June 13, 2021

Digitization changes the pace of the music industry


Madrid

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Living in songs was always infinitely easier than living in songs. Be it hearsay or the voice of experience, everyone agrees that building a professional music career occupies, without question, a prominent place in thousands and thousands of wish lists of (almost) impossible things. Evidently,
the irruption of the Covid has not helped to change that crushed refrain
. But despite everything the show goes on, the music doesn’t stop. And it is also digitized so that the utopia of turning the stage into an office is a little closer. That is the goal of Acqustic, a startup that guides independent artists, like a virtual manager, in the stormy seas of the music industry.

«In our application, artists have an employment portal where they can access concert offers and contact the media. We also help them upload their music to streaming platforms and collect their copyright, “he sums up. Esteve Lombarte, CEO and co-founder of the startup. In addition, they include a management service to resolve registrations and cancellations in Social Security and tax obligations. “Definitely, we allow the artist to focus on his music, that he does not have to walk alone knocking on I don’t know how many different doors. We thought that, just as neobanks were revolutionizing finance for certain clients, it was also possible to create a technological solution to make things easier for independent artists, “adds Lombarte.

The ‘demo version’ of Acqustic was born in 2016 with an idea quite different from the current one. «We have never been a platform by musicians for musicians. We were amateurs and we had passion and vocation more than knowledge of the music industry. We came from the world of business and events. Now we are 16 people with very different profiles, and I think that helps us to do things differently. We started by organizing performances in private homes and gardens, and then we launched the ‘secret concerts’, performances in which the public does not know which artist will play or where ”, explains Lombarte.

This more intimate way of approaching live music caught on and helped accelerate the evolution of the platform. «We realized that we could go further and promote and accompany the career of artists. Call ‘from zero to hero’. It is difficult to grow in this world, but when you help it happen, when you see the evolution of an artist step by step, it is rewarding. We have lived it with cases like Guitarricadelafuente, and it is really beautiful “, says the founder of Acqustic.

The platform has a free version, but access to all the tools is achieved with the payment of a fee of 99 euros per year. «We also offer the artist song positioning campaigns. What the SEM would be in the world of the web, but focused on activating the Spotify algorithm, for example. These campaigns are paid at about 400 euros per song. And if the artist ends up standing out, we can also make contracts that are already more similar to the traditional ones to boost his career », explains Lombarte. Ambition is not lacking. After closing a financing round for 425,000 euros, the platform outlines its American landing. «We are partners of a prestigious recording studio in Mexico, Estudio 13. Through them, we already work with about 15 artists from this country and the US, and we want to continue growing. The goal is to be a global company, and if a Spanish artist succeeds, to be able to accompany him in his first steps in America ”, says Lombarte.

The company continues to organize its own concerts and develop the programming of other events. Lombarte acknowledges that
the Covid hit has been hard on live music
. But he stresses that “people really want to go live, I think we are going to experience a boom in the next few years.” Although nothing will ever be the same. «The pandemic has valued small-format concerts, closer, and it will be difficult to see those festivals with 30,000 people in which it was difficult to enjoy music, “he predicts. During the last year, in the midst of a pandemic, the firm was able to organize 450 small concerts. And its platform already exceeds 2,000 registered artists. At the hopeful pace set by vaccination, the startup aspires to bill one million euros this year. And to continue growing together with the dreamers who, trapped in the eternal noise, do not renounce to live by singing.

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