UGigs: Claire Barrett
UGigs is a live streaming app, providing a way for entertainers and audiences alike to host and attend gigs and events virtually
Name of founder: Claire Barrett
Location: 99 Oxford Rd, Denham, UB9 4DE
Date launched: 01/01/2021
Number of employees: 3
As a gigging musician, founder Claire Barrett was severely impacted by the pandemic, like many other artists and the wider arts industry. Barrett thought about how to solve this problem – and so the UGigs live streaming app was created. Read on to learn more about UGigs and the startup process…
What does your business do?
UGigs Stream is a live streaming entertainment app, allowing artists and performers to create at-home live gigs and sell tickets through the app – imagine if Ticketmaster and Zoom had a baby!
Music and entertainment lovers can use the app to find live gigs, and either buy tickets or book a private performance for a special event. The live gigs can then be live-streamed from any device.
My vision is for this app to help entertainers carry on doing what they love doing. This app can be used for all kinds of gigs, whether you want to gig from your living room or a stadium, directly to your followers/fans.
It’s also designed to help venues (once they’re allowed to reopen) create more revenue as they adjust to social distancing by allowing them to book your stream into their venue or book you for a live gig and sell the stream to people at home.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea came about two months into the pandemic. As a gigging musician, I was massively impacted when Covid hit and wanted to create something to help all live entertainers overcome and adapt to the ‘new normal’.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The original UGigs idea was to build a music community where musicians and venues can communicate directly without the use of expensive agents.
I knew there was a market for this because being a musician for 10+ years, I know how annoying agents can be – booking you to play a gig miles away, giving bad service to both the venue and artist, and taking large cuts!
When the pandemic hit, we altered the idea to be an online offering. The arts industry has taken a massive hit and artists are looking for any way to start getting an income through their talents again, whilst music lovers are missing live music! UGigs Stream app could be the solution to both these problems.
What were you doing before launching your business?
I was a gigging musician before launching my business. But my work was hugely affected by the pandemic and now I work my day job as an estate agent, as well as running UGigs Stream.
Have you always dreamed of starting a business?
I haven't always dreamed of starting a business to be honest. This all started because of my love of music and being a musician. I saw a gap in the market that could hugely help people like myself and went for it!
How did you finance your business?
Financing has been one of my biggest challenges, as the app is very complex, so it cost a lot to get it developed, as well as marketing etc. However, I managed to get a small amount of investment and am still looking for investors who are in the music industry.
Explain your business model and how you make money.
The business model is that we take 10% of any transactions made through the app. We have three income streams:
– When a venue pays for a performer
– When an audience member purchases tickets
– When an artist gets paid
What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?
As mentioned above, finances were the toughest challenges. However, we overcome this with determination and a small amount of investment.
What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?
The whole business has been fueled by the pandemic, so it's been a very unique experience.
Describe your first breakthrough.
Our first breakthrough was changing the idea from the original UGigs music community idea to the virtual app offering. It is a hugely complex app idea but I have had an amazing team helping me with everything!
How has Brexit impacted your business? Do you think it will in the future?
It hasn't really affected us yet.
What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?
Three tips I would give to aspiring business owners are: firstly, research your idea and anything similar. Secondly, make contact with the right people, pick their brains, and try and get the right people on board, and thirdly, just go for it! Believe in your idea and yourself.
What is one resolution you have for your business this year?
One resolution I have is just to believe in myself and commit to making this app a huge success.
How do you see your business developing in the next three years?
In three years, I am hoping that we have normality back, but I still think that live streaming will be here to stay. I can see UGigs Stream being utilised worldwide in all aspects of streaming.
I’d like to think that the app will be on all music and entertainment fans’ phones, and it will be used for every kind of entertainer to monetise their talent.
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