Sonicbids, Run by Former Music Talent Agent, Brings Band Gig-Booking Into the Digital Age, Adds San Francisco Presence

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promoters for advertising gigs, and also takes a cut when artists apply to a specific venue or event using the site.

Earlier this month the company announced its first acquisition: the purchase of San Francisco-based ArtistData, a startup that helps bands spread word of their upcoming gigs to fans. “If a fan doesn’t show up at a gig, the gig doesn’t exist,” Panay says.

ArtistData’s CEO, Brenden Mulligan, will stay on as Sonicbids’ vice president of strategic development, and will head the San Francisco office for the company. The acquisition of ArtistData, which allows bands to publish gig information to a slew of social media outlets through one user account, is one way Panay is furthering his company’s mission of improving the dialogue between fans and artists, he says. “If Sonicbids is all about getting gigs, ArtistData is about helping bands promote those gigs,” says Panay.

Panay first drummed up support for Sonicbids at a Berklee career fair in 2001, by entering bands that signed up on the Sonicbids’ site into a drawing for a guitar signed by The Police guitarist Andy Summers (an artist he knew from his talent agent days). Panay continued to build support for his site by partnering with music festivals across the country, offering Sonicbids as the main submission platform for bands who wanted to apply to these venues. “I violated every spam law in humanity,” he jokes.

He continued to accrue band and promoter users for the site using many of the same business tactics he honed in his talent agent days, he says. “It’s all just an issue of discipline and volume,” he says, noting the not-so-secret sauce for success as an agent and entrepreneur is willingness to make as many calls as it takes. Panay also … Next Page »

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