OREM — Scott Warner sees the problems artists are facing in the music industry. But he also sees opportunity.
“Music is broken in so many ways,” said Warner, who recognizes that artists struggle with music piracy, issues with their labels and other financial dilemmas. “There’s a huge opportunity in the music world because of all of the problems that exist within it. Everyone’s trying to figure out a way to fix music and help artists make money again.”
In January 2012, Warner, who spent over a decade in the sales industry and eventually became a vice president of sales at Pinnacle Security, began a startup called Gigg. The Orem-based company balances social media and music as a way of promoting musicians from around the globe.
Warner described Gigg as a combination of social media and music. He referred to it as “Twitter meets Instagram," adding, “They kind of get married and Gigg is their wedding song.”
Gigg allows users to add music to their posts. Users can also attach lyrics and audio to their words, pictures and videos, drawing from a vast online database of over 1 million songs.
The company's mobile app is currently available for free for iOS and Android devices, and a desktop version is also available online at gigg.com.
Warner said his primary focus is to help aspiring musicians and establish Gigg as a legitimate music platform for up-and-coming talent.
“I want to create opportunities for artists to get exposure, help them make money in interesting ways and help them get their music out,” he said. “I want all the artists across the globe to know that if you’re a great artist, if you submit a video, if you become part of our platform, we will find you. And once we do find you, we will put you in a place or a position to help develop your talents.”
Gigg regularly hosts playoff-style competitions to promote new music. Warner said that the competition platform has been set up to work virally. When artists submit videos, they also get published on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“There are artists all over the world that just deserve a shot," Warner said. "What better way to push it than through the Internet?”
Musicians who enter submissions for the tournaments are bracketed (a la March Madness), with winners being determined by votes accrued through gigg.com and the mobile app. In the past, winning artists have had their videos posted on established bands’ social media pages, won concert tickets and backstage passes, and had opportunities to open for artists such as Boyz II Men.
Currently, Gigg is hosting a competition to discover an act to open for Carrie Underwood at Provo’s annual Stadium of Fire event.
Such competitions have helped discover talent from all over the world. Warner reported that he received over 5,000 contest submissions from musicians in 107 countries last year. A full list of Gigg's music tournaments can be found online at gigg.com/tournaments.
Gigg has been able to partner with big-name musicians such as Robin Thicke and Jay Sean. An article in Forbes Magazine in December talked about how the two artists have used Gigg's music platform as a way to promote their work to millions of their fans.
In the past, Gigg has also joined forces with acclaimed artists such as Maroon 5, Neon Trees, Gavin DeGraw, Andy Grammer, Sara Barielles and Vertical Horizon.
“The reason they reach out to us is because we have created a tool to give them exposure in unique ways," Warner said. "If an artist wants to create some buzz around an upcoming tour or an upcoming album being released or a new song that’s being released, we can push and promote it, either through our competition platform or our social media platform, and it goes viral.”
Going forward, Warner hopes that Gigg will become a go-to destination for good music.
“My hope is to one day earn respect and loyalty in the music industry, but most importantly, with aspiring artists," Warner said. "I really, really want to create a place for aspiring artists … for them to look to — or go to — to help them achieve their dreams. I hope to be a household name and, as artists continue to develop their talents, as they’re ready to move into the next level, Gigg is the first place they go to, right off the bat, because they know that opportunities exist right there on our site.”
Gigg and the Stadium of Fire 2014
Gigg is searching for a music act to open for Carrie Underwood at the 2014 Stadium of Fire concert in Provo. Details can be found at gigg.com.
The Gigg Experience
Past Gigg contestants talk about their experience competing (and winning) contests with the popular Orem-based music company. More information can be found at gigg.com.