In today’s episode of the Modern Musician Magazine Podcast, we talk with Ryan MacGrath, from Onescreener, a one-page website builder and promo platform for musicians, artists, entertainers and influencers.

Ryan talks about the platform and how easy and fast it is for artists to get set up with a simple website and how it integrates with the online booking platform Optune.

Show Notes

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Full Podcast Transcript


Hey, everybody, this is Sean from the Modern Musician Magazine Podcast. In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking to Ryan McGrath from Onescreener, which is a really cool one page website builder for artists, musicians and influencers to market themselves online. So with that said, I’ll see you in the podcast.


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Today’s podcast is brought to you by Onescreener, an easy to use one page website creator for artists, entertainers and influencers, which includes booking management and promo tools. For more information, go to one screener dot com.


Welcome to the Modern Musician magazine podcast covering all the latest news reviews, gear, software, events, artists and tutorials for today’s modern musician.

This podcast is brought to you by the Robot Spaceship Podcast Network. For more info and other great podcasts series, go to Robot Spaceship Dotcom and subscribe. And now your host, Sean Early.

Hey, everybody, this is Sean from the Modern Music Magazine Podcast, and I’m here today with Ryan McGrath from Uptune. Ryan is head of marketing and communications for Uptune.


And today we’re going to be talking about a platform they have called onescreener, which is sort of a ranking. Give me more details in a minute. But it’s basically sort of a one page website platform for helping musicians and artists and influencers marketed themselves online. Ryan, it’s great to have you on the podcast. How you doing, man? I’m doing great.


Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Yeah. So, Ryan, what is onescreener and how did it get started?


Yeah, so I’ll start chatting a little bit about Uptown first and then how it developed into one screener. So our CEO to be a smart guy. He’s based in Zurich, Switzerland, and he worked as an event manager and an artist manager for over 10 years. He ran his own company in Switzerland. And during that time he saw so many inefficiencies, primarily in the booking process or for booking agents and musicians and just how convoluted the communication could become.


So he sold his company at one point and a few years ago started off tune hoping to address these problems. So Opportune was developed as essentially a administrative platform for booking agents and musicians to help streamline the workflow process. And so one screener developed out of that, seeing that artists wanted to find easier ways of marketing themselves and agents also wanted to do the same for their artists. And there was always kind of this wall between the most artists and a having the money to hire a graphic designer or B, just not having those skills on hand.


So what’s Kind became a website creator for musicians to build a site within like ten minutes to upload a great photo with your background and have the possibility to put on links and broken buttons that lead to the Opteron platform. So now one screener has. Evolved into, I would say, a content hub, and as you said, it’s it’s directed towards musicians and influencers and really creators of all kinds. And it’s. Essentially, one page that looks really sleek and it’s super, super easy within four steps.


You have this this great website or artist business card where you can put on all of your most important links to socials or or online shops and display your videos to music players. And you can always keep it keep it updated on your own really easily. Right.


So this is this is basically I mean. When people think of a website, they think about something that is, you know, pages and pages of information or a blog or whatever.


I mean, I’m aware of it, but maybe you kind of want to get into what’s the what’s the sort of the use case behind just having a one page website with lots of links on it?


Yeah, well, it just makes everything more direct. So when you’re, let’s say, your normal website for a musician, I don’t know, maybe five years ago, like it would be focused on branding, maybe a new album or a new single. And so all of your artwork is is based on that and all of your links and you have several pages with a lot of information. And and that’s that’s great if you want to show every single detail on your website.


But what one screener does is allows the artist to have complete control over that, that design and that branding really easily. So there’s no need to bring in a designer. And I’m not saying that, you know, we want to take business away from from designers that doing losing jobs as well. But this just allows the artist to have a bit more control over update, you know. Right. Because, yeah, for for myself as an artist and for our friends and our clients, when it comes to rebranding for for a new album or something, it takes a lot of effort and a lot of money to to bring in all of this new artwork and photos.


And so one screener puts that in the artist’s hands.


OK, so it basically it’s just kind of it’s just to to kind of have the most immediate information there, calls to action like social media and all of that. Just on one page.


I know I’ve been seeing kind of this trend, especially with a lot of people who are, you know, influencers and people who we have some sort of business that relies on Instagram, especially where, you know, you can’t post to make a post on social media with a link.


And so you have to always say, hey, go to my go to my profile and click the link and then go do this thing. And it seems like there’s there’s a there’s a big trend towards this this sort of one page with everything on it.


That kind of is your first first, you know, in-between spot for all the various platforms and things that you’re involved in.


And I think it’s pretty, pretty cool to be able to have a feature like this, especially for musicians who, you know, some are great in marketing themselves. Some you know, I’ll admit I know a lot of musicians who aren’t so good at marketing themselves, much less try to handle an entire website. So this is kind of cool that they can just kind of get in, upload some stuff, add some links, and they’re kind of ready to go, you know.


I see. And that’s that’s something that we’re we’re trying to address as well. You know, in terms of Instagram with the link in bio, you know, we’re providing. That feeling so they can always have their one screener link in their bio and be updating their one screener and giving access to, you know, to their new videos that they’re the new you know, the new version days in the shops or. And also we’ve we’ve integrated twitch live streams into the one screen.


And so.


Right. I saw that that’s that’s a big thing right now for a lot of people, especially, I think with the whole coronavirus situation. Maybe you want to touch on that, too. I mean, how how is this affecting your business in general? I mean, how is that?


Ah, a lot of people trying to get online now because of that or I would assume that’s. Well, yeah.


I mean, obviously a lot of people have to to adapt and find ways of performing online. And, you know, for us, we we deal with primarily booking agents and touring artists. So, yeah, I mean, it’s it’s super sad right now and detrimental to their businesses. And so we’re trying to adopt a bit to accommodate that and. That’s exactly why we put the Twitch feature in there and we’re all hoping that. Things are going to go back to, quote unquote, normal in terms of venues being able to host shows and artists being able to perform and make money and promote themselves the way they used to.


But in the meantime, like. It’s survival of the fittest, it’s about adaptation, right? So I would imagine the booking aspect is is not so active right now.


Maybe it’s I mean, there’s there’s a lot of people like, you know, I have a lot of friends and I’m seeing people through to opportune. And once they’re like moving towards doing more live streams and finding ways to effectively monetize them, you know, it’s still everyone’s kind of scrambling and trying to figure this out. Right. So we’re all flying by the seat of our pants. And in terms of booking like, I don’t know, maybe for the next six months or a year, we’re going to see booking become an online.


Function all right, in terms of performances, so I guess I was going to be my next question, I mean, you have Twitch integration now that that is I guess what I’m just trying to see the big picture of all the all the pieces here.


So you have the one screener page, which is sort of the front end for artists and fans, and then you have the the booking aspect of it.


And then that they sort of they they play well with each other, I assume. I mean, they kind of they’re both integrated for, you know. Does the one screen or page link directly to booking information on the other platform and then from there I’m just thinking out loud, but can you also so list of all your Twitter shows and all that kind of thing?


Exactly. So that’s that’s still part of it. So through opportunity, the booking platform, right on on your one screen here, you can have the bottom button that goes to a booking request form on up to you. OK, so there are people thinking about this in venues. I know I’m based in Canada at the moment and and here venues especially like house concert platforms, they are booking shows for artists online. And so, you know. These these agents and the artist still need a way to organize it and to keep track of it, and so it’s still effective in that case.


So right from your from your one screener, you have the book Neubauten, you have the direct feed, the live stream of your gigs going into your one screen or from Oportunidad. So it’s still functioning that way, but we’re all just kind of testing it out and seeing. I works in this small world. Yeah, I think it’s it’s really interesting to have, you know, a platform available that. That is easy to use for people and also integrates well with itself for all those specific purposes.


I’m trying to think now does I guess I’m getting a little bit away from the one screener aspect.


But I mean, once once you get to the one screener page and then you you want to book or check out concerts in general, is there you know, is the booking end of it sort of a calendar feature as well just for fans, or is it only for scheduling and booking persay? I mean, does. Yeah, I know, so, so, so, yeah, we’re speaking more in terms of opportunities and opportunities it’s designed to take care of.


Everything from getting a booking request from an agent from the venue, processing the booking, dealing with your itineraries and your tickets and your finances, right. And then right through to promotion. So one screener is kind of like a promotional tool of off ofter during the voting process. So it’s really takes care of every every step. Yeah, and and one screener just happens to be right now kind of our our focus, because we’re seeing that there is a need for people to promote themselves.


More online right now is one screener. I mean, obviously it’s, you know, musicians and performers. But I mean, how are you getting a lot of just general sort of entertainers or influencers as well on there?


Or I guess what’s the what’s the what’s sort of the ecosystem of the the people that are using, you know, right at the at the moment, it’s it’s more bands and solo artists.


We also have quite a healthy amount of comedians like stand up comedians, some influencers and. What we’re hoping to do is kind of make people aware that although it was primarily designed for musicians, it’s also just a great tool for anyone who wants to kind of promote their personal brand.


Right. So basically, anybody who is some sort of bookable talent can use it. And if they want to step into the other platforms, then, you know, it’s available like is there a sort of a starter package in between package?


I mean, how does that how does that role like for your basic musician who just wants to get up and running and then they want to kind of stage into the different features?


How does that work? Yeah, so we actually have a free plan. So people can get started right away and get their side and we had a problem.


That obviously offers more features and then we have a premium plan and they’re all very reasonable, reasonably, except for this and this and the like, the premium plan offers you all of the features and your own own domain name.


So, OK, cool artist, dot com and OK, so it’s a it’s a unique sort of you are all they have for the for the basic, for the, for the free plan then and then they can and I mean separate.


That’s cool. I wasn’t aware this is free, I was just looking and I saw a free trial. I just didn’t know what, what that all was. So anybody can go in and basically sign up and get a one on one screen or page set up with the basics, then.


Yeah, that’s cool. Um. And when. When they sign up, I mean, is there I guess they haven’t seen the UI when you go inside, but is there sort of do you have to sort of integrate your social networks and things like do you have to log in like some some sites you have to like, you know, do your Instagram log in to connect to whatever? Or is it basically just I add my links and my photo, my name or whatever, and I’m ready to go.


I mean, what’s the complexity? You said it’s like a five minute set up process.


It’s super easy. So basically, you you sign up to your email address, it brings you into the platform. You add your background photo like a nice high res photo. And and we have some sympathy use on the ones to kind of guide you through the best possible ways of going about that, because, you know, like some photos work better. Obviously, you want to be high res and interesting and provocative because with something so simple, with a one screen page, you want to make the biggest impact you can immediately.


So the photo is really important. But yeah, you upload it in seconds, then you add your your links. So it’s just a matter of copying and pasting. OK, yeah. And then you put in your main content and that just means that you, you add your, your twitch live stream again copying and pasting the link. Right. For your, your gigs. If you have like a series of live streams coming up that you’ve put into your op to an account, then you can add that, that live stream.


OK, I’m checking out the site here.


It also says search engine visibility. I guess that would be my next question.


Just I’m also kind of a website nerd, but obviously being being findable is just as important is as anything else is just being there for musicians with a with a one page kind of site like this.


I mean, how how how does the search engine aspect work? Is there like some sort of text involved or key wording or is it just your positioning in the search engines with the A platform like this?


Well, exactly. It’s more about what we’ve done on our end to OK to make it more available.


OK, so it’s not really there’s not as much like your basic musician who isn’t into SEO, they can basically sign up and it’s kind of optimized already for that.


Exactly. OK, that’s cool. Yeah. Interesting. So maybe, I don’t know, let’s go a little bit into sort of your background in the company’s background. I mean, how long have you been with with.


This project I have been with up to just for about two years now, yeah, as I said, I’m based in Canada, eastern Canada, but I was living in Switzerland when I started with them. And then my role kind of morphed into to working with this one screener and some other projects we have going on. But the whole project opportunities started roughly four years ago. OK, and how long is one screener been around once? Yeah, about about the same.


It was kind of started simultaneously, but not not push so much. Our main focus was on Opteron and getting those solutions together. But within the last two years, we’ve really made a lot of progress with one screener. And that’s becoming. Another focus, right?


OK, well, cool, I think I think there’s definitely a lot of people that would use this, especially I’m I’m totally thinking the the the Instagram crowd especially.


I think this would be really useful just for that that sort of launching site for that one link rules them all kind of aspect. I think that’s a great idea.


Now, is there like for. For I keep jumping back to the opportune part, but. Is do you handle sort of payment and all that stuff, too, or is it mostly a scheduling aspect?


So if somebody wants the book to, they they just make a contact or is there like pay me for this gig kind of thing or do we have you can’t actually make the payment through threw up to this point.


OK, you know, it’s always developing and changing. Right. But but now it’s primarily scheduling. It’s when you have your create invoices and contracts within up to it’s set up so that you can send them with one click because it’s all about collaboration. So you have a promoter or venue in your contacts within the system, then it’s just super easy to create the invoices and use templates and send those off. So it’s more about streamlining all of the paperwork.


So it’s eliminating, emailing and it’s eliminating. No physical copies of contracts and invoices and right, yeah, it’s it’s optimizing the communication between.


All the different parties, OK, about how many this is, this is sort of a pet peeve of mine on websites in general, but how many sort of social platforms do you have that are linkable on your Web page?


Because it seems like sometimes you go to these things and says enter your social and it’s like Facebook and Twitter, you know, and that’s all you get. I mean, do you have sort of a large selection of platforms?


Like if I went in and logged in and my stuff and added all my social links, does it just kind of grab that icon for that?


And then there’s a bunch of them or so you’re speaking about one screener again. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Around here. Yeah, there is. Yeah, there’s there’s a whole series of of Sociales of a different concept and we’re always adding more. So if a client is using wire that we’re not totally aware of at the moment because so many pop up. Right. We’re always making an effort to implement those. Right. I think you’d be happy with the with the selection.


So. Yeah, that’s cool.


Yeah, I just that’s it’s always like it’s hard because it’s like Tick has been around long enough that it should just be a default icon on some of these things, you know what I mean. Just and I don’t see it and I’m not talking about one screen, but it’s like in WordPress or something. There’s so many places out there that only give you such a limited selection.


And especially for musicians, it’s like, you know, musicians like even though they’re not good at marketing, they’re so deep into their their social, you know what I mean?


That it’s like you got to follow them quickly, you know, because they’re jumping from platform to platform. And so it’s like trying to be on the cutting edge with just the the platforms that they’re on is is I can be challenging, I would imagine.


You know, I also think it depends on on where people are. Right. Because, you know, I know from living in Switzerland and Europe compared to living in North America, again, you know, there’s a lot of platforms that don’t really cross over and popular one place, not on the other. So that’s off to us as an international company to try to keep informed of all the platforms. That right. Yeah. Yeah, there’s always something new.


Right. I’m just I’m just clicking through kind of looking at everything, I mean, this is this is really, really streamlined. I mean, for anybody who is interested, I would definitely say check it out.


I would say this is this is definitely very, very useful for musicians, especially just getting started, because it’s such a challenge just to to think about starting your own Web page and what that implies and having had so many having been a Web designer and having had so many clients who were musicians who wanted to get started, it this is, you know, even though it kind of takes the money out of the designer’s brain, it’s such a simple solution to just go in and log in and set your stuff up.


And as long as you have a great picture, I mean, you can’t really break it, you know? And so I just gets people up and running and they’re ready to go.


You know, I think, like what you just mentioned, having a great picture, like, really, I think, you know, if you’re a musician and you want a new website or you’re just getting started, if you put your focus and your energy on getting some great photos that you can use for the next while, and that’s, you know, in terms of one screen, like, that’s all you really have to to worry about first hand is once you have that visual cue that the visual content, the.


Then, yeah, it’s super simple. What would you I mean, you’re obviously pretty deep into this. What would your opinion be on the whole sort of the websites are going away sort of topic?


Do you think this is I mean, obviously, you know, you’re deep in it with the one screen, you know, website. But do you do you kind of subscribe to that thought process, too? I mean, people are so social now.


What’s your what’s your angle on that? Yeah, and it’s to me, it’s kind of like the single versus the album, right? Like some people want to dive into a full multipage website and some artists want that to reflect their. Their experience or their information, they really want that. At full display. And that’s that’s great, that’s fine, and that can be a great experience when you find a beautifully designed website. So I totally understand that that point.


But to be, you know, on top of the trends and on top of your marketing and. I think. Having something like one screener where it’s just so easy to change up, you know, if you’re releasing a new single every month and you have a new single cover, like a single image that you want to display like and always be updating that and keeping it fresh. And so for me, like, you know, I’m not 20, but I, I try to think about the kind of the trends and what’s happening in.


I like this idea of of keeping us updated because right for me, it just keeps it more interesting as an artist and as a as a fan to see new content as an independent artist, especially if you’re if you’re always. We are trying to update the look of your of your full website. That can be I can take a lot of the full time job, right, right, right, right. Yeah, well, that’s great.


Thanks for sharing that. And I think a lot of people are going to get a lot of use out of that, especially people who have kind of been stuck at home and are not so good at, you know, the digital end of their promotion. I mean, this is a great sort of first step. And just getting out there and getting set up with a website and just, you know, starting that networking process, obviously, if somebody wants to check out the website and the platforms and everything, where should they go?


Yeah, they should go to one screener dot com or they can go to up to me up to. Check. Check it all out like. A lot of information there and they can start the trials and test it out. That I’m sure that people will enjoy that process and now, you know, some of the musicians have a lot more time on their hands, unfortunately, but it’s also a good chance to kind of think about rebranding, whether that’s to appeal to to, you know, like your livestream sessions or whether it’s being hopeful that the venues are going to start fully opening and getting into that process again.


Either way, it’s always, I think, about what you’re putting out there. And and this gives you a simple way to to express that and definitely rolling out.


OK, well, cowmen well, I really appreciate you jumping on the podcast and give us your input, everybody should go out and check that out. I think it’s it’s a great idea.


And I think there’s a lot of a lot of possibility here with just keeping things simple and just, you know, I think action is better than, you know, that analysis paralysis especially. So I think this is a very, very clear way to just clear out the junk and just get up there and get get your stuff online and get going quickly.


So I would say definitely check it out. I think that’s all the time we got today. But, Ryan, thanks for jumping on with us. I appreciate it.


Thanks so much for having me. And definitely stay healthy. And best of luck. Best of luck with the company.


And once again, this is Sean from the Modern Musician Magazine Podcast. And we’ll talk to you in the next episode.


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