by Mike Williams

How I scaled the world’s largest music studio marketplace

Part 2 of my How I series that features to tools I used in scaling Studiotime to the largest online community of music studios!

In my previous post, I shared more on how I took Studiotime from an idea to building the MVP (minimum viable product) in an evening. After launching it on Product Hunt, it generated thousands of users in hours. Now I want to discuss a topic that I get tons of questions about: how I scaled it to the largest music studio marketplace in the world.

I built the initial MVP for Studiotime using Sharetribe so I could quickly get the product launched, validated, and focus on feedback. As the marketplace has scaled since then, I’ve continued to spend relatively little time and resources on the build and product. Instead of having to support a fully-custom marketplace platform, I’ve leveraged tools that integrated together to provide the full functionality and specific user experience needed for Studiotime.

The Studiotime Tool Stack

Sharetribe- As mentioned in part 1, I leverage the full capabilities of Sharetribe as a marketplace platform. This functionality includes user account creation, profiles, user-to-user messaging, studio listing creation, studio bookings, payments, and peer reviews. Any Studiotime page that is on the subdomain listings.studiotime.io is on Sharetribe’s hosted platform.

All listings.studiotime.io pages are on Sharetribe’s hosted platform.

In addition to the basic functionality provided by Sharetribe, I did have to make some customizations to allow for the specific needs of Studiotime. I made these changes on the Front End (since they do not expose an API) where they allow for custom script on their hosted version admin panel.

Where I inserted some of the customization where allowed on the Studiotime admin panel for the Sharetribe hosted component.

Wordpress- I use a Wordpress template I created for all Studiotime landing pages, such as the homepage, why, subscription, and our community of artists, producers, and engineers. I use separate domains and then integrate them together to provide the seamless user experience. All www.studiotime.io pages are on Wordpress and some of the functionality from these pages simply links to the listings.studiotime.io subdomain for full functionality on Sharetribe’s platform and integration through linking.

Any domain www.studiotime.io such as this Why page at www.studiotime.io/why is on Wordpress.

Chargebee- Since subscription functionality is not accounted for on Sharetribe’s platform and Wordpress is not optimal for collecting, managing, and notifications for subscriptions, I use Chargebee as a subscription platform.

I link to the Chargebee hosted subscription payment checkout from www.studiotime.io/subscription.
By using Chargebee, I also have subscription management capabilities and analytics.

Stripe- Stripe is the payment gateway that we use for Studiotime and the subscriptions. It easily integrates with both Chargebee and Sharetribe’s hosted platform.

Zapier- Zapier is the tool that I use to connect notifications and communication from multiple hosted platforms, tools, and integrate them together so they can effectively communicate to one hub, which is Slack.

Slack- Slack is where I integrate multiple platforms, tools, and all notifications since there is not a main API, API integrations with tools, but there has to be one main point where everything integrates. Without Slack, all of the tools would be hard to manage together since Sharetribe does not have an API, but is hosted.

A snapshot of how I have subscriptions integrated with Slack (via Zapier), which then triggers user authorization on Studiotime all through Slack.

Now that you’ve seen the tool stack for Studiotime, you can get an idea of how I’ve leveraged tools for specific functionality that is required for Studiotime, integrated them together, and allowed me to scale Studiotime with minimal time and resources on the product itself.

With a creative approach and resourcefulness, you can leverage tools like I did for your side project or startup. These are not just for MVP builds, but can be for market leaders such as Studiotime, which is the largest online community of music studios in the world .

Have questions and want to know more about Studiotime, tools, and process? Comment below with your questions and I’ll make a Part 3 of the How I series where I answer your questions in QA style!
Rather see a video format of this with more details? Watch this video where I share more: