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Groover helps artists reach audiences via tastemakers.

Boston-based indie artist Walter the Producer caught my attention last Monday. His Spotify has fewer than 150,000 monthly listeners, and none of my playlists include him. He may never have been discovered if I hadn’t looked for his music on Shazam at a Phoenix brewery 2,000 miles away.

Music discovery has become a game. Walter the Producer jokes in his Spotify artist profile, “If you gatekeep me, I will hunt you down.” Rich artists have always had an advantage in promotion over independent performers. However, Spotify algorithm adjustments, popular TikTok tracks, and Pitchfork and Rolling Stone approach modifications have made it harder.

Music creation is simpler than ever. This dynamic inspired Groover’s creators. The 2018 Paris startup lets independent musicians submit songs to curators who may provide criticism and promote excellent music. Romain Palmieri, Groover’s co-founder and CEO, claimed he and his two co-founders founded the firm to solve their music marketing problems.

“Independent artists have more access to music creation, which is great and creates more creativity, but the main challenge for artists is how to promote the music and get heard by the right people and curated by the right people,” Palmieri added. “We wanted to build something to solve this.”

Groover raised $8 million. Series A is headed by OneRagtime, Techmind, Trind, and Mozza Angels. Palmieri said the firm would utilize the investment to grow into the U.S., its biggest market, and add artist benefits like mentoring and advertising.

The business concept for this firm stands out. Groover’s 3,000+ music curators establish their own prices, and each transaction splits half between them and Groover. Palmieri claimed composers receive their money back if curators don’t listen to their songs within seven days, but 90% of requests are fulfilled.

While I enjoy the idea of artists having more direct interactions with curators, I hate that pay-to-play is the best option for independent artists. Groover curators promote music they enjoy and are paid to listen to.

But! I understand that music journalism is diminishing as independent artists proliferate. I like solutions, even if they’re imperfect. Groover seems like the most artist-friendly non-earned marketing since artists can pick who they collaborate with, the outreach is cheap, and the response rate is strong.

Palmieri said that most independent artists lack better or cheaper choices. They may pitch music journals endlessly without success or pay for PR, which doesn’t guarantee success.

Palmieri claimed that music curators benefit from this method. They also struggle to locate gems in the expanding flood of new music. Groover’s technology makes their duties simpler and pays them directly.

As a listener, discovering new music has become harder; therefore, I’m delighted someone is fixing this. I’ve seen tweets and spoken to people that demonstrate this problem is widespread. My high school buddies and I formed the Music Aficionados Facebook group to share new music, but only one person posts.

Other startups are helping tiny artists besides Groover. Another firm, GigFinesse, streamlines booking and payments for performers and venues.

I loved GigFinesse like Groover—startups with obvious answers for both sides. Both startups aid artists and industry professionals who launch them. To prosper, the community needs each other. Every musician begins.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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