I won’t tell anyone that we met on Vampr – a social media platform for musicians and music lovers

Instagram, Bumble, TikTok, Discord… Social media rule our world.

While it’s nearly impossible to set a specific number of all active platforms today, there were apparently 4.7 billion social media users around the world in July 2022. So we can pretty much assume there’s an app for any and every interest group out there these days.

Thanks to Vampr, musos also have their own virtual networking place.

PART 121 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE / THE SILLY & GREEN PROJECT

Hunters & Collectors are Aussie rock legends. You might know them from the massive hit, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”. They’ve been around, with a few breaks and in different reincarnations, since 1981. And what do they have to do with Vampr?

Well, it turns out that one of the band’s members, Barry Palmer, is the platform’s co-founder, along with another musician, Josh Simons (of the now-retired group, Buchanan).

The fact that two music business practitioners stand behind a social media platform aimed at artists is a good sign. That’s probably also why the start-up has garnered significant traction amongst investors already. So let’s see some of the milestones they’ve reached.

Established in 2015, it made Apple’s “Best of” list only two years later. 2019 was a massive year for Vampr in terms of crowdfunding. Last but not least, Fast Company included the start-up in its Most Innovative Companies list in March this year. The start-up is now Los Angeles-based.

I’m no tech entrepreneur, but I’d say that those facts and figures are pretty impressive. And if you consider that nearly eight million connections have been made on the platform since its inception, then it sounds like a true success story to me. To top it all up, there are people from over 190 countries on the app as well.

So what’s so special about Vampr? In my opinion, it’s bringing a few social media app features under one roof for musos.

First and foremost, Vampr is about networking and connecting with like-minded people. So it’s a bit like LinkedIn, in the professional sense, or like Facebook, in the socialising context.

You don’t necessarily have to be a musician to sign up, though. I’ve registered as a music lover, for instance. Similarly to other platforms of this kind, you then set up your profile and preferences, i.e. the music genres you dig or your favourite artists. You can connect other platforms to it, like Instagram, if you want to. And if you are an artist, you have an option to feature your music as well (in the audio or video format).

Then it’s swiping time to match with users you have something in common with. This Tinder-like feature allows you to “filter” through the crowd better. Once your connection request has been accepted, you can message each other, like on other platforms.

It might be particularly useful if you’re looking for people to jam with, for example. You can get the feel of what they’re into before booking that 5-hour studio for a recording session that might, otherwise, be a complete disaster if your music tastes are not aligned.

It’s worth mentioning at this stage that Vampr is location-based, like dating apps. And it makes sense. While it is possible to collaborate with people living in other parts of the world in the 21st century, there’s nothing better than connecting with fellow musos that you can eventually meet face-to-face, right? To back up this claim, I’ll throw a fun fact here: almost 72 million swipes (and counting) have happened on Vampr so far.

The feed is something that Vampr has taken from Facebook. Vamps (that look like stories) are a definite Instagram influence. You also have the same options within those features, i.e. liking, commenting or saving posts. It’s a part that allows musos to feature their content and projects. I guess finding collabs when people can witness your creative process first-hand is more convincing than talking about it theoretically.

Now, I’ve been alternating between the words “platform” and “app”. While Vampr exists in both the web-based and smartphone realm, how you will use it depends on your personal context. If it’s networking you’re after, go for the app. If you’re looking to learn and discover new things, the website is your best bet.

And on that educational note – Vampr’s blog has heaps of interesting articles. I find them especially useful from an independent muso’s perspective. They cover topics like 5 Side Gigs For Musicians, How to deconstruct constructive criticism or Business Professionalism Tips For Musicians.

But Vampr’s real value lies in the Academy section, in my opinion. I see it as the blog’s extension in a way. It covers music business basics, like content creation for musos or the explanation of management and record label contracts.

There are a few interesting courses in the making, from what I can see on the app, tackling the less tangible but equally important aspects of artists’ lives, i.e. mental health or new technologies (NFTs). While it’s a paid feature, I reckon it’s worth the investment if you’re a totally green muso needing guidance in this complex industry.

The Stories section on the website is another place I’d recommend visiting. It talks about some bands present on the platform and projects Vampr is involved in. For me, as a blogger, the music discovery bit is an attractive feature, too.

With the platform’s growth, its offering has developed, too. Vampr now has distribution and publishing services for independent artists. And if you’re really into the whole concept, you can upgrade to its Pro version to get access to even more creative and professional features.

All in all, Vampr might not be a revolutionary concept in itself. But the sole focus on the music world is something that definitely makes it stand out. So sign up and connect with me, Silly McWiggles, if our paths cross in the world. I promise not to tell anyone that we met on an app 😉


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