NYC-based Indie is a new music discovery and fan engagement app bridging the gap between independent artists, big name brands, and listeners. In the music industry, it is far too common for valuable opportunities to be guarded by gatekeepers and held out of reach of talented independent artists. Indie is addressing this opportunity gap with a revolutionary platform that uses conversational commerce to give up and coming artists and content creators the chance to get their content seen by big name brands – through an easy-to-use, multidirectional marketplace that facilitates content submissions, audience feedback, and brand engagement.
Indie has something for everybody. Creators get a new outlet for their content and a chance to win meaningful prizes, brands increase their engagement and receive a stream of audience-curated content, and listeners get the chance to provide feedback while getting paid for their opinion. With the focus initially on hip hop and R&B brands, Indie is now also creating opportunities for the notoriously difficult-to-monetize world of social media influencers and Instagram comedians.
The most promising thing about Indie is that it already works. Over the past three years, the Indie team – headed by serial entrepreneur, Kemar Darlington – has not only exceeded expectations in beta, but has built an impressively strong network of brand partners including major media outlets, radio stations, and a roster of artists, influencers, and media personalities that are already generating tens of thousands of user submissions and millions in new revenue. These are familiar names. Brand partners already in place and currently accepting submissions include big names like WorldstarHipHop, Hot 97’s DJ Funk Flex, T-Pain, Jadakiss, Eric Bellinger, and more – in addition to a host of popular radio stations from around the country.
How does it work?
There are essentially three different kinds of user of the Indie platform. There are artists, brand partners, and user-curators. First, and most importantly, are the Indie users that serve as the backbone of the submission system. Users get the chance to become their own mini-A&Rs – rating user-submitted content as “Fire”, “Needs Work” or “Trash” in a range of characteristics like Production, Flow, Lyrics, Chorus, Mix, and more. In return for their constructive feedback, curators receive in-app currency called Diamonds that can be withdrawn for real-life currency via PayPal. Curators can also earn big prizes through playlist contests by creating high-quality playlists containing content that other Indie users also rated highly.
Next of course, is the independent artist. These are artists and creators that are unsigned and not tied to any commercial record label. Independent artists use the Indie platform to submit video content to Indie’s brand partners – in exchange for feedback from Indie-curators and a chance to win valuable prizes ranging from a free feature to high-profile promotion, artist features, and more.
For the artists, they will for the first time be presented with a direct channel for getting in front of big name brands, media outlets, and influencers at an affordable rate… in a way that actually works. Too often, independent artists are subjected to gatekeepers and finders’ fees, only to be given 15 minutes of a random executive’s uninterested time. With Indie, the terms are clear, the opportunities are real, and the brands are ones you’ve actually heard of. Indie is a way for creators to shoot their shot without breaking the bank. With average submission prices ranging from $10 – $50, Indie is both an effective and affordable avenue for up and coming artists to access these big name brands and potentially catch their big break.
As for Indie’s brand partners – the brands, media outlets, and influencers that Indie users submit to – Indie has proven not only to be a viable alternative stream of revenue, but a valuable channel for engaging with fans, organizing content submissions, and curating user-generated content. Big companies are increasingly relying on user-submitted content for marketing promotions as well as vehicles for interacting with users and consumers (especially during the homebound days of quarantine). Indie is the perfect way for these brands to seamlessly facilitate these kinds of promotions and drastically improve their audience engagement. Current Indie brand partners are ranging from a few dozen to thousands of submissions per day, depending on the size of the brand and the nature of the prize on offer.
Indie’s model of user-generated submissions and crowdsourced curation is truly revolutionizing the way brands, independent artists, and listeners interact. The next iteration of the radio contest updated for the 21st century, Indie streamlines the roundabout and often tedious promotions, submission initiatives, and contests and promotions that are already taking place on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, and gives them a home that is purpose-built and more importantly of the culture.
Whether you are an independent artist looking to get your content seen, a brand or media personality, or just a fan of good content, the Indie platform was designed for you. Start uploading, start curating, start earning today.
Get your content seen. Get your opinion heard. Get paid.