Friday, March 18, 2011

David Rocks Goliath and Bloodies the Ticketmaster.

SXSW: Guguchu Innovates Ticketing App and JavaScript APIs While Bigger Companies Watch and Wait.

AUSTIN, TX (March 18, 2011) – Everyone at SXSW 2011 agrees that the music industry’s future will be founded on a band’s direct-to-fan communication. New York City’s Guguchu is taking on the big corporations with a sling shot... and winning. One of just a handful of integrated direct-to-fan platforms, Guguchu celebrated its first anniversary by releasing its direct-to-fan ticketing solution as well as STORE and PLAYER JavaScript APIs.

“In direct response to requests from bands and labels, Guguchu unveiled two features that can potentially eliminate ticket brokers, even the 1000 pound gorilla, Ticketmaster, as well as cookie cutter direct-to-fan music sites,” says Bernd Strenitz, CEO of Guguchu. “Fans of live music and musicians alike despise Ticketmaster and ticket brokers because of the outrageous fees that they attach to ticket prices. So we have developed an easy mobile technology app for bands to sell their own tickets directly from your band page and potentially bundle tickets with other products like downloads or merchandise,” he adds.

“We are encouraged that even though our company is small, like David, we can be nimble and compete and even lead against established Goliaths like Ticketmaster. We’re excited to see that one other company (Topspin), with a similar app, was released just one day after Guguchu’s,” Strenitz reveals. “Both Guguchu and Topspin are in the market to offer a better alternative to ticket brokers. There are challenges, but all summer long, we’ll be introducing this app at small New York City venues, street festivals, and Brooklyn rooftop shows. We’ll show that it can be done.”

Today’s musicians expect the ability to easily create customizable band websites that can be an online gathering space for fans and a place for their music store, song samples, gig information, show lists, merchandise, biography, discography, and tour booking tools.

“In addition to our easy-to-setup band page, our STORE and PLAYER JavaScript APIs offer bands the ability to easily create unique experiences with the same level of flexibility that artists use when creating album artwork,” says Florian Hoenig, Guguchu’s CTO.

How can these APIs be utilized?

“For one thing, we recognize how tech-savvy today’s independent labels are. They miss the expressive power of CD booklets and album artwork and have turned to creating unique online experiences. These people are highly creative and the age of digital downloads at iTunes has not provided them an outlet for this,” Hoenig says. “Traditionally, custom website integration was mostly done by adding widgets, which works well in many scenarios, but is also limited by a boxy, similar look-and-feel. Independent labels and small one or two-person outfits have been asking for custom APIs that can match their own uniqueness. How creative do you want to be in visual branding and band artwork? With these APIs, you can be as creative as your music is unique.”

“In cases where bands prefer having their own band website, blog, release page or other online fan or customer destination, but need a secure streaming infrastructure or music store, they can now use our JavaScript APIs and embed those features seamlessly on existing fan destination sites. The API is still in BETA and in our next release we’ll roll out the merchandise bundling solution to all accounts,” adds Hoenig.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Celebrating Guguchu’s first anniversary of its launch at SXSW with exciting new features!

Hey artists,

As many of you are preparing to head down to Austin for this year’s SXSW, we are celebrating Guguchu’s first birthday with two important and exciting feature releases. During SXSW Music week we are expecting to roll out your very own advance ticket sales solution as well as new powerful STORE and PLAYER APIs to all accounts.
  • Sell advance tickets for your shows with mobile ticketing: Fans can purchase tickets directly on your band page using credit cards or PayPal. Fans are issued printable tickets via email or simply show up at the gig and get their ticket confirmation code scanned straight off their smart phone display with the Guguchu Ticket Terminal iPhone app now available free of charge on Apple’s App Store. You get paid instantly and directly.
  • Create unique fan experiences with new APIs: Is the band page too much or too little for what you want to achieve? Get complete creative freedom with the new Javascript STORE and PLAYER APIs. Design your own HTML website to promote a release, event, single, album or your band and use the STORE and PLAYER APIs for seamless and secure purchasing and listening experiences while maintaining complete creative freedom. No need to develop or pay for a substandard, standardized music player or shopping cart solution. Use the APIs and, best of all, you keep control of album plays and the check-out process.
Find out more about existing and new features here.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guguchu is first integrated direct-to-fan platform to offer DIY ticketing for everyone.

Enables bands to sell pre-show tickets on their band page accepting credit card and Paypal. Fans are issued QR-codes, which can be scanned at the door off a printable ticket or their smart phone displays using an iPhone app.

NEW YORK, NY (1 March 2011) – Guguchu, the provider of an integrated, direct-to-fan ecommerce solution for bands and record labels, has introduced DIY ticketing enabling bands to pre-sell tickets to shows on their band pages.

When announcing an upcoming show by selecting a venue from Guguchu’s database of nearly 15,000 venues, bands can elect to offer pre-sale tickets, at a discount if they choose to do so. A buy button is added to the band’s page and a notification informs fans about the pre-sale on all connected social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Fans are issued printable tickets with a QR-code by email or simply show up with their smart phone at the gig and get their ticket confirmation code scanned straight off their smart phone display using a ticketing terminal app which runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Bands get paid instantly and directly. No hassle, no mailing of paper tickets, no relying on the venue's existing infrastructure. DIY at its best!

“With this latest feature release, we show once again that it is absolutely possible to offer powerful and easy-to-use direct-to-fan solutions for everyone regardless of existing fan bases, resources, sales volumes or affiliation. Topspin has been offering its ticketing solution for some time, but to a select group of a few thousand invited artists only thereby denying hundreds of thousands of artists access to their solution. This may change in the coming weeks when Topspin will open up its platform to everyone, but it remains to be seen how easy and intuitive their new version will be and therefore how accessible it will really be to everyone. We have been working relentlessly on releasing powerful direct-to-fan solutions for everyone taking the odd MySpace page to an entirely new level. News Corp. has put MySpace up for sale and it is difficult to see a buyer emerge who will take a particularly strong interest in its music business, given that bands only make up a fraction of MySpace’s total user base. We therefore invite all bands with a MySpace account to join the growing community of artists benefitting from Guguchu’s powerful direct-to-fan solutions for everyone”, says Bernd Strenitz, CEO of Guguchu.

About Guguchu

Guguchu is a powerful one-stop direct-to-fan ecommerce platform for bands. Its team has set out on a mission to enable every artist, band, manager and label to manage the relationship with their fans directly, provide data-driven unique insights and cut down on the overhead needed to build everything from scratch. So far, the platform offers a range of features and Guguchu’s team keeps going:
  • Easy to set up, fully customizable and professionally looking band pages
  • A music store with instant and direct payments and some of the lowest fees around
  • A sleek mobile ticketing solution
  • A rich HTML newsletter composer with embeddable music tracks
  • A smart media kit allowing bands to track the level of interest by venues
  • A venue database with 15,000 gigs with contact information
  • Embeddable widgets allowing bands to sign up fans and sell music anywhere on the Web
  • Unique fan experiences on band websites through API-driven feature integration
Guguchu also works with independent record labels on their own custom-built data-driven promotion and store solutions. Guguchu was founded in 2009, launched in 2010 and is based in New York City.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lauren Keyson from NY Convergence reviews the January NY Tech Meetup

NY Tech Meetup: From Uncomfortable to the Inspirational
January 12, 2011 at 10:33 am
By Lauren Keyson

Three types of startups demonstrated their products/services on Monday at the NY Tech Meetup: some that were interesting from a social and cultural perspective, some that were “safe” bets for investment, and others that were simply audaciously clever and technologically imaginative. There was even one company that made the audience feel uncomfortable. This one was sitesimon, whose tag line is “what people are looking at,” as the company shares your clickstream manually or automatically using its browser add-on. This basically means that users get to see every single page that their friends and family have been visiting. The site programmers are working on a solution to stop the sharing of inappropriate content.

Munchly, on the other hand, seemed to be a fairly safe bet. Its application allows customers to purchase concessions without waiting in line. While early unexpected obstacles encountered by the founders included having to scale down their technology so that 14-year-olds could use it, the company is already well on its way, having signed one major theater chain and a handful of stadiums. Munchly’s Greg Pelly called their market “an industry that’s behind the times,” and the NY Tech Meetup audience loved it – a few attendees even gave it a standing ovation.

Guguchu also seemed to be a winner. This is a powerful platform used by bands, band managers and labels to assist with outreach to fans, as it is a way for them to make more money through their own endeavors, without having to rely on iTunes, where songs go for as little as 99 cents. With their own slick band page, musicians can create albums, tracks and box sets and sell more music, shows and merchandise. Another demoing company that was fascinating from a cultural perspective was, a chat room-oriented site built around graphics. Users can paste, upload or snap photos from a webcam then riff with each other and create dialogue through photos.

But the company that stood out was VYou, a conversational video app that allows users to send messages and get video responses — imagine YouTube as a live, personal conversation. While it’s intimate, it has the reach of broadcast. “It’s really freaking cool,” said Brandon Diamond, one of the group’s organizers. Part of VYou’s demo included messages and responses from Kevin Smith, the director. In one of his video responses to a question, Smith said nothing, but chose to pick his nose for several moments. Outrageous? Yes. But genius too.

“I don’t know if I’d invest in all the companies that showed their products tonight,” said Diamond. “But folks don’t come here for investment purposes; they come here to see magic happen.

Read the article here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guguchu at the NY Tech Meetup

Guguchu will present at tomorrow's NY Tech Meetup to 751 technologists. Should be fun. See you tomorrow in case you managed to grab a ticket. The meetup is sold out. Further infos available on NY Tech Meetup's website.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Get your music ready for sale in 5 easy steps

This tutorial explains how to make your music available for sale using your own music store in less than 15 minutes.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

More exciting news! A powerful selling solution and a brand new band page

We’ve introduced Smart Payment Routing™ allowing you to sell both single tracks and higher priced items while minimizing Paypal fees, bringing you the best selling solution for artists.

  • Sell tracks and albums
  • Get paid instantly and direct to your account
  • Set the price or let your fans choose how much they want to pay
  • Give away free tracks or offer them in return for your fans' email addresses
  • A 4-step check-out process ensures you don't lose potential customers along the way
  • Smart Payment Routing minimizes Paypal fees

View this quick tutorial on our blog and start selling today in 5 easy steps. We’ve also added additional tutorials on other Guguchu features in the “Help” section of your band manager.


... and automatically ported your existing band page. The new pages look great, but make sure you log in and check the colors, banners and logos.

Key features:
  • A nice, clean, simple solution to get you going with your own branded destination site
  • No ads, high quality and secure streaming, no fuss
  • Customize it with your own background images, logo and colors
  • Easy fan sign up to your newsletter, Facebook and Twitter
  • Allow fans to spread your music across their social nets
  • Announce shows and news, feature photos and videos

On Tuesday, Paypal took stage with Facebook to unveil micropayments for digital goods. Paypal fees are now $0.10 for a $1.00 track whereas previously fees were around $0.33. Guguchu offers this solution to its bands since last week and automatically routes transactions under $12.00 as micropayments, bringing you the best selling solution for artists.

With this great news we’d also like to share with you how Guguchu makes money. Signup and using Guguchu stays free, while we keep a flat 15% of your sales. Paypal fees are covered by you. That’s it. No hidden fees whatsoever.

Here's an example of selling a single track...

You sell a track for $1.00
Paypal fees: 5% + 5 cents = $0.10 (using Paypal standard payments this would have been $0.33)
Guguchu fees: 15% = $0.15
You keep: $0.75

And an example of selling a higher priced item...

You sell an item for $14.00
Paypal fees (automatically routed as standard payment): 2.9% + 20 cents = $0.61
Guguchu fees: 15% = $2.10
You keep: $11.29

Note that an additional fee of approximately 1% may apply for international transactions, i.e. if your fans buy your music from abroad.

Keep well, The Guguchu Staff