If good artists copy and great artists steal, musician-focused marketplace and social commerce platform Hello Music is headed for the inspiration borrowing hall of fame. Today the company announced its first subscription product called Dollar String Club, which offers guitarists recurring monthly string deliveries.
There’s nothing wrong with being a little tongue and cheek and Hello Music is proudly so in this case. In its pitch, the company even hat-tipped the original product which it described as “geared towards owners of beards” — Dollar Shave Club — and admitted that it steered away from producing a video out of fear of falling short of the high standards set by the “OG” (both quotes, their words).
Nonetheless, guitar strings are exactly the type of replenishable utility item (like razors) that is a natural fit for subscription. Far too many entrepreneurs have tried to wrap a subscription model around far less appropriate products in the misguided hope that it would revolutionize their business.
For Hello Music, which is trying to attract members who return regularly to shop for a wide variety of more profitable music necessities, offering a down and dirty subscription as a loss leader could be exactly the door opener the company needs.
“As artist advocates, we’re constantly thinking of new ways to save musicians even more time and money – and we realized there was no streamlined way to purchase quality strings,” says Hello Music CEO Rick Camino. “With our new monthly subscription service, everyone from weekend warriors to touring professionals can now get amazing strings at a very reasonable price, automatically reordered and delivered monthly.”
Dollar String Club offers three tiers:
- HM Select: $1/month for a set of vintage-style, nickel-plated steel strings for a warm, full-sounding tone
- HM Premiere: $7/month (shipping inclusive) for a special set of cryogenically frozen strings for twice as much lifespan, durability and tone
- HM Platinum: $9/month (shipping inclusive) for strings with increased mass, tighter windings, smoother feel, extra-long life and a more resonant tone unrivaled by conventional string design
Hello Music has established a reputation within its industry for negotiating deals on behalf of its mostly independent or hobbyist artist members that were previously reserved for top-tier artists with recording contracts. Beyond strings, Hello Music offers its members items across four categories: Gear, Artist Development Services, Accessories, and Vintage Equipment. Items offered change every 48 hours and can include everything from guitars and amps to content distribution opportunities.
Hello Music, which is an Elevator Labs portfolio company, raised $4 million as its only outside financing to date in early 2010 while operating under a different business model.
This strings subscription may drive a little buzz and traffic, but the company will look to extract more significant business through the additional “innovative, premium services” that it plans to make available to members this fall. The company’s membership roster has been growing quickly. The ongoing question remains whether it can adequately monetize this extremely passionate audience.