There’s no other word that better sums up new music-tech startup Audioheads than validation. The analytics company rose from the ashes of a non-validated startup and is now ultimately helping music venues validate what artists concert-goers want to see.
Co-Founder & CEO Cameron Camfield learned the validation lesson the hard way. Before Audioheads, he was part of Veripulse, another music startup that attempted to verify bands’ social media followings to better book successful shows. Despite a $500,000 seed round, customers didn’t bite and the startup failed.
However, for Camfield, the same question remained.
“We still wanted to answer the same idea – how to do you book more successful shows – and the answer was you ask the market,” he says.
But this time, they validated the idea first through market research.
Audioheads found people were happy to provide information about the kinds of shows and artists they wanted to see if they had incentives. The startup then turned to venues and asked if they could provide accurate data about what people wanted to see, would it be useful in booking shows. Interest was piqued.
Audioheads provides statistically valid market data to the venues, artists managers and promotion companies, collecting that data by providing incentives to fans such as free or discounted tickets.
“Users come on to Audioheads and they can create a show,” Camfield says.
Say a user wants to see Playing to Vapors in Columbus in November, they would start a free campaign and share it with friends, in the hopes of gaining a few hundred followers that say they would like to go as well – sort of like a crowdfunding campaign.
Audioheads takes that information to venues, artist managers and promotion companies, and “We sell them that data,” Camfield says. “We’re gauging market demand for what artists they want to see.” With the data in hand, it’s up to the venue or promotion company to implement.
“Audioheas is an analytics provider that helps provide guidance, but doesn’t solve everything,” Camfield says.
Audioheads can be a resource for artists and booking entities alike. Camfield says its good for early-stage promotions companies and artists because they often have limited resources. And for the smaller to mid-size artists that the platform is well-suited for, it can help them determine which city they should visit next. Artists can get on the platform and create their own shows (which is free) and gauge interest.
Audioheads also did some on-site data collection at this year’s Fashion Meets Music Festival, which they see as an ancillary service of the startup.
“We’re helping them with what went well this year and what did people like, and we‘re going to help them optimize and build the best festival for 2016,” Camfield says.
By offering free VIP tickets in exchange for insights, “We got over 400 surveys,” Camfield says. It’s enough data collection to be a statistically valid sample that will help shape FMMF’s future.
Audioheads is still in minimum viable product mode, but has amassed over 500 users and continues to grow everyday. Thus far, Camfield says reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
“That’s really a tribute to all the work we did before,” he says. “By the time we went to market our version was already like a version 20 without writing a line of code.”
The platform is filling a need versus forcing customers to like what they produce.
It’s been a bootstrapped operation so far, but Camfield says they’ve gotten further with Audioheads in 12 months with $10,000 of scraped together cash than they did in 14 months with $450,000 while pursuing Veripulse. Audioheads is in the process of raising a seed round and looking both in and outside of Columbus for funding.
Camfield says they chose Columbus as their launch city because they were already ingrained in both the entrepreneurial and music communities, but, “Ideally we see this scaling nationally.”
Audioheads plans to target bigger music cities like New York, Nashville, Austin and various locations in California.
For more information, visit audioheadsapp.com.