People’s Champion finalist 2018: Encore Musicians

This early-stage music-booking service offers top-class acoustical accompaniment for every occasion. Does it sound like it could be your People's Champion?

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We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:
  • Gareth Platt

Start-up name: Encore Musicians
Founders: James McAulay, James King
Started in: 2015
Based in: London
Business description: Online marketplace for booking musicians for all types of events

Shortlisted category:

Innovative Business of the Year

The Encore Musicians story

At last, after years of shame and recrimination, it’s seems the end is nigh: the rubbish wedding band may finally have been kicked off-stage.

The start-up we’ve got to thank is Encore Musicians, whose online musician-booking platform offers a choice of over 25,000 talented musicians, from harpists to harmonica players, drums and didgeridoos, banjos and bagpipes.

Whatever the occasion, they will have a musician who fits the bill. So there’s no need to book that DJ who plays live lounge versions of ‘90s boy bands anymore, simply because he’s the only game in town.

In addition to its huge catalogue of musical acts, the website includes all the information users need to make an informed decision about the artist they’re hiring, including videos, reviews, song-lists and more.

The innovative platform not only makes it easy for users to find the perfect musician for their event; musicians also have a great new means to find paid work, cutting down on time and admin for both sides.

Encore takes a fixed cut from musicians’ earnings, rather than charging a fee like other agencies. They thereby align their objectives with those of the musicians, meaning that they only make money when the musicians do.

Co-founder James McAuley credits this business model with the company’s success, as it means that “our focus from day one has been to get them more bookings and earn them as much as possible.”

McAuley and his co-founder and CTO, James King also have a solid understanding of computer science, having both studied the subject at Cambridge University. However, the pair didn’t actually meet until they both took part in the Entrepreneur First programme. ‘Surprising, considering how sociable computer scientists are,” McAuley wryly reflects.

Since launch, Encore Musicians has handled nearly 4,000 bookings and perhaps the company’s greatest achievement to date has been the creation of its industry leading solution Encore Pay, which handles deposits, invoices, booking confirmations and payments, and automatically transferring the musicians’ payment 24 hours after the gig.

Why Encore Musicians made our shortlist:

Encore Musicians is shaking up the music-booking industry in a way that’s beneficial for everyone involved and redefining industry standards for musicians.

In combining its computer science expertise with its passion for music, the company has pioneered a new payment platform which protects the interests of all parties.

Where to find out more about Encore Musicians:

Website: encoremusicians.com
Twitter: @joinencore

Gareth Platt

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