The ChoirCommunity Story – Part Two
We left the first part of the story with some of the key ideas for ChoirCommunity in place, but plenty of challenges which still needed to be resolved.
How were we going to build a website which would attract choirs to visit and also be a full commercial platform for purchasing and downloading music? How were we going to attract other arrangers to join Craig so that we had a reasonable catalogue of titles to launch with? How were we actually going to get a high volume of rights-owned titles cleared for publishing without spending a fortune?
In the second part of a short series about our story so far, we explain how we answered these three questions and took the business from a basic idea to a tangible offering.
There were of course many more questions beyond these first three, but we thought that if we at least answered these, we probably had something worth continuing with.
Craig’s involvement with the Young Voices organisation offered the solution to the last of these questions. Thirty-two music, the agency that cleared all the music licensing for the stadium concerts held each year were intrigued by the idea and offered their help. A couple of meetings later and a contract was agreed for them to manage the clearance process for all right-owned arrangements submitted for ChoirCommunity. Their knowledge of the industry and relationships with all the main music publishers helped to make this a feasible solution.
The second question was answered more gradually and via many emails, chats over coffees and phone calls, but within a couple of months, both Gitika Partington and Richard Salt were on board as additional launch arrangers. This was a perfect fit for us, as both offered quite a different range of titles from Craig and broadened the range of styles and voices supported considerably.
The first question was solved by Craig’s brother Piers, who after 25 years in the IT industry, at least knew where to start when it came to researching the different platforms and technologies available. Once the various components were selected, Piers was able to build the website himself, with the help of a few contacts and favours called in along the way. For those with any interest in these things, the system chosen was WordPress, with a set of extensions called EDD (Easy Digital Downloads). This provided the combination of flexibility we were looking for, underpinned by a robust commercial platform, designed specially to provide a marketplace for digital content.
So, all the main elements were in place; the website was taking shape, the launch list of arrangements was selected and was going through the clearance process and we knew pretty much how it was all going to look and work when it was done.
We just had one small piece left to work out; how to make sure choirs found out about the new website…..and how to ensure they liked it when they did. In other words – marketing! This was not something we knew enough about in house so we knew we needed to look elsewhere…..