With just a few clicks on an app, consumers can work in a new office for a week, borrow a stranger’s Prius, or spend two nights in someone's beach house. According to Mike Williams, it’s time they were able to share and book studio space, too.
Williams is the mind behind Studiotime, a startup frequently heralded as the “Airbnb of recording studios.” Musicians can browse a series of studio listings, then request, book, and pay for a session in a studio near them.
The startup’s origin story is the stuff of familiarity: Williams took notice of an unwieldy process that needed an update (the artist’s search for a place to record, which is often plagued by tenuous connections and vague pricing) and put the solution in the hands of technology.
“My main inspiration for starting Studiotime was being around the music industry for a while as most of my friends are artists, managers, and producers and realizing that there was not a technical platform that solved a problem with a marketplace that had a great deal of friction involved and was primarily manual/service driven,” he said.
Artists book sessions by the day, each of which entitles them to an eight-hour window of recording time. Listings are submitted by studios as well as “member[s] of our artist/influencer community,” Williams said. Daily rates range from $100 to $1,500, of which the startup takes 10 percent.
“Right now our primary goal is to have studios sign up and artists book directly without any service layer or third-party involved aside from our platform,” Williams said. However, he’s “working with a few select studios to help them market, book, and promote their studios. Having said that, this could eventually be a service layer on top of our platform that we can offer in the future.”
Progress, it would seem, has been swift. Williams said over 1,000 artists and studios have registered since the site’s launch last weekend. Studiotime currently serves residents of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, but Williams has already expanded the company’s digital presence internationally, incorporating Nashville, London, Berlin, Paris, and Copenhagen into the roster.
“Artists often travel internationally and often seek studio time when traveling so we want to be the go-to for them,” he said.
Perhaps most curious, though, is that Williams refers to Studiotime as a “passion project,” directing most of his professional efforts to his tech-job-matching company Codeity.
“[Studiotime] has yet to be determined in terms of potential hires and also scale,” he said. “There has been a great amount of inbound interest from investors, studios, labels, and also others to be involved.”
Still, whether a primary, secondary, or tertiary concern, Williams intends for Studiotime to transition from indie to mainstream.
“I think as Studiotime evolves, it can be a valuable platform that helps reduce friction in a seemingly disconnected market. If we can create a habit for artists to turn to Studiotime wherever they are to book studio time, then we will be on the way to creating a marketplace that is habit-forming in the music industry and also a great resource for those that are up-and-coming in the industry.”
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