midemblog: How did the idea for Onesheet come about?
Brenden Mulligan: I wanted to create an insanely simple way for artists to build a beautiful website in a matter of minutes. Artists have all this great content all over the place, but there isn’t a central place you can access it all. And artists spent a lot of time and money building websites where they need to replicate all this content again. I wanted to solve that with a simple page builder that would be a great representation of the band and their brand without adding another To-Do to the band’s online maintenance schedule.
> How did your past experience at Artistdata and Sonicbids experience help you?
I’ve been working with artists for so many years, that it made it really easy to understand how to build for them. I generally know what level of complexity appeals to them, and I know the core things they need help with. The biggest help, however, is just knowing all the companies in the space. I was immediately able to put together a list of partners and because a lot of them were integrated with ArtistData, I knew who to talk to about making the integration work right.
> When did you launch, and how has uptake been since?
We launched in early July to a flurry of press. About 10,000 bands signed up in the first month, and since then growth has stayed really strong. Right now, we’re less concerned with signups and more concerned with increasing the presence of these Onesheets on the web and driving as much traffic for the bands as possible.
> Your business model is freemium: how’s that working?
I’m not looking to turn this into a huge business, but a useful tool that can sustain itself and help a lot of musicians. In keeping the scale of the organisation small, it makes it possible to keep the lights on without charging a lot, and that’s the goal. I want as many bands to use this as possible, most of them for free, and get a lot of value out of it. We’re seeing a higher than average conversion rate to the Pro (paid) service, and I’m really excited to see how that grows with the release of the next version of Onesheet, which will have a much more attractive pricing model.
> How did you raise funding for the service: VCs? If not is that planned?
Currently, I’ve self-funded Onesheet. It’s not in my plans to raise VC for it, but we’ll see. As I mentioned before, the Pro service is more than sustaining the business at this point.
> When do you aim to break even?
We broke even 3 days after launching the Pro service.
> What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs looking to make their music startup stand out from the crowd?
I’m a believer in simplicity and focus. Find a problem and try to solve that problem in a simple and focused way. Start simple, with some basic features, instead of trying to add every feature you can think of. As soon as you have something useful, start letting some musicians use it and listen to their feedback. Watch them use it. Ask them to explain to YOU what’s useful about it. And then refine the product to solve one single problem really really well.
This just in: Onesheet has been nominated for a Crunchie, or TechCrunch Award: click here to vote!