The issue of how payments in the music industry should be handled has been a hot topic of discussion. Creators rightfully want compensation for their work. BandPay, a fully customizable payment platform to launch March 2020, introduces a simple solution to the delays, errors, and losses that slow down many music professionals’ transactions and creative output.
The platform streamlines two-party agreements by setting up deadline-based milestones in a given project, and assigning payments to each milestone. This builds accountability and minimizes errors, especially with the feature that guarantees that funds are available to complete a transaction. It establishes trust by ensuring all parties, from musicians to producers to social media influencers, stick to their side of the agreement. Centralizing all payments in one platform revolutionizes cost management and revenue maximization in the music business.
Bandpay: Milestone-based Payment Platform Guarantees Trust Between Collaborators
A singer with a vision for a new single is looking for a producer. She asks around, finds a guy who’s a friend of a friend and sounds promising. They come to terms, then she pays him. However, afterward, she ends up ghosted. She’s got no track, and now she has to raise money from scratch, doubling the cost of the single.
This story and its like happen regularly to artists, managers, and other music professionals.
One solution to this problem is Bandpay. They provide a fully customizable payment platform that allows two parties to establish milestones in a project. It also allows the parties to assign payments to each milestone. An additional feature is that it guarantees that funds are available to complete a transaction. The app is available for Android and iOS. It incorporates meditation. As a result, this helps parties come to an understanding if a project goes sideways, shifts scope, or remains incomplete.
Founding and purpose
App developer Gleb Teper co-founded Bandpay with Garrison. Garrison and Teper originally bonded over an ambitious plan to create a suite of educational and business tools for musicians and their teams. As they worked on ideas, they realized the need for something far simpler. That was a payment platform tailor-made for business arrangements once made on the fly and sealed with a handshake (at best).
Bandpay replaces the handshake with a clear, concise roadmap for project completion. It also creates clarity surrounding the availability of funds. As an artist or manager, you know the agreement, the timeline, and the ultimate cost of the project. As a creative service provider, you know your collaborator can pay you, the expectations and the timeline. Bandpay is not only designed for work-for-hire-type creative jobs. It is also designed for any service provided to an artist. These can include social media management, marketing projects, influencer deals or branded appearances.
In addition to a detailed set of deadline-based milestones both parties agree to and that unlock payment, Bandpay offers tools to help parties work things out when delays, errors, and other misfortunes strike, as they often do in creative work.
DeCarlos Garrison – Co-CEO
DeCarlos Garrison is a music marketing expert, artist manager, and tech entrepreneur based in Orlando, Florida.
He started his career as a college rep for Def Jam Records in 1995. Later he became manager of street team promotions. He also managed promotional accounts for Warner Bros., Universal, Loud, and Atlantic Records in Memphis, TN; Jackson, MS; and Little Rock, AR. In 1998, DeCarlos took an opportunity to work in promotions at the new division of Def Jam Records in Atlanta, GA. While there he worked under the vice president of Def Jam South, Peppa Williams, and president, Scarface. In 1999, DeCarlos met radio Program Director Lee Cagle in Memphis, TN. There, he was offered a job to run the street team for his urban hip-hop radio station. DeCarlos implemented a mobile DJ set up and started Hot Days. This was a summer event aimed to bring local talent to different community events from low-income areas.
DeCarlos then moved to Orlando and became assistant marketing manager for Clear Channel XL 106.7. While there, he led a rebranding effort and launched popular pool party events. He was also part of the team behind Club Paris in Orlando. He supported the club opening and marketing the venue in Jacksonville. In 2003, DeCarlos partnered with Michael Garrett to start The G.A.M.E, his first major entrepreneurial effort. The company connected artists with product placement and touring opportunities. It also created partnerships with Calvin Klein, Mark Ecko, Phat Farm, Sean John, and Pepsi, to name a few. Since 2006, DeCarlos has worked directly with artists to further their careers. These include Smilez and Southstar, Sony European artist Addis AKA Raptile and the urban pop group, Follow Your Instinct, who toured the United State and Europe from 2010-2013.
Drawing on his experience as a manager and as a business owner, DeCarlos teamed up with developer Gleb Teper and spent several years designing and building products to eliminate key pain points in music creation, management, and accounting. Together they created Bandpay, an app that links payment to project milestones to decrease friction between creative collaborators.
Gleb Teper – Co-CEO
From a young age, Gleb Teper has had an abiding interest in technology and problem-solving. Gleb received his A+ and Network+ certifications while still in high school. He graduated with an AS degree in Networking Services Technology from Seminole State College. Surprisingly, he graduated at the same time that he received his high school diploma. Gleb went on to the University of Central Florida, getting a degree in Information Systems Technology. He also studied network security, databases, and multimedia technologies in Sweden at the University of Jönköping.
Gleb worked in many areas of IT. These include network administration, implementing and managing IT solutions, network migrations, software conversions, automation of manual processes, and development and implementation of web-based applications. Gleb is passionate about music and particularly enjoys discovering new artists. Excited to help artists and change the music industry, Gleb partnered with DeCarlos Garrison and in 2019 the team created and developed BandPay.
Should these options not feel adequate, Bandpay refers the dispute to the bank where funds are held for the project, for further mediation and review. “There are ways to pay people quickly, but nothing of this kind, that really embraces the whole process of completing a project. We’ve filled a big void for musicians and creators,” adds Teper.
DeCarlos Garrison, a music business veteran and serial tech entrepreneur made the following statement about Bandpay:
A shared scene or network implies trust, but that trust is too often broken, either explicitly or due to misunderstandings. I’ve experienced this problem first hand. We knew there was a way to solve it.
Artists hear and think a lot about the revenue side of their business. There are a lot of tools and apps to help maximize revenue, everything from marketing automation to data analysis. But there are a lot fewer tools available for controlling the cost side of the business equation and preventing unnecessary losses. In this age of lean margins and fast-paced creation, we thought that needed to change.
Artists can get so excited about their music, their dream, that they don’t realize that they are making an investment decision. If someone doesn’t make good on that investment, they are taking away from your ability to create in the long run. This issue really resonates with people in the industry, who really crave the peace of mind of knowing that you will get what you pay for, or that you will be paid in a timely and appropriate matter if you do the work you promise.
Gleb Teper made the following statement:
We built an app that is as simple as possible while providing an easy solution to a key problem, how to make sure everyone sticks to their side of the agreement when a service is being provided.
It’s all based on the milestones at the end of the day. If the terms of a milestone aren’t met, and both sides aren’t satisfied, Bandpay tries to guide them to work together and come up with a solution among themselves. The seller couldn’t deliver the product, say, and offers a refund. Or some work was done, but not all and everyone agrees on a smaller payment for that milestone. Perhaps work needs to be revised before all agree a milestone has been reached.
Goals of Bandpay
Garrison and Teper hope this will usher in a new era of reduced friction and increased trust between people making music and undertaking other projects together. “So many transactions go wrong. Widely available payment apps don’t protect against this, and we all know instances when things turned out badly,” Garrison reflects. “Artists and creative people just can’t afford to lose money this way, not to mention friends and connections. They need to be paid. They need to get the product. We want them to have a trusted partner to bridge that gap between hopes and delivered tracks.”
Bandpay will be available in app stores mid-March 2020.