Bandzoogle: website builder for musicians

Bandzoogle CEO Stacey Bedfor plays guitar in her home.
Stacey Bedford, CEO of Bandzoogle

The OpenSRS team has enough musically inclined members to form at least two in-house rock bands, so we’re geeking out pretty hard about highlighting Bandzoogle on our blog. The Montreal-based SaaS company calls itself the easiest all-in-one professional website platform for musicians and bands. They target a unique vertical, one that their team is hugely passionate about, and they really know their customers: their platform is very much created for musicians, by musicians.

Here, Bandzoogle CEO, Stacey Bedford, provides some insight into how and why they’ve been so successful in supporting their customers and steadily growing the company.

What features are you most proud of? Which do the musicians that use your platform rave about?

Bandzoogle's Technical Support Manager, Adam, sits in his at-home production studio.
Bandzoogle’s Technical Support Manager, Adam, is also a music producer.

Commission-free direct-to-fan sales tools. Bandzoogle provides musicians with the eCommerce tools necessary to sell anything you can imagine: digital goods like albums, singles, EPs, song sheets, tickets, download codes or videos; physical goods like merch, CDs, or vinyl; and services like music lessons. You can even sell recurring subscriptions by tier and set up a crowdfunding campaign or preorders.

Bandzoogle does not take a cut of any sales, and we have a SaaS model. This is just one component of the tools we offer as an all-in-one platform. Regardless of our robust toolset, our members absolutely adore our customer support team. They’re your band’s roadie, your web tech. Our response time and quality of support is the best on the planet. Best of all, most of our team members are musicians.

How are you supporting your artists during COVID-19?

Within the first month of the pandemic, our team launched commission-free live streaming ticket sales, event ticket refunds, a tip jar feature, transaction history exports and filtering, and a comprehensive guide to musician resources during a pandemic. Every week, our team meets to discuss what has changed in the last week and how we can help. We have quickly adapted our processes to stay on top of artists’ needs.

To what does Bandzoogle attribute your success?

There are a few things I can note here as being key to our success. As you can see, we are constantly building new features and designs that are relevant to artists today. But more than that, we always put our staff and members’ needs first. We have grown into a sizable company but we’ve never strayed from our core values.

At Bandzoogle, our members can expect a very high level of service and an honest partner. It is a streamlined set of pro features, but you’re dealing with a small family vibe.

Lastly, we’re fully bootstrapped— we’ve never taken external funding, and we’ve always made decisions on our own terms, without putting a focus on turning profits. Doing the right thing by our members has resulted in great success.

How do you build an artist community and connect with your customers?

We do a lot of proactive outreach with our customers. This includes webinars, free website reviews (even for non-members), member meetups in different cities, and you’ll also see some of us at different music tech events. We are a small team with a big reach. Part of that reach includes teaming up with other music verticals that hold the same strong values, like CD Baby, Bandsintown, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and ASCAP.

Meaningful relationships with ethical music businesses are important to our business model; as a business, you won’t get very far if you don’t venture off the island. Building bridges is important to grow your artist community and connect with your customers.

What have been your major milestones as a company?

The Bandzoogle team poses for a group photo at one of their annual retreats.
An otherwise remote team, the Bandzoogle staff gets together for annual retreats.

Our members’ success is our success: last month, our members hit 62 million dollars in commission-free sales. In May, we also grew to 50,000 paid active users, with additional thousands of active trial members on any given day. Another huge milestone was growing our executive team. We have a fairly flat organizational chart, but we promoted Colin Mitchell to CTO and Dave Cool to VP of Strategic partnerships. We are leading this incredible group of individuals and for me, it’s a huge win to be able to foster so much professional growth within our small team of 29.

Are there any .COM alternatives that you guys like or that resonate with musicians?

As bricks and mortar stores become less pertinent, .COM TLDs have become a scarce resource. You’ll see many artists soon find out that long-winded .COMs leave too much room for user error, and alternative TLDs can be less costly and easier to remember.

Because of this, we see many artists branching out and using .ROCKS, .BAND, and some old, trusted, but still available, .ORG and .NET options for their band. Bandzoogle plans include many TLD options across all 3 plans, from $9.95 to $14.95 per month.

Are there any exciting plans for the future you’d like to share?

I can tell you that the world is changing rapidly, and, for any business, finding a way to monetize globally is paramount today. We’ll see so many advancements in the tools available to both businesses and artists over the next year, it’ll be a different landscape. Businesses that are adaptable will do well, but it’s about to be a wild ride.