Groover bridges the gap in promoting independent artists


Last Monday I discovered Walter the Producer, an independent musician based in Boston. His music isn’t on any of the playlists I follow and he has less than 150,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. If I hadn’t searched his song on Shazam while I was 2,000 miles from home at a brewery in Phoenix, I probably never would have found it.

Finding new music has become something of a game. Walter the producer doesn’t even care about it either; his Spotify artist bio simply says: “If you keep me, I’ll hunt you down.” Artists with deep pockets have always had a leg up on independent musicians when it comes to promotion. But algorithm changes at Spotify, the rise of viral songs on TikTok, and strategy shifts at places like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone have made it much more difficult.

It’s easier than ever to create music. This dynamic is what inspired the founders of Groover. The Paris-based startup launched in 2018 as a platform to help independent artists promote themselves by allowing them to submit their music to individual curators who can provide feedback and amplify music they think is good. Romain Palmieri, co-founder and CEO of Groover, said he and his two co-founders started the company to help solve the promotion problems they all encountered in their respective music careers.

“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, get heard by the right people and get the right selection by good people”, Palmieri. said. “We wanted to build something that could solve this problem.”

Groover just raised an $8 million Series A round led by OneRagtime, Techmind, Trind and Mozza Angels. Palmieri said the company plans to use the funding to continue expansion in the United States – its largest market – and to add new features for artists, including coaching and promotion resources.

The business model of this company stands out. Groover’s growing 3,000 music curators set their own price, and each transaction is split, with half the money going to the curator and half to Groover. Palmieri said that if a curator doesn’t listen to a song within seven days, the musician gets their money back, but that 90 percent of requests are responded to within that time frame.

While I like the idea that artists can have more direct relationships with these various curators, I’m disappointed that pay-to-play has become the best option for these independent artists. The curators who work with Groover aren’t just promoting the music they love, but rather the music they love and have also been paid to listen to.

But! I also understand that music journalism is declining as the number of independent musicians continues to rapidly increase. The solutions are good even if I don’t find them perfect. The fact that artists can choose who they work with on Groover, that outreach is relatively inexpensive, and that the response rate is quite high makes it seem like the most artist-friendly approach that doesn’t merit promotion .

Palmieri added that the majority of independent artists simply don’t have better or more profitable options. They can either push music releases relentlessly without any chance of getting noticed, or they can pay for PR, which doesn’t necessarily guarantee more success.

This system also works better for music curators, Palmieri said. They also often struggle to find the diamonds in the rough in the ever-growing sea of ​​new music. Groover’s system helps them get paid more directly for their work while making their job a little easier.

I’m glad to see someone working to fix this, because as a listener, finding new music has been noticeably more difficult. I’ve seen many tweets and had many conversations with friends that show this problem is felt across the board. Only one person still posts in the pretentiously named Music Aficionados Facebook group that my friends and I started in high school to share new music.

Groover isn’t the only startup looking to help little musicians, either. GigFinesse is another startup that helps musicians and venues book concerts better with a more streamlined booking and payment system.

I loved GigFinesse the same way I love Groover; that is, I like startups that provide clear solutions for both sides of the table. Both of these startups help artists, but they also help the people in the industry needed to get these artists off the ground. The community needs each other to thrive. Every musician starts somewhere.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *