When Garrison Snell graduated from Belmont University in May 2015, he had something up his sleeve. Just one day later, Snell founded his successful digital marketing firm, Gyrosity Projects, with a mission of better connecting clients and customers.
Six months later, he was putting together a marketing budget for an artist with a limited budget and a goal to utilize streaming to get his music heard in the world. After looking at multiple options, Snell realized that getting independent artists’ music in front of big names was just too expensive.
“It was, honestly, super unfair at how much they were charging and how little you got," he said. "We're in the streaming era; why the heck are we not building technology and software to do this?”
With a goal of introducing independent artists on a cost-effecive basis, Snell launched his first web app – dubbed Crosshair – this past January.
The music distribution app works by hosting influencers like Spotify playlist curators on their network. Then, music is sent to them on behalf of the artists, their reviews are solicited, they are paid for their review and are encouraged to add that music to their Spotify playlists and beyond. While independent artists can do a certain amount of promotion themselves on social media, Crosshair acts as a bridge to the bigger and better influencers who have the power to score the artists real deals at a fraction of the price.
“If you think about the options available to independent artists, there are very few that don't cost thousands of dollars," he said. "The ones that don't cost thousands of dollars don't have any sort of measurable or authentic return,” Snell explained.
Instead of charging exorbitant fees for a photo shoot and sending clients on their way, Crosshair charges a one-time fee of $250 per song. Already, the app has garnered some serious results.
Over just one week, Utah-based band The Solarists saw their Spotify listeners soar by 28,000, while streams of their song “Young Blood” increased by 37,000 after being featured on two Spotify playlists.
After just about six weeks of operations, Crosshair has some 170 active campaigns under its belt, including efforts on behalf of Mitchell Rose, Ryan Beaver, Tim McGraw, Judah and the Lion and Martin Garrix, to name a few.
Rose, a fellow Belmont grad, had praise for Crosshair. "It was the main reason [my song] 'Candy' got the Spotify traction it did. I'm very happy it's available to help independent artists.”
Ryan Beaver’s manager, industry veteran Marc Rucker, has known Snell for years and acts as a consultant to the young entrepreneur.
Rucker also praised the web app. He noted that as the music industry continues to rapidly evolve, Crosshair “adds to an already-long list of things for independent artists to do that are great options to get their music out to fans.”
But Rucker also points out that Crosshair is not a fool-proof success formula for independent artists and musicians.
“We've seen some good success stories," Rucker said. "It's kind of, you get what you put into it, just like anything else that we're trying to do. It's not a magic bullet, and that's OK. It's all about working hard and making it happen.”
Even so, Crosshair is an important tool for up-and-coming singers and songwriters to utilize, in Rucker's view.
“In the music space, there's a lot more ways to get your music heard, and it's more than ever before,” Rucker said. “A lot of these ways are missed because people don't know that they're there. That's one thing that Crosshair brings. It's going to continue to grow. We add influencers all the time and they want to hear new music and we want to connect them.”