MusicGurus.com is an online music education marketplace that enables students to learn from world-class musicians
Students can access free sample lessons and pay to access full courses, created by exciting artists playing a range of instruments and styles. Videos are created either by the artists themselves or by the MusicGurus in-house production team.
Students can also subscribe to Video Coaching and receive personal feedback from artists. Students submit their practice videos and questions and the teacher replies with a video and comments to help the student improve.
A useful aspect of the Coaching feature is that it’s asynchronous so both the student and artist can respond whenever suits them. It is also affordable because it only takes artists about 15 minutes for a teacher to review a student’s submission and respond, meaning a fraction of the artist’s normal hourly rate can be charged.
For artists, MusicGurus is attractive as a source of income, potentially filling some of the gap left by the fall in recorded music revenues. For example, MusicGurus shareholder and advisor pianist Peter Martin has successfully grown his annual online education revenues to around $70k.
Following a test marketing push, MusicGurus has active users and revenue from paying customers using the beta site. Initial feedback from customers and artists has helped us to improve some of the features and the overall usability and robustness of the site.
We estimate that the market for music education in the UK alone is worth about £400m. Assuming other Western developed countries spend a similar proportion of GDP on music lessons, the market could worth more than $6.5bn in the Europe and the US alone.
Our artists and partners, including ABRSM, report that there could also be an opportunity in eastern countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and China, where there is a lot of interest amongst an emerging middle class in learning western musical styles yet a limited supply of education.
With global recorded music sales down over 50% since 2005 and with streaming services so far failing to replace the decline in CD sales over the past decade, we feel there is an incentive for musicians to look for alternative sources of income that fit-in with their performing commitments.
As demonstrated by MusicGurus advisor Peter Martin, online education could provide an alternative source of revenue.
Many artists are now trying to set-up and market home-made own-brand music education sites which can be time consuming and difficult. MusicGurus is designed to make it easy for any musician with an exciting offer to set-up an online education business.
Larger competitors such as artistworks.com or Berklee Online do exist but are designed more as schools with restricted lists of instructors rather than as marketplaces and as such are relatively closed to new artists.
Our main strategy for securing customers is through leveraging the audiences and fans of our artists and partners. However, as we build scale we will increasingly be looking for media and PR opportunities to build the MusicGurus brand in its own right and drive traffic to the site as a whole rather than to the landing page of a specific course.