Once upon a time, people met and fell in love without the help of the internet. Musical relationships were like this, too: Hall and Oates, Simon and Garfunkel, Sonny and Cher.
The developers of a new app, Treble, hope to change the way musicians connect, too. Marketplace Tech's Ben Johnson spoke with Treble CEO Matt Bond about how it works and how the company plans to make money. Below is an edited transcript from their conversation.
Ben Johnson: What is Treble? A Tinder for musicians?
Matt Bond: Treble is a professional network, similar to LinkedIn, but specifically built for the music space.
Johnson: What does it look like?
Bond: You can search for people and you can search and discover opportunities. Let's say I just want to browse female singers for a new track that I want to put out. I can hit "female singers within 30 miles" and it will filter out everybody who isn't a female singer. I can play their music, click into their profile, check out their Instagram, check out all their social channels and then ultimately decide if I want to connect with them.
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Johnson: How does the software that drives the platform work in terms of connecting people to others they might actually collaborate well with?
Bond: Externally, we look at people's social metrics, not just the numbers of followers people have, but also who you might be mutual friends with on different platforms. Internally, we're working on an algorithm that will help ultimately build patterns between, for example, if I might like one artist, then chances are I might like a second artist as well.
Johnson: How are you guys going to make money?
Bond: In the short term, we're making money on the events and the experiences that we're throwing. It definitely helps us stay lean and pay our team.
Johnson: So you're charging people at the door for beer or something?
Bond: We charge a little bit at the door. We're also taking in money from sponsors for the physical events. As a company, we think there are tremendous opportunities to monetize on the digital platform once we build up the user base.
Johnson: Like what? Are you guys going to start a record label or are you going to sell advertising?
Bond: Well, there definitely is opportunity to advertise on the platform. But I'm not sure that's the direction we want to go in. What we think could be interesting is the idea of premium features that allow people to search more efficiently for the talent they need.