BandPay, a fully customizable payment platform to launch March 2020, introduces a simple solution to the delays, errors, and losses that slow down many music professionals’ transactions and creative output. Co-CEO DeCarlos Garrison explains more.
The issue of how payments in the music industry should be handled has been a hot topic of discussion, and creators want to make sure their work is properly compensated in the complex webs of digital production, distribution, and marketing. A solution comes in the form of the BandPay platform.
The platform streamlines two-party agreements by setting up deadline-based milestones in a given project, and assigning payments to each milestone. This builds accountability and minimizes errors, especially with the feature that guarantees that funds are available to complete a transaction. It establishes trust by ensuring all parties, from musicians to producers to social media influencers, stick to their side of the agreement. Centralizing all payments in one platform is bound to revolutionize cost management and revenue maximization in the music business.
To learn more, Digital Journal spoke with Co-CEO DeCarlos Garrison.
Digital Journal: What are the complexities around making payments within the music industry?
DeCarlos Garrison: The music business, especially if we’re talking about the less formal sectors of the industry, run on relationships, and it’s not unusual to have significant agreements that are sealed with just a handshake. Even if a group of collaborators put a contract together, it doesn’t mean the payment process will go smoothly.
This more casual approach for work-for-hire or services like social media management means people can wind up in long-standing conflicts. This hurts creativity, not to mention ruins friendships. Almost everyone who works as an independent producer or as an artist or manager has a horror story about the project that cost them twice what it should have, all because someone didn’t do what they promised or were paid to do. If you think of your music as a business, you’ve got a lot of loss--or at least risk--built in the way things currently work. With the tiny margins many artists face when creating and releasing music, that’s terrible economically.
DJ: What is the BandPay solution?
Garrison: We wanted to bring clarity to this mess and give people a way to collaborate that doesn’t rely so heavily on trust and hope. If you connect payments to a real roadmap of how and when work will be completed, this solves many of these problems. We think our approach will increase the efficiency of collaboration, making sure people providing creative services get paid appropriately and that artists or managers hiring creative talent can control costs.
BandPay prompts users to come up with milestones for their project together, tying payment to the completion of these milestones. Both parties know the money is there; BandPay holds the funds until they are released by users. If disputes arise, we offer tools to resolve them. The process adds an extra layer of confidence into working together and we think this will lead to more people making better music with a lot less heartbreak.
DJ: How did you develop the technology?
Garrison: Gleb Teper, my co-founder, and I thought a lot about what would really make a difference for musicians, managers, and others in the music business. We had ambitions to develop a platform that supported artists and teams in a 360 way, from learning about the industry to distributing their music. But we realized there was one thing musicians always struggled with, and that was money and trust. We decided to go all in on payment.
As we developed BandPay, we wanted to keep things very simple. We studied existing technologies and built on them with our unique ideas to design a user experience that is simple, seamless and intuitive.
DJ: What are the key advantages of BandPay?
Garrison: The big advantages of BandPay over some other payment methods is the milestones feature, which is totally customizable to your project or agreement, and the fact you know the money is there and will be paid when milestones are met. It’s as simple as more basic payment apps people already use, but it’s designed to hold everyone accountable to really clear standards and expectations at the same time.
DJ: How have you addressed data privacy issues?
Garrison: We take data privacy very seriously. We respect the rights of our users and have taken all necessary precautions to ensure that BandPay facilitates transactions safely and securely without sacrificing the privacy of our users.