TPM 57 | Music Networking

 

For musicians, connecting with other musicians is a vital part of their career. Musicians nowadays don’t have to worry too much about this because music networking and establishing connections have never been easier. Josh Simons talks with Bree Noble about the world’s largest and most active social-professional network for musicians, Vampr. Dubbed as the LinkedIn for creatives, Vampr has helped musicians create over 6.5 million connections worldwide. The Vampr CEO shares how the music startup is built by a sympathetic founding team of established musicians, including Josh’s co-founder, Baz Palmer, who is best known as the lead guitarist for seminal hall-of-fame rock band, Hunters & Collectors. Listen in as Josh and Bree discuss about the multi-award-winning platform and how it offers a free solution for young musicians all over the world.

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Vampr: Networking And Making Musical Connections With Josh Simons

I’m excited to be here with Josh Simons. He is the Founder of Vampr, which we’ll tell you about in a minute. He was a musician who had toured for ten years. With his band, he opened up for people like Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood. He has a lot of credit as far as being in the trenches as a musician and now creating something to help other musicians. We have a lot in common in that way.

I’m looking forward to hearing a little more about his story and how he got to where he is now. What he has created with Vampr is here to help you as musicians. Before we get into all of that, Josh, I would love to hear a little of your background. How did you get started as a musician and what led you to what you are now?

First of all, thank you for having me, and it’s a heck of an introduction. These days, I run Vampr, which is a tool that helps musicians find other musicians in the music industry people to connect with. Getting to that point was quite a journey, and wanting to start a company like that comes from a place like going through the trenches and navigating the world of being a young musician. It is tricky, to put it mildly.

We could go right back to being a child, but it gets more exciting around the age of twenty. I might skip my childhood years. I played music most of my life as a lot of musicians have. When I was about twenty, I was managing a couple of bands. They are friends of friends that you meet bands and like what they’re doing, and I thought I could maybe help them get out there.

Those bands didn’t have the drive to be commercially successful, and that got to me. I thought, “I can sing and play. I should start my own thing.” I started a band called Buchanan. Within six months of starting it, it blew off in Australia and had a song on the radio, which is unusual. It’s not the normal path, but it was still not an easy process from there. We did nevertheless enjoy 5 or 10 years run after that point of playing clubs, bigger venues, 1,000 people rooms, and then ultimately, we supported Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban on a national tour.

It was exciting to play to 150,000 people over eight nights. That was the last big tour that we did. Around that time was when I started Vampr. When I got off stage, the final night of that tour, I had a bit of a teary moment. I thought that might be the last show I ever do because they have to start to get quite serious. They’ve got lots of shareholders, and we’ve raised lots of money.

When you view network as the core of our business, there’s an added value to everything else that you bring to your customers. Click To Tweet

About a year before we did that tour, I was having a hard time replicating the success outside of Australia in any other market. It became obvious to me that the challenge wasn’t talent, ambition, or anything like that. It was a lack of a network, knowing who to turn to, and how to build a team in a market that’s foreign to you that you don’t understand.

I can only talk about my own experience, but it took me five years to understand who is the best radio plug publicists, managers, and agents in Australia. You land in another place like in my case, I went to England, and I didn’t know any of those people. I thought, “I don’t have another five years of my life to learn another market.” That’s where Vampr came along. I thought the technology had to be able to solve this problem that something that can take five years can be done in 5 minutes or 5 seconds even.

I started Vampr at that point, and that was 2015. I wouldn’t call it a side project, but I managed to split that with still being in a successful Australian band for a while until I had to make a decision. That’s where I am nowadays. Now, I’m the full-time CEO of Vampr and former artist of Buchanan.

What year was that when you started Vampr?

We started Vampr in 2015, but we didn’t start hitting the ground and pushing it aggressively until 2017.

What is the premise or the mission behind Vampr? I get that it’s networking but more specifically.

The idea of networking, in general, is quite laborious, tedious, if not nerve-wracking to most people on the planet, even extroverts. Putting yourself out there and meeting strangers is not very fun. You add arts into the mix, which is expressive, and they’re almost incompatible. How do we solve that? We decided to come up with a way of networking, where in the tech world, you would call it gamification.

In layman, you would call it swipe technology. We thought that instead of people looking through resumés, having to fill out forms, post job listings of what they’re looking for, and scan people, why not make it audiovisual, dynamic, and instant? Something that you can swipe through, “I like that. I don’t like that. I like this,” and make it modern?

There was nothing like that on the market at the time. There are certainly a lot of copycats out there now, but when we first came up with the idea, there was nothing even close to it. The last time the internet had a solution to help musicians network effectively was probably MySpace in the early days before it became something else and ultimately faded into obscurity.

Nothing had filled that void, and that void was always a huge opportunity for someone to come along and claim that land, and certainly, musicians needed it. To answer your question on what is it beyond networking. Hopefully, it’s a place where you can find relationships that stay with you for the duration of your musical career, more broadly, your life.

TPM 57 | Music Networking

Music Networking: When you invest in the people around you and you care to build relationships with folks that are on the same level as you, they will be willing to give back the help you showed them.

 

Plenty of people on Vampr has gone on to get married, start a business, lease properties, and studios together, and things like that. It’s ultimately a place to build relationships, even though we are going to be introducing transactional tools like a marketplace where people can sell services. We purposely didn’t start there because that’s what Fiverr is, where you can go on and pay for a service. We purposely wanted to start and establish that our brand was about building relationships. Anything can stem from that when you get that right. One of our many catchphrases is it all starts with a connection. I fundamentally believe that to be true for all aspects of life.

Relationships are one of the main ways that I’ve built my business to where I have now and when I was a musician. I completely agree with that. I am curious. Why not find the corner of LinkedIn that is music people?

It’s not saturated to the degree that it should be. If you look at the creative arts as a percentage of jobs in the entire workforce across the world, it’s about 10%, and that’s not musicians. That’s the arts more broadly, which is big these days. If you look at that as a percentage on LinkedIn, it’s only 4%. It tends to suggest that people in the arts are not finding usefulness in LinkedIn. As a creative and a musician, I certainly never was able to find a good contact on LinkedIn.

Back to those London days that I was describing before when I was looking for a plugger and a manager in London, I remember sitting in a lonely cold London apartment searching for those things on LinkedIn. Even though some people came up, it’s a very cold Web 1.0 scroll and sends a message. Maybe they’ll get back to you. Maybe they won’t. It’s a fundamentally different approach to the way that Vampr is tailor-made for creators and musicians. You could go on LinkedIn. You could also stand at the back of the nearest coolest music bar and hope to meet someone that way too. The point of Vampr is to be the most efficient place to do it.

I love that it’s for musicians because it is true that I do feel like LinkedIn is a little bit of a ghost town when it comes to artist stuff.

You can’t go on LinkedIn and say, “Show me a guitarist in Connecticut who likes Pink Floyd and Tyler, the Creator.” Whereas you can do that on Vampr. That’s the fundamental difference.

That does drive the point home, for sure. The ability to search for very specific things like genres, artists, and that thing. What are the connections that you would be making? For me, I’m still trying to figure it out. Is this for people that are trying to work in the music industry? Is it for people who want to find people to help them in their careers like managers and things? Is it for musicians that need players? Is it for all of those things?

When we started, it was, “Find my band.” It was guitarists, bass players, drummers, singers, producers, and maybe managers. It was a small little team, and it was good. We had to start small because if you start with 1,000 categories, they’re all going to have only one person in each one, and it’s going to be a ghost town.

We had to create scarcity in some respect. We had to put restraints on how big the thing could be, which is a clever way to grow something. We started with the band, and over time, we would add categories based on demand. People would send us an email and say, “Why isn’t there a string player,” or, “Why aren’t any oboes?” When we would get enough emails, eventually, we’d say, “There are enough people now. We can justify adding another category.” That became unscalable. We decided, “There are enough people in the band. Let people add their own categories.” As soon as we did that, we went from having 57 categories to now 27,000.

Persistence is the most powerful key to success. Click To Tweet

That’s how many different job types technically exist on that. Although when you’re searching, you can’t search specifically for any of those 27,000. We use clever technology to bring them into related fields and let you search for broader areas like management, A&R, publicity, or promotions. You can search anything you like, but you can’t search for some of those obscure ones that people put in there.

You’re using this to find people to help you in your career. Is there any rating system like Thumbtack, Yelp, or something like that that helps you know that these people are legit, people had great experiences with them, and people we don’t necessarily know?

We try to do that work algorithmically for you. Typically speaking, you won’t see people for any number of reasons that we don’t disclose publicly. We know that they’re either not necessarily fraudulent, but maybe not taking it too seriously, taking the piece a little bit, or haven’t bothered filling out their profile properly and abusing the system where they’re trying to connect with everyone. We’ll hide them and demote them in the algorithm.

Let’s be honest. There are scammers out there and people that are going to try to take advantage of artists.

Since day one, we’ve dealt with it, and as we become more sophisticated, they catch up. It’s a never-ending game. Scamming is a weird thing because I remember when I was an artist, I had a ReverbNation account, and you would get messages from other bands, like, “Check out my new single.” I used to doubt myself and go, “I wish I had that hustle.” It’s not hustling when you’re copying, pasting and annoying people.

TPM 57 | Music Networking

Music Networking: Superstars didn’t become superstars because some other superstar pulled them up. You become famous by meeting other people who are at your level, and you help each other and excel together.

 

I don’t think it’s an effective way to scale your personal business because there’s no care or personalization involved. We try and do a lot of educational blog pieces on our website, encouraging people or highlighting to them the value of personalization and tailoring a message to connect with someone in a meaningful way and not do the copy-paste thing. We use technology to do that. One thing that we are thinking about releasing in 2022 is a recommendation system, similar to what LinkedIn calls endorsements. You could scroll to the bottom of someone’s profile and see how many other people have either connected with them on the app and said, “This person is legit.”

There are other ways that you can tell on Vampr whether someone takes himself seriously. For example, we have a tier called Vampr Pro, which is our subscription tier. People who are on Pro get the Pro badge. When you’re swiping through and see someone with the pro badge, you know that they’re taking their career seriously because they’re investing in themselves.

They’re spending money, backing themselves, their vision, and networking ability. There are a few other little bits and pieces that are telltale signs that someone is probably that next caliber above. From an algorithm perspective, we’ll be doing a lot more in 2022 on working out skill levels. I can’t get into exactly how we’re going to be doing it because that would not be fair to my team, but we are going to be doing work, so when you log on, you’re seeing people at a similar skill level immediately.

There is always a segment of that audience that says, “Why can’t you let me set my skill level, so people want to be able to say I’m a semipro, pro, amateur, getting started, or a hobbyist?” What you and I think about semipro are probably two different things. It doesn’t work when you sometimes give people all of the control. Although I’m not complaining, one of the hard parts of my job is making some decisions for the users for their benefit.

You started to answer a question that I was about to have on how you bring in money with this app. I’m assuming that there are people who can join for free, but you can pay those pro badges to help support the site.

The pro badges are a whole bundle of features. We call it the Vampr Pro Bundle because you get 9 or 10 additional value adds that you don’t get on the free account. The free account has 80% functionality. It’s very much we built it for people to use. We don’t get you in the door and then immediately say, “You have to sign up to Pro.”

About 3% of our audience are Pro members, which is exactly the sweet spot that we want it to be. It also helps us from an A&R standpoint, knowing who the people are that are going to back themselves. We’re quite happy with how Pro works. Pro is for people who want to be able to connect with more folks, upload more tracks, want more profile pictures, and keep more of their royalties if they’re using Vampr distribution because we offer a distribution service. The free members keep 80% of their royalties, whereas Pro members keep 100%. It’s $4 a month, so it’s not a lot of money. That’s Vampr Pro in a nutshell.

That is low priced, including distribution services. That’s crazy.

It’s one of the cheapest distribution. There are a couple of completely free distribution options that always take a massive commission. From a pricing perspective, we are probably the most competitive distribution service in the world. We’re also one of the newest, and we’re not trying to own that space. Music distribution companies are in a race to the bottom. There are so many of them.

We treat it more, at this stage, as a bit of a loss leader. It’s a way to get other people interested and into the door. Hopefully, realizing like, “This is a fantastic place to network.” We always view the network as the core of our business, and everything else is hopefully value adds that we bring to our customers. In turn, it will earn us income. It’s a very reciprocal relationship like that.

As far as who’s active and Pro on the platform, is it mostly people who are offering Pro services, or are there plenty of musicians who do the Pro option?

The winners in life are generally those who just keep showing up. Click To Tweet

It’s a very healthy split. If you had asked me in 2021 as we were launching, I would have guessed it would have been more people looking to sell their services because it makes sense. It’s a healthy split. The people who are retaining, signing up again and renewing their subscription month after month, that’s skewed more towards the people in the professional services side, like graphic designers, publicists and people like that, but that’s about musicians. Musicians use Pro for a short amount of time while they need it and then switch it off. Whereas the people in the services side of the industry let their subscription knock-on.

As far as musicians networking, they can come there and find people that are going to help them in their career, but I’m assuming a lot of it is also how they can meet other musicians. They might be able to do gig swaps, promo swaps or things like that. Are those some things that you recommend?

What you’re touching on there is also an interesting point that I’ve had to defend from the start, but it speaks to your question, which is this idea that a musician’s requirements are constantly evolving and changing over the course of a career. When you’re right at the start, and you’ve picked up your first baby guitar, all you want is someone else who can sing, play guitar or write some lyrics to sit in a bedroom with you and write songs. That’s step one.

Let’s say you do that for six months and become okay, and you decide you want to play in a 50-person bar in your local city. You’re going to need to speak to a promoter or a merchandise person and get your first CD pre-press. The number of people you need to deal with has broadened again.

Cut to a few years down the line, and you’re playing 100 or 200-person room. The number of people that are involved in that production grows again. Your requirements are constantly evolving. Even at those bigger stages, sometimes you go, “I want to work with some new producers,” or, “I want to shake it up and work with some new session players.” These requirements never stopped arriving and changing. They’re very dynamic.

The whole purpose of Vampr is that as a new personal requirement emerges in your career or musical life, you can go back to your trusty companion Vampr and say, “Find me this person.” That’s the whole ethos behind it.

It’s very true that what you need now is not what you’re going to need in six months and so on.

How good would it be to have a place that you can keep going back to? That’s what we designed it all for.

You talked a bit about horizontal marketing for musicians. What does that mean?

I love talking about this because I’ve seen it happen from people that are now considered the most famous in the music industry, but I knew them when they were not. It’s this idea that a rising tide lifts all boats. When a new musician comes along, they’re 17 or 18 and wants to be a star, and they hit all of these platforms like Vampr and SoundCloud.

They look for the most famous person in the room, and that’s called vertical networking. The problem is, first and foremost, it’s hard to get in touch with a famous person, but even if you do, the famous person doesn’t owe you anything. They have no incentive to help you because you can’t provide any value to them.

You end up getting rejected and bitter. That’s why there are a lot of good musicians in the world because they feel like the world turned its back on them. The reality is they didn’t spend enough time investing in the people around them. Winners in life are generally people that keep showing up. Persistence is the most powerful key to success.

If by sheer virtue you’re turning up every day, putting in the hours, and sticking with your passion, you will eventually make it by some definition of the word make it, and your own internal definition of success will mature and evolve alongside that. When you invest in the people around you, and you take the care to build relationships with folks that are on the same level, you help them when they need help, and they help you when you need help. What tends to happen is one of you will get a little bit ahead, but that person will knock your hand back and say, “I’m not helping you anymore,” because they remember that you were there for them.

TPM 57 | Music Networkingv

Music Networking: There’s an expectation that things should happen quickly, but like any skill, you have to prove yourself, impress the people around you, and ultimately support each other.

 

You’ll probably get a little bit ahead, and it’s going to be a bit of tugging each other up. I’ve seen it happen in my career. I worked at Kanye West studio for a while, and it blew me away when I worked there in Los Angeles, where I live now. When I first moved here and got to work in that studio for a couple of years, it was how many people were still there from his childhood days.

In the last couple of years, I got to work with Tommy Brown. He’s probably the biggest producer in the world now. He did Ariana Grande’s last several records. He didn’t do her records because she was famous and he was famous. They both grew up in the same neighborhood and started working together before neither of them became famous.

This is horizontal networking, and I love those examples because we’re talking about superstars, but they didn’t become superstars because some other superstar pulled them up. They rose together. Sometimes, younger artists come to Vampr or Instagram and go, “Where are the famous people on here?”

You don’t get it. You’re missing the whole point. You become famous by meeting other people on here who are at your level, who need your help, and they need your help. It becomes reciprocal, and together, you excel. That’s how success happens. People helping each other and collaborating.

I see that in my own business. The people that have come up with me over the past several years working in this space, we’ve all helped each other, grown together and all of our businesses have grown. They’re still my go-to people. They can count on me, and I can count on them. I didn’t come into the space and immediately try to connect with someone that was a superstar because that wasn’t going to happen. I had to prove myself first. I had to put in the hours.

No one likes to hear that, and it’s an education gap that exists in our industry. That’s quite unique to music. It makes sense. It’s similar to what happens in Hollywood with actors as well, where there’s an expectation that things should happen quickly, but like any skill, you do have to prove yourself. You have to impress the people around you, and ultimately you’ve got to support each other. At some point, you will be the oldest guy in the room. By virtue of turning up, if you’re patient, you will eventually get to the destination, but no one wants to hear that for some reason. I can see why. It’s because superstars are young.

It’s not sexy, but it’s how the world works, in general. There are those crazy flukes.

That’s not normal. You can still make a bucket load of money and find fame and everything as a later in life musician. Bon Iver is a great example, but there are many of them. Justin Bieber is the exception.

Are there any other things you would like to highlight about Vampr that helped musicians that we have not covered yet?

This is my favorite one, which we have not touched on at all. It is a division of our company that’s relatively new called Vampr Publishing. It’s the most exciting part of the business and my shareholders because of the potential. There are lots of non-exclusive sync agencies around the world. For those reading who don’t know what that is, a sync agency is responsible for taking their catalog of songs that they represent.

They’re talking to music supervisors that work on films, TV shows, video games, advertisements, looking for music to sync your song to the moving picture. If you’re watching a car commercial and there’s a song in the background, that’s a sync. We wanted to launch a sync division, but we wanted to do it a bit differently from how many non-exclusive sync agencies work.

Success happens when people help each other and collaborate with each other. Click To Tweet

One of the problems we saw with submitting songs to sync companies is the burden of metadata, submissions, upload time, tagging, and all of that. We designed that proprietary submission system that’s very fast where you can copy and paste a link to your song, whether it’s from YouTube, SoundCloud, or Spotify inside the app, into a form in the app.

We ask a few questions, “Do you have 100% of the master rights? Do you have publishing rights? Do you have any co-writers?” Submit it, and it goes off to our A&R team. We have a group of people that listen to things, and we come up with a shortlist. We have sync representatives around the world that are out there pitching the Vampr catalog.

The great thing about our deal is that we don’t own anything of yours. We don’t ask for any money. Some of our competitors ask for money, like Songtradr. It’s quite expensive as an alternative, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll get you a placement. We don’t ask for anything until we sync your song. If we sync your song, we have very simple splits, 35/65 in favor of the artist, which is very generous. Most sync houses are 50/50

We take the same split from the publishing rights for two years. There’s never an upfront cost to the artist at all. We might change your life with the fantastic sync. We collect on it for a couple of years, and you get your rights back. It’s the most artist-friendly publishing deals/program in the world, designed by an artist because I’ve signed so many crap publishing deals in my lifetime.

I knew what I would like and what it looked like that was fair. I would effectively put myself in the other person’s shoes when we came up with this. If we’re getting started in the first twelve months, we now have had 50,000 songs submitted to us that we represent, which is crazy. I don’t know that any catalogs ever grown so fast, and sifting through those 50,000 songs has not been an easy task.

We have a whole army of interns who spend all-day listening, and it’s great. In 2022, the real focus is getting as many syncs as possible and helping our users start making money. The thing I love about it is that this isn’t part of Vampr Pro and premium features. This feature is available to anyone who’s on the app who wants to have their songs rep. How can that be a bad thing for anyone?

I love that you have the two-year recension. Most people don’t have that. For me, that would make me feel a lot more secure like, “I can get my rights back in two years.”

I know as an artist, but we also know more generally looking at the trends in the music industry, that when a song is synced to a major brand, let’s say we got an Apple commercial, for example, with one of our artists. That song is going to make a lot of money for the next couple of years. It’s a good time to be publishing the track and taking a commission, and it’s going to start to slow down. When it starts to slow down, the revenues are lower for us, but that’s what the artist needs the most. It’s fair to give it back to the artist at that point.

Do you accept all the songs that are sent in, or are you going through them like, “We think we can sync this?”

There’s a process of when someone hits submit when they go through the app. I’ll talk about the user experience. They go through and answer those questions. They get this confetti, and it says, “Congratulations, you submitted your song. Look out for an email from our A&R team should we have any further questions or follow-ups.” We don’t promise them anything at that point. I can promise you that their song is listened to, but there’s a no pile. We have 50,000 songs that we can represent, but in terms of actively out there pitching and representing, it’s closer to 1,000.

TPM 57 | Music Networking

Music Networking: A lot of good musicians in the world feel like the world turned its back on them. The reality is they didn’t spend enough time investing in the people around them.

 

You’re not representing them. If you choose one and you like it and think it has potential, you let them know like, “We’re going to represent this song.”

If there’s a track that we know fits a certain brief, we might get in touch in advance to collect metadata that we’re missing. That’s quite a regular thing. The 50,000 overall songs that we have, even though some of them have those next to them because maybe the production quality is not good enough. In fact, almost 99% of the time, it’s in balance because the production quality is not in sync, but we still have the ability to go back and reference them. Technically, they are still under our representation. We’re just not actively pushing those tracks in the category.

Is it non-exclusive?

It is non-exclusive. The burden is on the artists to let us know if they sign a publishing deal. We’ve never had an issue with it, but you can see how that might be a problem.

That’s amazing that you offer that to anyone to not need to sign a contract or anything like that. I’m glad you highlighted that because I’m sure you are going to be pushing a lot in the future years.

When you sign up for the publishing program, you digitally sign a short form agreement that stipulates what will happen in the event that we land you a deal. It is non-exclusive. It says that in the event that we land you a deal, we bring you the opportunity, you approve the opportunity, and that kick-starts the two-year collection period. That’s it. There’s no physical contract or anything like that.

Let’s talk real quick about the app itself. Is it on both Apple and Android?

Yes.

Is there a desktop version as well?

It’s in the works. If you go to Vampr.me/YourHandle from the app, you will see a desktop version of your profile. Here’s a hint for your readers. It acts as a free EPK, Electronic Press Kit, because it collects all of your stuff and presents it in an elegant way. You can check out mine at Vampr.me/Josh. That’s my profile, and it looks nice. That’s what I would call the very early version of what Vampr for the desktop will be.

We started as a mobile-first company at the time when we launched in 2016ish. When we came out with the product, it was very trendy. Everything was about mobile-first. Wave has passed a little bit now, and we’ve grown. We’ve got over 1 million users now. It’s time to grow past the mobile restriction. It was predominantly a mobile app.

What are the demographics around the world where people are from?

The biggest market is North America. It’s about 30% of our market share there. Europe as a whole would be our second-biggest market, but in terms of individual countries, Brazil, India, and Mexico are all massive. There are hundreds of thousands of people in those places. Australia is not too bad either. It’s pretty spread out.

We have active users in every single country on the planet. It doesn’t matter where you get off on a plane. You can open Vampr and find someone to jam with it. It’s cool. In terms of demographics from an age perspective and stuff, the biggest bracket is 16 to 24 by a long shot. That’s by far our largest group, but the next largest group is older than that. You’ve got 25 to 30. That’s quite a big bracket. Unfortunately, there are more males and females on there, which is a problem for the entire industry.

We’re going to work on that because that’s one of my big platforms is more equity for women. Not that it’s not equity, but women tend to not get as much exposure in the industry as they could or feel like they should put themselves out there as much as guys do. I don’t know what it is.

We run ads from other music brands on the platform. That’s how we monetize the 97% who are not Pro members. Looking at how the women interact with the ads, they’re such great customers. They’re so enthusiastic. We shouldn’t even speak about ads. More holistically, the way our female user base interacts with people in the app, tries the features, and gets active in the discussion rooms is so much more positive, fun to watch, and interact with than with some of the chip on shoulder dudes.

I was raised by a single mom, but I have so much appreciation for the female side of our user base because they bring so much warmth to the platform that otherwise wouldn’t be there. I wish it was bigger. Whether it comes to marketing materials or our socials, we go out of our way. We always try and highlight the women’s stories more because we’re trying to attract more of that caliber to the platform. The problem is they know that there are so many of these music sites that are so male-heavy that it can be intimidating, so we try to create the safest environment possible and do our best to change that. One company alone is not going to change an industry-wide problem.

I’ve seen it change a lot over the past several years that I’ve been doing this. The balance has changed. As you said, it’s still more 70/30. This particular platform is very interesting to women because of the relational aspect. I hope people that are reading jump in, especially my large female base because they will feel at home there.

Some creeps come out of the woodwork from time to time on Vampr. We have a zero-tolerance policy to be clear and reassure folks. People can’t send unsolicited pictures or anything like that, but even if someone says, “Do you want to hook up or whatever?” First of all, you can press report, and we will see what’s been said. If it’s harassment, we have a zero-tolerance policy, and they’re gone. We had a case in a session. It wasn’t even on the app, but they met someone, then went to a session, and he touched her bum.

We’re not the police, and we can’t do anything about the physical side of it, but we made sure that he was never coming back to Vampr ever again. We would work with her with whatever help she needed to make sure that she felt safe again. That’s our attitude and philosophy towards that. We are very proud to have that zero-tolerance policy because we don’t want people to have that cynicism or skepticism that Vampr be a place where they could be taken advantage of.

You would have to put that in place for a social app like this. I’m glad that you guys have that, and it’s going to make our readers feel very comfortable to jump over there. Why don’t you let them know the best way to get on the platform and anything they need to know to get started?

You can head to Vampr.me. There will be links to download the app from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store right at the top. Sign up. It’s free and fun. If nothing else, you might make some friends, but hopefully, you’ll make some money, help you with your career and achieve whatever your next step might be, get past that and excel.

I’m going to go check it out. I can’t believe I’m not on this app yet. Thank you so much, Josh. This has been informative, and musicians are going to use this information. Hopefully, they jump in and get networking.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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About Josh Simons

TPM 57 | Music NetworkingJosh Simons is the CEO and co-founder of Vampr, the world’s largest and most active social-professional network for musicians (often dubbed the “LinkedIn for creatives”). With over one million users, and active in every country on the planet, the music startup has helped fledgling musicians broker over 6.5 million connections worldwide. Vampr offers a free solution for young musicians, built by a sympathetic founding team of established musicians with Josh’s co-founder, Baz Palmer, best known as the lead guitarist for seminal hall-of-fame rock band, Hunters & Collectors.

Simons has grown Vampr into a multi-award-winning platform, including a most prestigious nod from Apple with inclusion in their Best of the Year list. Over four funding rounds the company has raised $2.6M from VC, the crowd and music industry angels.

Prior to running Vampr, Josh Simons spent the better part of a decade as a successful artist, songwriter & producer. His artist project Buchanan enjoyed multi-million streams & chart impressions worldwide. They retired from the live circuit following a sold-out arena tour opening for Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood. As a producer and songwriter, Simons has shared credits with Travis Scott, Troye Sivan and Kanye West to name a few.

In April 2020 Simons was named in The Music Network’s 30 Under 30 List in addition to being voted Reader’s Choice. Simons holds a Bachelor of Business from Swinburne University.