Today, we are in conversation with Nick Minicucci, Co-founder & CEO of Immensity. Immensity is an artist management platform. Their mobile app provides actionable insights into an artists social, streaming, and revenue metrics, while also allowing artists to collaborate with their teams. Immensity is set to launch in summer 2020.
Tell us about yourself and your company.
I’m Nick and I’m the Co-Founder & CEO of Immensity. I have a background in music and technology. I’ve played guitar and bass most of my life, I have a degree in Music from UNH and I’ve played in a few bands over the last 8 years. I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to play all over the US and work with some amazing people in the music industry. I’ve also worked for several tech startups in the Boston area as a manager and a consultant, and I’ve had the privilege of working on a variety of exciting projects. My company is Immensity. We provide an artist management platform that is designed to help artists gain insight into their business, collaborate with their teams, and centralize their digital experience. We just raised seed funding and we’re set to launch the first version of Immensity this summer.
What was the motivation behind starting your own company?
When I was on tour and working remotely at the same time, I could see that the tech companies I was working with had plenty of tools to help us operate efficiently. I used dozens of beautiful, streamlined platforms for financial reporting, marketing, contact management, and communication. As artists, we didn’t have the same caliber of options. The few products that we did get to try were really difficult. After exploring the market more I came to realize that independent artists are totally underserved when it comes to technology. I was inspired by working with other founders and business leaders and wanted to use some of the skills I had learned to try and help an industry that I care deeply about.
What was the reason behind your slow/negative growth?
We thought a tool that integrated some core aspects of managing an artist’s business – like tracking metrics and collaborating with their team – would make their lives easier. Artists truly are entrepreneurs and they’re working on these tasks daily. The process can be incredibly disjointed. We probably could have started with a simpler MVP – but in order to really give our idea a fair test, we felt we had to build something that actually integrated some aspects of an artist’s digital experience. With at least some of these digital functions brought into one platform, we could put that platform in front of artists and learn how to make the integration as awesome and valuable as possible.
That’s a relatively decent-sized undertaking for a team like ours at the time. We were only 3 Co-Founders with one tech lead. We all had other jobs and were working on Immensity as a side hustle. We had limited resources and things were definitely slow for a while. We had spread ourselves a bit too thin and we knew we needed to do something to pick up the pace. This ultimately led us to simplifying, bootstrapping, and hiring some developers. That quadrupled our production time and was really the first step in getting us to our turning point.
What did you do to remain positive during those hard times?
From the beginning, we have always believed in helping independent artists and knew we had a legitimate opportunity to do so. Before Coronavirus every part of the music industry was growing – streaming, live music, publishing, all of it. This includes the global independent music market. Independent musicians make up a large portion of the music industry and they are a true driving force. It was easy to see other companies realizing this and figuring out new ways to help these artists with technology. Artist & label services have been starting to provide their artists with cleaner and more advanced analytics tools. Not to mention the major companies continuing to build out their “for artists” platforms with more powerful features. There are amazing things happening in the music industry for independent artists – we wanted to be part of that and knew we had the opportunity to do something unique that really helped on a new level.
What was the turning point?
The turning point was when we raised seed funding and teamed up with our new development partners in early spring this year. This was of course right around the time quarantine was beginning, and the music industry has taken one of the hardest hits since then. We would be in a far more difficult situation if it weren’t for the great work from our leadership team and the help from our investors and development partners. A large portion of our beta product was designed to help with the management of live events. We had to cut that out and overhaul some major components of our UI/UX and overall product strategy. It took a lot of effort but we were assiduous in our planning and stayed focused.
The industry is definitely changing for a while, but it’s not stopping. Musicians are adopting new digital channels for performance and doubling down on others. We have a pretty unique opportunity to help artists make these adjustments and play our part in helping the music industry return to some form of normalcy. Our team has pulled off some amazing additions to the Immensity mobile app – like integrations with live streaming platforms like Twitch and Patreon, and the ability to provide artists with valuable insight into their engagement on those channels. We’re also slashing our original price by 80% for this year. It’s a bit of a risk financially, but we’re committed to using this opportunity to try and help independent artists as much as possible.
How did you get there? Pure luck or hard work?
It was definitely hard work. Our team had to work some long hours when we were managing the development of our beta product. We had to be diligent and creative when it came to getting the approvals we needed for certain APIs. We had to reach out to dozens of investors and beta testers. We hit a lot of roadblocks and it took a lot of perseverance. But we worked with some amazing beta testers and learned about the technology artists need to genuinely manage themselves. We found investors who shared our passion for music. Then we put our heads down and worked even harder with our development partners to revamp over half of our product offerings and ensure we’re positioned to make a positive impact on the music industry at a time when it needs it more than ever.
Did you have help from anyone in the industry?
We’ve recently started getting help from some really cool people and organizations – artist managers, distribution companies, music schools, and other music tech companies. It’s definitely been helpful to sit down and get their feedback on our product roadmap. We’re looking forward to continuing those conversations and exploring more ways to collaborate.
How long did it take for your business to do a complete U-turn?
It took a year. It was almost exactly one year ago that we decided to bootstrap and hire our first team of engineers.
Looking back, do you feel that all the struggle has been worthwhile?
Absolutely. It’s important to embrace the struggle to an extent, especially as a small start-up. There’s almost always going to be some sort of obstacle, and by getting the opportunity to work in that type of environment you improve yourself. You learn what it takes to bring your ideas to their full potential. Now our whole team is excited to build Immensity into the best app for artists that we can.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are waiting for their “turning point?”
Listen to your stakeholders – particularly your users. Stay humble, learn as much as you possibly can, and get guidance on what needs to happen in order for you to hit your turning point. Once you have some ideas, validate them. Talk to more people, present some mockups, or run some tests. Get some validation that you’re actually moving towards your product vision, and remain flexible enough to make some quick pivots if you need to. Then it’s just a matter of working really hard. Stay consistent and put in hours every day.
The Immensity mobile app will be free, with a premium version that allows artists and managers to keep track of multiple projects for only $2.99/month. Check out www.immensitymusic.io for more info and updates.