Since 2008, when the founders of Airbnb put their heads together and realized that money could be made from people’s unused spare rooms, we have seen the sharing economy grow exponentially. Nowadays, multiple apps exist to help you make the most of the underused resources around you. Like Airbnb, companies like Vrumi and JustPark deal with space as a commodity, allowing you to rent a desk or a car parking spot respectively, but in 2016 a company was launched that took the sharing mentality to a new level. Fat Lama is an online peer-to-peer lending platform, which allows people to list anything items they like – from drills to drones – for rental to people in the local area (fully insured).
But how does this affect the music industry?
The founders of Fat Lama discovered pretty quickly that music equipment of all kinds – including instruments and DJ equipment - was becoming some of the most frequently listed and rented items on the site. On looking into this they found that, due to the nature of the industry, many artists are performing relatively irregularly. This often leaves them either eating away profits on expensive kit or unable to afford the equipment at all. Fat Lama is unique because it offers a solution to both these problems. Existing owners can make some passive profit when their kit is lying redundant (sometimes even covering the initial cost of the equipment), whilst freelance musicians have the chance to obtain gear locally at a much lower cost. In short, it’s a reciprocal relationship that suits both parties.
We caught up with DJ’s Adam and Jennifer to see just how this works in practice.
Adam told us: “I’m actually a DJ myself. Fat Lama was quite appealing to me because I’ve got all of this expensive equipment but I’m not always using it and it’s just sat there collecting dust probably about 50% of the time, so to be able to make money off that while it’s sat there is great.”
In 2017, Adam rented a pair of CDJ’s to Jennifer (a fellow London based DJ), she spoke to us about why she had chosen to rent:
“I was renting them for a private party that I was putting on. It was good because I was able to sort them out at really short notice.”
“Adam really kind of saved the day! The equipment I wanted to use was pretty close to my house as well; travelling to pick up something is definitely a big factor.”