‘Facebook for music’ wants to find next big popstar

The Internet has caused massive upheaval in the music industry, with websites like Spotify to YouTube changing the way that we listen to music and how the next big popstar is discovered.

While video-sharing websites have led to the discovery of artists like Justin Bieber, streaming services such as Spotify have been accused of favouring global megastars, with smaller musicians unable to earn an income from the platform.

Now, a number of services are popping up to help local, struggling musicians make it big.


One such start-up is Malaysia-based Bookya, which launched on Thursday at The Next Web (TNW) conference in Amsterdam. It aggregates data from services such as Facebook and YouTube to determine a local artist's popularity in a particular area. It then connects promoters who are looking to organize a gig with the most appropriate artist.

"We are a matchmaking app," Samuel Klyk, founder and CEO of Bookya, told CNBC in an interview at TNW. "You have to see this as a social-meets-business network. For unknown artists, it's a huge opportunity."

But Bookya will face some significant challenges in an sector that is becoming increasingly saturated, according to analysts. Rivals include Gigmit, which enables artists to find gigs, and Beatswitch, a management tool for people organizing gigs or festivals.

Alice Enders, director of research at research firm Enders Analysis, questioned Bookya's unique selling point and referenced the company Musicmetric, a service Apple acquired earlier this year.

"Musicmetric provided artists with a dashboard of the location of their fans so they could plan their tours and social media campaigns more effectively," she told CNBC. "Bookya seems to be offering the same service to promoters, but frankly, there are many more artists than promoters."

Klyk has big plans, however, and hopes that record labels will use the service to help discover new talent, sort of like a "Facebook for the music industry."

"The competitors are there and doing a good job, but doing a small part of what we are doing. We aren't trying to disrupt the market, we are trying to bring the market together," the CEO insisted.

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