Niall Green is fast becoming a bright star in the world of business and technology following the success of his company Second Screen.
Second Screen is an innovative mobile app development company producing leading technology for the music industry. Their apps bridge the gap between fans and artists, venues and festivals, capturing the essence of live performances and giving users instant access to exclusive, behind-the-scenes content.
Ultimately, Niall is paving the path for a new way of communicating by providing an all-inclusive platform where fellow musicians can be on an equal and honest level focusing on the ever growing and more popular independent market. We sat down with Niall to talk more about starting your own business, tips and tricks and the music industry.
Tell us more about Second Screen and it’s creation?
The concept for Second Screen came from an original app we built called We Hive. Myself and Soloman Parker wanted to make a gig listings that people could communicate and participate through content creation with other people who were attending those gigs, therefore, sharing it with people who are there at the event in the moment and finding that common ground with other users.
It took us about a year to build that platform, we spent about a year trying to get people to use it, but we got a fair amount of users through the doors at events. What we didn’t realise about breaking into festivals is there is a huge amount of politics there and everyone is fighting for the same 100,000 people. Ticket prices had gone up and people were having to go to less festivals and be quite choosey. It was quite difficult to break into that. We were getting day festivals and events but ultimately not the scale we wanted.
We went through a teething process, leaving the in-house team and company, using what we had from We Hive to make the template we have now for event solutions. All the functions we had we converted into brand-able space. And now we are able to create a social network in two days and have it online in 5 days.
With it being a new app on the market how did you plan to target your new chosen market?
It’s an evolution. The previous system was a central location for everyone to communicate in. We were ultimately creating a new brand, marketing a new brand and taking that brand to a new level, which is a difficult task to complete especially in music. People already have their platforms that they buy tickets from where they are confident in consuming. We realised there’s not much point at this stage in disrupting that point of consumption like Spotify, Apple music etc. With that in mind, it would be easier scaling the business to go to independent promoters and festivals and throw a free app there way that they will download and generate users.
Some may see it as riding on the promoter, but at the same time, the application we are offering with mass functionalities is, in my opinion, creating a relationship where they are letting us share data collection which isn’t something festival promoters have done before.
What was important about the independent market you chose to work with?
We have decided where we come into play is within the independent market. We are offering infrastructure from live streaming’s all the way down to photo and video editing. It’s much more rewarding to work with a team that is creating and growing each year than to go in at the top of the food chain straight away
We’ve secured 10 new clients already this year and it’s only February; we are working with some brilliant companies like Vision 9. They are still an independent ticket promoter. I'd rather work with people who are going to take it seriously alongside their treatment of people, which is extremely important to me.
There’s a whole new generation of younger people who are coming to the understanding that if you’re humble and link hands with little fish you become a bigger fish and create waves like everyone else is in a cooler much classier way.
What is your favourite part of running your own business?
Sleepless nights. Lunch at my desk. No, I’m joking. It’s quite tricky to be honest with you, perks are working in the music industry and going to gigs and festivals and meeting great people whilst travelling. Speaking at conferences is great and something I really enjoy.
I really enjoy being busy, I get a bit lost otherwise. The busier I can be the better. I enjoy the problem solving and things that arise daily that you need to figure out and fix. I’m always looking for a better direction to head in. I also like the leadership side of it. I like having a team that I have to lead in a certain direction towards a common goal.
However, there are always challenges and I guess downsides which would have to be a lot of admin. Cash flows are a pain but I mean I don’t think there are necessarily any real downsides. It’s key in my eyes to fully enjoy the successes you have and to face the failures when they occur. Naturally, it should be an up and down relationship, as if everything was golden all the time it would get boring.
Leadership, in general, you have to throw yourself into wholeheartedly and take whatever comes at you with a smile on your face, head held high and carrying on walking forward. The grass is normally greener on the other side, what you lack in experience you make have to make up for in enthusiasm.
So what age did you realise you wanted to run your own company?
I was never very good at taking instruction at school. I would get into trouble all the time. I got past my GCSE’s and told my parent’s that I’m going out to make money because I cant do school, however they then sent me to a boarding school in Surrey to finish off and I came out with some grades. I’d originally always wanted to be in film, I’d trained in photography and cinematography. Film was my go to as you can do your own thing and be your own boss. Music has been a huge part of my life growing up so that for me was the next stepping-stone. From a young age, I was always destined I guess to do my own thing, as I didn’t see myself working in another workplace.
I can’t really hone in on a moment, which I would say is the pinnacle of my success.
Best advice for those out there?
- Do as much as you can whilst you are still young.
- Watch who you surround yourself with, if they are not on your journey with you, they are holding you back. People with the same mindset and goals, who aren’t going to distract you but support you.
- Confidence is key. Be proud of what you’ve got and don’t fall out of love with it if it doesn’t succeed in its first six months, I’ve been doing this for five years and we are now at a place where it is stable and growing at a good rate, but the initial years were terrifying. It does pay off, there’s something to be said about that feeling where you begin employing people, and you’ve got a team around you.
The feeling of success is the most rewarding thing you can have; just make sure you have the right energy around you to get there.
What bands are you currently listening to?
Top 5 in no particular order:
- Led Zeppelin
- Rolling Stones
- Jack White
- Muddy Waters
- Crosby, Stills, Nash (and later “Young”)
- Van Morrison
- The Meters
You can see a pattern forming above (laughs)!
And finally what festivals are your top pick?
Festivals I love are (in no particular order);
- Glastonbury for its sheer size and general vibe
- Boardmasters because of the fusion between surf and music
- Port Elliot just because the food is so bloody incredible
- SGP (though not around now) was pretty sublime and a prime example of what can be achieved at an independent event!
Second Screen is becoming a brand key to movements within the music industry. The collates key features we all consider in the moment at gigs from live streaming, content, discussion with work with brand leaders having including Universal and The Isle of Wight Festival. With the team dedication and speed to deliver it’s the fastest way to connect and grow.
Follow Second Screen on Facebook and for enquiries see Second Screens Website