There's been a lot written about the decline of the live music industry in Sydney since the lockout laws, but one business is trying to keep the music dream alive.
During his university days, music-lover Edwin Onggo spent plenty of nights attending gigs and club events. But without a full-time job, it was an expensive pastime.
That experience seeded a business idea that would eventually become GiggedIn, a Netflix-style subscription service that allows members to attend a varying number of shows per month, without having to pay for each one individually.
"We work with all the best promoters, agents and acts across the country and we curate really amazing shows we reckon our members are going to love," Edwin explains.
"From there, we secure an allocation of tickets."
GiggedIn's membership plans range from $15 - $70 a month, with the most expensive plan giving users access to up to six ticketed events per month.
Edwin says the business is all about keeping Sydney's nightlife as vibrant and accessible as possible.
"The lockout laws are tough, they've hurt a lot of venues. From our perspective, all we can do to motivate music fans to go out there and discover more live music, is to make it more affordable and way easier.”
"I think the industry is really receptive to that because we're about getting people out of the house and that's what the industry wants. Essentially, we help drive ticket sales.”
An evolving business model
In the four years since it launched, GiggedIn’s business model has undergone a series of changes. Initially it functioned more like a crowdfunding platform.
“I’ve always loved music but I never understood why some of my favourite acts weren’t coming to Australia," Edwin says. "So I thought we could remove the risk when it came to promoting events, and get fans to pledge to buy tickets. Once we got a minimum number then we could bring any act to the country."
While that model worked for a while, it couldn’t be scaled.
“So we pivoted. We created a consumer-facing proposition, but still solving the same problem of how to get more fans to more shows. That’s when the subscription platform was born."With $1.3 million in funding raised to date, the business is now focusing on growing its membership base. Currently the service is only available in Sydney and Melbourne, but Brisbane is expected to come online early next year.
" we've had 33 per cent growth and 43 per cent growth ," Edwin says.
The ultimate goal is to roll the service out all across Australia, and then – hopefully – overseas.
"I think in this day and age, people are glued to their phones. And in my view, experiences are one of the most precious things you should accumulate with you and your friends. We're just about changing the way people are discovering the best next experience they can do on the weekend."