SoundBetter, an online portal which connects musicians with audio engineers, is targeting accelerated growth in the next 12 months after receiving an injection of funding from Silicon Valley investors Foundry Group, 500 Startups and AOL Ventures.
SoundBetter first came to PSNEurope's attention in February 2013, when founder Shachar Gilad explained to Erica Basnicki that he launched the platform to help musicians find and hire production professionals while also helping those pros to get work (see Better networking with SoundBetter). It has since grown to include tens of thousands of mixing and mastering engineers, producers, songwriters, session singers, drummers and more in over 3,000 cities worldwide, and is on track to deliver over $1m of business this year.
A holistic approach
SoundBetter's diversity of users – it started out only listing (mixing/mastering) engineers – makes the current version of the site a great resource not only for musicians, but for audio pros looking to hire other pros for their own productions, says Gilad (pictured). "We’re finding that service providers are now hiring each other,” he comments. "For example, a producer can find a singer and hire her securely through the platform. This increases artists’ access to top talent beyond their local network, and adds a layer of trust when hiring remotely. Clients know they will get the best prices due to competition and transparency on the platform.
"Artists also benefit from great service thanks to the built-in review system. Discovery is simplified with the ability to find the right fit based on reviews, sound samples, genre specialisation, credits and more."
Artists posting a job on SoundBetter receive a handful of custom proposals for free from SoundBetter’s 'Premium Pros' – users who have been through the site's screening process and vetted for their "experience, skill and customer service fit". “This ensures clients coming to SoundBetter have a great experience,” continues Gilad. “Only a small portion of applicants are accepted as SoundBetter Premium Pros, keeping the quality of the work at a top level.”
'The LinkedIn of the pro-audio world'
Professional users' public profiles include credits, sound samples, gear lists, interviews, verified reviews and endorsements, positioning SoundBetter as “The LinkedIn of the pro-audio world”, says Gilad, with pros using their SoundBetter profile to develop and manage their online reputation. “Every day we connect pros in New York with clients from Japan and Saudi Arabia, pros in LA with projects from Turkey and Australia, Grammy winners with clients from Taiwan and Russia," he says. "It’s really rewarding.”
As an example, UK artist James Stordy recently hired US artist Andrew Capra through SoundBetter, and their song is now nominated at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
Extending existing platforms
SoundBetter is also planning to form partnerships and integrations with DAW/pro-audio manufacturers.
“By connecting their users with vetted, service-oriented pros who help them make great sounding music and get to the finish line, we help our partners enhance the experience and usage of their products,” Gilad concludes. “That’s a great win for everyone.”