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Gigswiz goes after concert ticket business, lures bands with cash bonuses

February 16, 2011 |  5:43 pm

Money talks. That's what Gigswiz, an online ticketing startup that launched this week at the New Music Seminar in Los Angeles, is counting on.

Gigswiz_logo_dark The Finnish company is promising to give bands one-third of its 15% service fee for each ticket that the bands help to sell via a Gigswiz widget embedded on the band's fan site. On a $10 ticket with a $1.50 fee, for example, the band would get 50 cents.

Gigswiz is betting that bands will sign up and promote their concerts better if they see hard dollars coming back.

Kai Lemmetty Gigswiz As it is, many bands are too busy to think about tickets, leaving the task to managers or venue promoters. "Green Day played in Helsinki last summer, and I couldn't buy a ticket on their website," said Kai Lemmetty, the 27-year-old co-founder of Gigswiz. "That's ridiculous."

But bands are often in the best position to market their concerts because of their relationship to fans, Lemmetty said. The widget is a no-fuss option that automatically sends alerts for upcoming shows on the band's Facebook and Twitter pages, Lemmetty said.

The challenge for Gigswiz, however, is in getting venues on board. In the ticketing world, promoters are the deciders, not bands. And many of the top venues already have multi-year exclusive contracts with a single ticketing service such as Ticketmaster or Ticketfly in exchange for a substantial upfront fee.

As a result, the company is going after smaller venues and music festivals, which tend not to have exclusive deals, said David Hazan, who runs the company's U.S. operations. Hazan estimated that about half of the concert tickets sold are for small, general admission events. In that market, at least, there are still a few seats left for newcomers such as Gigswiz to play.

-- Alex Pham

Twitter: @AlexPham

Photo: Gigswiz co-founder Kai Lemmetty. Credit: Gigswiz.