Founder sets up Stripe in two days with simple implementation

Started as a passion project and launched in April 2021, Songbox is an audio platform that allows professional musicians, professional mixing engineers, studio staff, and anyone who works with audio to share their potentially valuable property privately and securely. In a little more than a year, the company has grown to several thousand users – from Grammy-Award winners to everyday audiophiles.

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Songbox founder, Michael Coll, is a product manager and musician who spent several years as a guitarist in a rock band sending out CDs to industry gatekeepers and hearing nothing back. Going to work at a large media organisation, he finally saw first-hand how musicians’ demos went from the post room straight to the rubbish bin and thought, “There must be a better way to do this.” He put together a proof of concept over a long weekend. “I wanted to give music creators the opportunity to send out their work efficiently and securely with the benefit of knowing who is actually listening, and maybe more importantly, who isn’t.”

Based on his past experience launching a CD duplication business in the early 2000s, Coll knew online payments and payment flow were difficult and time-consuming to implement. Instead of trying to build payments infrastructure on his own, he sought a simple, pre-built solution that would work for his subscription business.


Coll ultimately turned to Stripe Checkout and Stripe Billing, which freed him to focus on creating a great product that musicians would love. He was “stunned” at how simple and straightforward it was to get Songbox set up with Stripe. “It was, I guess you would call it, low code – I just copied and pasted from the documentation into the app, and then tweaked. The documentation was absolutely first-class,” he said. Later Coll integrated with Stripe webhooks to help users manage secure access to their work.


Given Stripe’s low-code offering, implementation was significantly easier than other payment providers Coll had used in the past and even allowed him to offer a tiered subscription model. Stripe’s launch of subscription upsells made a measurable difference in Songbox’s sales. “I saw an immediate uptick in annual plans being sold. It definitely impacted my business and my cash flow.”

In addition to revenue impact, the rollout of Stripe’s customer portal saved Coll weeks of work. The customer portal is a secure, Stripe-hosted page that lets Songbox customers manage their own subscriptions and billing details.“Before Stripe’s customer portal, I had to write and maintain all of that stuff, all of that cancel, pause, upgrade, downgrade.”
Stripe analytics have also offered the data and insights Coll needed during funding rounds. “I’ve been asked about growth, churn, lifetime revenue, MRR. All of that is so visible on the Stripe analytics Dashboard.”

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When all of that crucial stuff-card details, upgrading, downgrading, canceling, and pausing-is handled expertly, the way that Stripe handles it, it improves the whole perception of your app.

Michael Coll, Founder

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