Before building Bookaspace we conducted extensive research to figure out what musicians and rehearsal spaces are looking for. Here's a brief summary on what we discovered!
The concept of booking a service isn’t new at all, however there seems to be something fundamentally different about the rehearsal room industry that has stopped similar services from succeeding. To find out whether Bookaspace had a chance in the market and what we’d have to change in order to make it work, we conducted user research with both rehearsal studios and musicians. This study is divided into two sections. One looks at rehearsal studios and the other at musicians. Let’s start with musicians!
First we needed to understand musicians pain points. We initiated a survey shared across various Facebook groups alongside interviews with friends who are musicians alongside musicians at open mic nights and jam nights.
The main objective was to find out how musicians currently book studios, find new places to rehearse and what their specific pain points are.
We opened the conversation by asking what the most common channels are to finding new rehearsal studios. It was important to us to ask how they make sure a studio matches their requirements.
Of musicians asked said they find studios via Google.
Word of mouth
Other (Instagram, Flyers)
One thing that was mentioned a lot was that finding a rehearsal space is not the easiest process. Unless you’re a regular at a specific studio, finding one is a tedious task consisting of internet research and figuring out whether what they offer matches what a musician (in this case themselves) needs.
Next, we wanted to find out how musicians make bookings right now. Our aim was to get an overview of channels currently used and if there were any glaring problems with them.
The most common piece of feedback we received from musicians when asked how they book a space was:
"Booking studios is such a hassle. I have to coordinate with my band, and then with the studio. It’s a back and forth that takes forever."
Why is that when in 2019 people are used to being able to do anything online, instantly. From ordering food to booking beauty appointments to shopping - everything can be done at the click of a button. No need to call or email someone and waiting for a response. Everything is done instantly.
Finding studios to rehearse in also seems to be a growing problem. Musicians and bands have different needs that match certain requirements. They don’t want to spend time crawling through the internet and looking at different websites to find out what matches their needs.
We asked them to rate the experience of finding and booking rehearsal spaces on a scale of 1 - 4 (1 super easy, 4 very annoying) and the results are shocking.
As you can see, over 70% of those asked responded with 3 - Annoying.
Did you know that people these days are less inclined to book or order something if they have to call?
To finish our interview, we asked for their ideas on what would make the whole process easier. We mostly got answers in regards to an online calendar. One respondent told us that this “...would be amazing, you can just select a slot and be done with it”. Another told us “an app like Treatwell for booking appointments”. This was a good indicator that we were on to something and there was definitely a requirement out there.
Of musicians asked said an online calendar would be ideal for booking a rehearsal
Something like Pirate Studios System
Our next stage was interviewing studios. We needed to find out more about rehearsal studios, how they operate and what stopped them from using an online system. We sent out a survey to studios alongside scheduled visits with a select group of studios to conduct some more in-depth interviews.
The main objectives were;
1 - to find out what problems studios are facing,
2 - how they could be solved and
3 - whether they have tried any platforms that offer online bookings.
When talking to rehearsal studio owners and staff the only issues that could be highlighted were cancellations, non payment of fees and trouble filling last minute slots. What was apparent was that methods such as Google calendar or even traditional pen & paper works just fine currently.
Although this works, what we found was that there was a potential lack of awareness for any online systems that could streamline the process. Whilst asking studios whether there had ever tried any online booking service, we came across platforms that were used, but not necessarily to the degree we hoped for. One studio used a service called Skedda, another tried rehearsalroomfinder.com.
Skedda works fine but has issues with the more complex booking rules and the pricing structures of studios. It also isn’t specifically for studios so adding on, for example, extra equipment has to be done manually.
Meanwhile, whilst researching rehearsalroomfinder.com, we found this isn’t actually a booking platform at all. Musicians could request a booking which started a chain of emails between the musician, the platform and the studio. This created a hassle and highlighted the tedious task of booking a rehearsal room, something musicians had already told us they wanted to avoid.
List pricing of existing services seemed to be another key issue for owners. Most studios have been built off life savings and the people who run it do it out of passion and to contribute to the community. (Thanks a lot! We do appreciate it). So listing prices was something they needed highlighting earlier in the process.
In conclusion, there was no service that could satisfy actual needs for musicians and rehearsal spaces.
Looking at the musicians there is a pretty obvious need for a platform like Bookaspace. Being able to book a rehearsal, exactly how you would order food or book a hair appointment seems to be the logical and smart solution.
Rehearsal spaces don’t necessarily see the issues the musicians are having so hopefully this study can highlight how beneficial a platform like this can be. However, notifying of cancellations, being able to chase non-payments and filling last minute slots was a must. Bookaspace will enable them to do all of that, and more.
We believe that a free online platform can help drive traffic to the studios directly and take control of the entire booking process. This is the next step for the music industry.
Welcome to Bookaspace!