Personalised Music Messages: A new income stream for musicians Jump to main content

Personalised Music Messages: A new income stream for musicians

Encore Musicians is one of the UK’s largest online platforms for booking musicians for weddings, functions and events. When the lockdown hit, they launched a new service to help ensure their musicians still had a way of earning money while stuck at home.

Jonny Venvell, Head of Artist Relations, explains how they came up with the idea and how it’s going so far.

How did it come about?

Like most businesses in the music industry, the effects of coronavirus and the lockdown hit us hard. Every in-person performance over the last few months had to be cancelled, and our musicians were losing out on thousands of pounds of income.

We knew we’d have to come up with something new and innovative if we were to have a hope of helping our musicians make money from home without reliable income from live gigs.

We eventually settled on the idea of Personalised Music Messages: a new service allowing anyone to purchase a bespoke music video from a musician and send it as a gift to a loved one stuck in isolation. We also decided that, given the extraordinary strain our NHS workers are under currently, each video should include a £2.50 donation to NHS Charities. So far, in collaboration with our musicians, we’ve now raised over £1,500 for the charity.

How is it going so far?

It’s really taken off! We’ve had videos booked as gifts for birthdays, first dance song renditions as wedding anniversary presents, and even a remix of ‘My Sharona’ as ‘My Corona’, bought for some frontline COVID doctors with a dark sense of humour!

Musicians have also been incredibly creative - we’ve had everything from cello suites to mariachi bands. One of our pianists, Sam, was booked so many times that he earned over £1,000 within a few weeks and was able to fill a large gig-sized hole in his income. Other musicians have chosen to charge higher rates and produce meticulously-crafted multitrack videos, like our multi-instrumentalist Max or the socially distanced bossa nova duo Brazilian Sway.

How does it work?

The service is quick and fully automated to save customers and musicians time. The customer simply fills in a short form to let the musician know which song they’d like performed and any customisation required (for example, changing the lyrics). Then the musician sends the completed video to the customer within four days.

Musicians can customise their pricing and delivery times to make sure it works for them.

Where do you see it going in future?

Ultimately, Encore exists to help musicians do what they love: play music. Sending music video messages can never replace this, and as soon as things begin to return to normal we’ll be redoubling our efforts towards bookings.

That said, my hope is that once the lockdown lifts, our musicians who’ve used the service will be better off. Not only in the financial sense, but also equipped with a new expertise in video production and a backlog of contacts and video content which will serve them well into the future.

How can I get involved?

If you’re already an Encore musician, find out how to sign up to Personalised Music Messages. Musicians can join Encore for free.

Or if you’re interested in supporting our musicians and the NHS, you can buy a Personalised Music Message.