Startups #nofilter sits down with Loni Schuman, founder and creator of a very cool app called Fanify, which brings the classic street artist into an app, letting fans watch live performances on their phones, in return for an optional tip into a digital tip jar.
1) Your app connects live musicians with new fans. Give us a few more details for those who aren’t yet familiar with it.
Fanify was dreamt up after my time as both a musician being familiar with the vast online music community (Youtube, Facebook, Vine musicians) as well as my time spent working in the music industry at a major record label. Todays top stars are getting their start from the internet, think Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Meghan Trainor etc. Before getting ‘discovered,’ these artists spent their days on the internet and social media building up their names, gaining exposure, growing their fan bases and creating music for their internet fans and loyal followings.
What was upsetting to me though, and what Fanify is aiming to change, is how the artists use the internet. Artists constantly need two things to get ‘discovered’:
They have tons of content promotion sites, like Facebook Instagram, Twitter, and Vine, and when in need of funding often turn to crowdfunding sites. Converting fans from the content promotion sites to the funding sites, when the fan is really needed, is difficult.
Fanify makes it simple for the artists by allowing them to video lives stream for their fans wherever, whenever and at any point during a performance, fans are able to tip the artist in $1 increments.
2) Let’s be real for a minute: why would anyone pay to hear music from someone who is already performing for free?
You’re getting an exclusive, original, show from your favorite artist from their room, recording studio, backstage before their concert, or anywhere else. It’s intimate and THAT you can’t get or find anywhere else.
3) Do you have competitors? What sets you apart from them?
You may have heard of some of them…. Youtube? Periscope? Facebook? 🙂 These are all companies that have features which help artists promote their music. Youtube is obvious, Facebook with its recent live video feature, and Periscope… well it’s a livestreaming app.
But, none of these platforms allow artists to earn tips for their work. Fanify does and that’s what sets us apart FROM anyone else and why we’ve been getting such fantastic feedback from artists
4) What has been your PR strategy? How will you drive installs to your app?
We uphold active social media accounts where our target market is. Our Facebook page (@Fanify), Instagram feed (@Fanify_app), and Twitter feed (@Fanify_app).
We post daily lyric visuals, song covers, and the latest stories in music in order to connect with both musicians and music lovers/ fans. After posting a cover, we contact the artist and maintain a strong connection.
5) What is the one thing you are most excited about right now?
FANIFY APP HAS LAUNCHED AND IS NOW LIVE IN THE APP STORE!!!
6) What is one regret you have since you started working on Fanify?
No regrets. But, there’s a debate in the startup world whether you should ‘jump in’ or systematically plan out your business. You need both. I should’ve planned a tiny bit more in order to save some time and money. But hey, we’ve launched, so I guess we did okay 🙂
7) Do you have any growth numbers you’d like to share with our readers? Number of signups?
To date we’ve contacted thousands of artists, including some of the top Youtube, Vine, and Soundcloud artists who have followings in the millions. Hundreds of artists have expressed excitement and eagerness to use Fanify in the App Store. Additionally, we have 30 artists signed up with verified accounts who will start earning tips, some of whom have social media followings in the millions.
8) What is your long term vision for the company? How large do you want to scale it?
We’re aiming to change the music industry. We want to turn into a music network where users can open the Fanify app to listen to live music or pay for a privately streamed live concert.
9) Other than Fanify, what is your favorite app?
Vine – I love the seconds long covers artists put up.
10) iPhone or Android and why.
iPhone. Because iPhone.
11) Which apps do you have on your phone’s home screen?
Music streaming apps, a guitar tuner, photo editing apps, Snapchat obviously (@Lschu92), and the beta version of Fanify.
12) What website do you go to when you need to check if your internet is working?
Billboard.com of course!
13) One piece of advice for Startups #nofilter?
If you have an idea for a company, don’t question it. You had the idea for a reason. Ask around, talk to people, feel it out. If you can’t get the idea out of your head – pursue it!