As artists strive to not only captivate audiences but also turn fandom into sustainable revenue streams, the competition to innovate and connect with fans on a deeper level has continued to attract interest from investors in the music industry.
Founded and led by Andy Apple, who previously served as an investor at venture capital firms Sound Ventures and Wavemaker Partners, We Are Giant aims to provide a centralized space for community building, revenue generation, and direct-to-fan engagement, according to a press release on Thursday (November 16).
We Are Giant describes itself as an ad-free platform that offers artists a range of tools to monetize their work and create deeper connections with their fanbase. The platform’s features include licensed listening parties for new music and unreleased demos, exclusive livestreams, interactive chat rooms with musicians, and more.
The platform uniquely licenses pre-released and commercially available music for listening parties and provides performance licenses for livestreaming. This allows artists to easily report streams to SoundExchange and performing rights organizations, the company said.
It also provides promotional help, offering artists a centralized suite of free tools to monetize their work. Artists can sell physical products, ticket livestreams, accept tips during performances, and more.
The platform’s ‘Chat’ feature, meanwhile, encourages like-minded fan engagement and serves as a forum for new music discovery. Private chat rooms, integrated with digital streaming platforms, enable fans to listen to music together in artist community channels.
The startup’s Founder and CEO, Andy Apple, will be joined in the management team by Dan McComas, the Vice President of Product & Community, as well as VP of Music JP Slater, VP of Engineering Josh Fraser, and Head of Artist Success Tony Hartman. McComas previously served as SVP of product at Reddit and founder of RedditGifts.
“Artists and IP owners have been underserved from a creator tools perspective for too long, all without truly owning their fan relationships. Additionally, the majority of working musicians aren’t able to make a reasonable living and have been using outdated, fragmented, and misaligned promotional tools with little return,” Apple said.
“Our platform helps artists to maximize their careers, build more viable ways to make a living, drive longevity, and optimize their most important fan relationships by creating sustainable and lucrative communities.”
Andy Apple, We Are Giant
“At We Are Giant, our goal is to change this broken system. Our platform helps artists to maximize their careers, build more viable ways to make a living, drive longevity, and optimize their most important fan relationships by creating sustainable and lucrative communities,” the executive continued.
We Are Giant is accessible through its website and IOS app.
As part of its initial beta phase, We Are Giant now has over 50 artists, spanning major label and independent signings to independent acts, who have established their own community channels. Additionally, more than 150 fan-led community events for artists like Dominic Fike, Mac Miller, Noah Kahan, Laufey, and beabadoobee have already taken place on the platform. We Are Giant has also launched the first genre collective, The B-Side, for alternative music.
“We Are Giant is primed to be a gamechanger for artists and fans alike, giving them the tools they need to better connect with one another in today’s rapidly-paced digital age,” said Steven Taslitz, Co-Founder and Chairman of Sterling Partners.
“We are particularly excited that We Are Giant helps musicians to monetize their hard-earned creative work. We know there’s a bright future ahead for the platform, backed by such a strong leadership team, who have proven expertise in business, music, artist relations, tech, and importantly, community building,” Taslitz added.
“We Are Giant is primed to be a gamechanger for artists and fans alike, giving them the tools they need to better connect with one another in today’s rapidly-paced digital age.”
Steven Taslitz, Sterling Partners
The launch of We Are Giant comes amid increasing investor appetite for fan platforms. Last month, social media platform and home for superfans Fave raised $2 million in an ongoing funding round that it expects will reach $6 million.
In Germany, Universal Music Group launched a fan platform called YOUniverse, which the label describes as a “virtual and interactive fan platform… where fans can meet and interact, and in future even meet their idols.”
These efforts follow the success of HYBE’s fan platform Weverse in South Korea, which has attracted 10 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of the end of Q2 2023.
Music Business Worldwide