The Gigmasters.com Gigmasters online booking service was created to enable consumers to find and hire live entertainment in order for them to host weddings or corporate events. It has a database that includes over 15,000 musicians. Recent additions include comedy, dancers and caterers.
Gigmaster’s online reservation system makes use of the Internet’s ability connect fragmented music and entertainment markets into a single searchable database that is easy to use and consumer-focused.
Gigmasters operates as an owner-managed company. Kevin H. Kinyon & Michael J. Caldwell, the site’s co-founders, are responsible for its management. They recently added John Sortino to their Board of Directors. All three men have vast experience in Web design, business development, as well as financial management.
Gigmasters collects a 10% commission fee each time it brokers a transaction between a buyer and seller of entertainment services. The seller pays the company their commission. In addition to booking commissions, Gigmasters earns revenue from corporate sponsorships of its bi-monthly newsletter. Amazon.com has been a sponsor in the past.
There are a number of other websites that connect buyers and sellers of services, however only Gigmasters provides the emphasis on music and entertainment. It offers many benefits to its customers by doing this. For example, only Gigmasters provides online press kits allowing customers to both hear and see entertainers before they hire them. Gigmasters is also the only company that has created an online bidding platform which allows customers to get competitive bids from entertainers. It does not have any competitors.
Apart from its primary revenue sources (corporate sponsorships and bookings commissions), the company also draws revenue through fees-based services it offers its entertainers. As the company grows, and has more resources, these secondary revenue streams are likely to become more important.
Research has shown that music and entertainment are worth nearly $9 billion in the United States each year. The wedding industry is the largest part of this market. Every year there are more than 2.3million weddings. Music is used to fund over $3.2Billion of these events. Other industry components include festivals, corporate events and nightclubs.
A total of 13,239 agents are traditional (offline booking agents) in the United States. They are paid an average of $2.4 million annually. While there are many websites, not all offer the option of booking directly online. These sites are more like corporate brochures. They only feature a few top-name entertainers and offer no further information other than a phone number. These agents focus on the high-end market and tend to overlook the huge number of people searching for bands for their private parties, weddings, fraternity dances or corporate Christmas parties. These are just a few examples of 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. These sites are high in traffic, and Gigmasters offer them the chance to share in a profitable revenue sharing program. In exchange, Gigmasters receive a steady stream traffic and increased revenue.
Gigmasters has raised $100,000 (representing 5% equity), to expand its business and pay office, salary and advertising expenses. The minimum amount to be raised must not exceed $70,000.
The company expects solid profits to be achieved by 2003. These figures are based only on conservative estimates for bookings growth. If the proper funding can be obtained, the company does not expect any significant cash flow problems.