmasters collects a 10% commission fee each time it brokers a transaction between a buyer and seller of entertainment services. The company collects its fee from the seller. In addition to booking commissions, Gigmasters earns revenue from corporate sponsorships of its bi-monthly newsletter. Past sponsors include Amazon.com, Emusic.com, RollingStone.com, and Bluelight.com.
There are a number of other websites that connect buyers and sellers of services, however only Gigmasters provides the emphasis on music and entertainment. By doing so, it offers significant advantages to all of it’s customers. For example, only Gigmasters provides online press kits allowing customers to both hear and see entertainers before they hire them. Also, only Gigmasters has developed an online bidding system which supplies customers with competitive bids from the entertainers. None of its competitors do.
In addition to its primary revenue sources of booking commissions and corporate sponsorships, the company also derives revenue through additional fee-based services it offers its entertainers. As the company grows and has additional resources, these secondary revenue streams will begin to take on an increasingly important role.
Research shows that in the United States, close to $9 billion is spent each year on music and entertainment. The largest component of this market is the wedding industry. There are 2.3 million weddings each year, with over $3.2 billion spent on music. Other components of the industry include corporate events, nightclubs, festivals, Bar Mitzvahs, fraternity and sorority functions, high school proms, country clubs, and hotels.
There are also approximately 13,239 traditional (offline) booking agents in the United States. They earn $2.4 billion annually. Many have websites, but few, if any, offer the ability to book directly online. These sites are more like corporate “brochures” and spotlight only a few of their big-name entertainers with little more than a phone number available for further information. Also, these agents traditionally focus on high-end bookings, generally ignoring the vast market of individuals looking for bands for their weddings, private parties, fraternity dances, corporate Christmas parties, and high school proms. These types of events make up the Gigmasters marketplace.
The company will seek to form strategic partnerships with sites such as WeddingChannel.com, TheKnot.com, iParty.com, and Evite.com, whose customers are planning weddings, parties, and events. Gigmasters will offer these high traffic sites the opportunity to share in a viable revenue sharing program, and, in return, Gigmasters will benefit from a steady stream of traffic and increased revenue.
Gigmasters is raising $100,000 (representing 5% equity) for the purposes of expanding its business and paying office, salary, website, and advertising expenses. The minimum amount needed to be raised is $70,000.
The company expects to be earning a solid profits by 2003. These estimates are based on conservative estimates of bookings growth. If the proper funding can be obtained, the company does not expect any significant cash flow problems.