Luc Hart is no stranger to the music industry. He is a long-time music producer, performer, and sound engineer who has done sound production for movies, tours, and his own live shows. Over time, he realized that although music streaming platforms are convenient for consumers, they do not make it easy for artists to make money. Recognizing the lack of support for artists, Luc Hart partnered with his father, Frank Hart, and they created a video streaming platform built with artists in mind called Gign.
“Apps like Spotify and YouTube can be monetized, but artists are looking at fractions of pennies for music play,” Luc Hart explains. “What do the artists own? Merch and live music. We started thinking of another concept to support people in the industry.”
Gign is a streaming platform that’s comparable to YouTube or Twitch, but it’s built for artists to broadcast their performances in real-time and get paid in real time. Venues, artists, and musicians are able to continue to create content and add a new revenue stream without relying on a number of streams to get compensated. Gign takes production into account and turns streamed events into high-quality pay-per-view-like experiences by incorporating multi-cameras, remote cameras, and a soundboard built right into the platform.
“During this COVID-19 environment, people can’t justify paying for a simple Facebook Live video when they’re used to professional performances,” Hart explains. “This isn’t what people are looking for from their favourite artists. If you take the time to put on a production, people will pay for it.”
While Hart has had the idea for years, the global pandemic has been steadily moving the platform forward. Before COVID-19, there were few competitors in this space, but that changed when everyone was forced to stay home. “We’ve learned a lot about what companies have done wrong, so Gign has become a simple system that runs right,” Hart adds.
For artists, shows are easy to add to Gign. Events can be free to stream so that people can simply click in and watch, or there is the option to create ticket prices and promote paid shows. The platform also supports additional features such as discount codes and automatically uploading recorded shows as soon as the live event is done.
For users, it’s just as easy to enjoy performances. They can watch live or recorded shows with just a link, and it’s easy for fans to copy that link and share it with their friends. To support artists beyond enjoying the event, there is the option to give a tip that goes directly to them.
“It’s a great way for artists to add an additional revenue source,” says Hart. “They can stream worldwide to fan bases that they normally wouldn’t have access to.”
Gign recently secured one of the world’s biggest names in jazz, Wynton Marsalis. The TD VicJazzFest streamed their Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet performance of The Democracy! Suite with Wynton Marsalis on the platform early February 2021, which was exclusively presented online in Canada.
In the near future, Gign intends to maintain its simplified focus, but also add an online store where fans can order merch straight to their door. Looking long-term, Hart would like to be doing huge performances that people have never seen before. “Gign could be a central performance hub that showcases incredible locations and backdrops,” shares Hart. “The viewership is out there to put on these big productions. Especially while people can’t go to live shows right now, the market is there to find the kind of entertainment that people want.”
Hart has enjoyed growing the Gign platform in Saskatchewan and plans to continue working with the great people here, such as the Cultivator Program Powered By Conexus. “They’ve been tremendous at offering legs up with people in the business and getting our foot in the door for raising capital,” Hart smiles. “It’s been advantageous bouncing ideas off of all of the founders involved with Cultivator and getting to know people in the industry.”
Co-founders: Luc Hart & Frank Hart
Incorporation Date: 2018