Meet Matthew Kunihiro, Danny Tharma, and Roscoe Wasserburg, the team behind Nightloop (Pictured above from left to right)
Montreal is well known for its vibrant nightlife, but anyone that frequents the countless bars and clubs scattered around the city is all too familiar with the frustrations associated with a night out. Whether it’s unfamiliar crowds, lineups that snake around the block, or bouncers on power trips, you can be certain that every night has the potential of going awry.
This is exactly what the creators behind NightLoop wanted to address. Their service on Snapchat lets you know where the hottest events are going to be and provides a stream of photos and videos of fellow student partygoers throughout the night. All the best products are born from necessity, and NightLoop fits that mold. It’s a surprisingly simple idea that provides a solution to a genuine issue.
Danny Tharma describes a situation we can all relate to:
“I basically had the initial idea one night at Mme. Lee’s [a club in downtown Montreal]. It was the only night I could go out for a long time because exams were coming up, but I couldn’t find any of my friends and ended up going home at like 1:00 AM. I felt like I wasted my night.”
Danny, along with Roscoe Wasserburg and Matthew Kunihiro, make up the trio behind NightLoop. Danny put the team together and describes himself as a ‘jack of all trades’. Matthew is in charge of designing and curating the loops (compiling the photos and videos that users send in), and Roscoe, having previously worked as a promoter for New City Gas, knows what goes on in the industry and is dubbed as their ‘operations guy’.
The team breaks down NightLoop into two parts. The planning stage starts earlier in the day. The trio uses their connections to gather a list of the hot-spots for the night and sends out a poll on Snapchat so users can report on where they intend to go. All the information is aggregated, a decision is made on the particular night’s top locations, and the final list is sent out at around 7:00 PM.
The second stage is all about the sharing how the night unfolds via the Loop. At least one member is always ‘manning the Loop’ from about 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM, and users can send in videos and photos that they want posted. This phase is really when NightLoop shows its worth. Since the account has access to 400+ subscribers’ eyes and ears in all locations, they’re able to broadcast where people are going out, where you should avoid, and most importantly, where it’s lit! There’s visual proof, it’s from the point of view of real people experiencing the events, and it’s in real-time.
Matthew explains the service in more simple terms:
“The best way to describe it is we’re a student reality show, and we have episodes on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It’s a tool, but it’s also entertainment.”
It certainly feels that way – the Loops even feature some regulars that have gained notoriety among the NightLoop community.
Throughout my interview with Danny, Roscoe, and Matthew, their genuine consideration for their viewers is clear. When asked about their ability to direct traffic to certain events and the possibility of becoming trendsetters as their platform grows, they quickly respond that it’s not their intention. They are building something to help the viewer and it revolves around the student community. Even when confronted about the inevitable monetization issue, the team explains that they considered integrating sponsored advertisements into their Loops, but their main concern is that they want their feed and event lists to be unbiased by external influences. It’s apparent that their goal is to quite simply help each other have better nights out, and to be as transparent as possible in the process.
The team points to the advent of Yelp, which now makes restaurants subject to scrutiny via online reviews, which in turn improves the overall standard of service. Now consider the much more volatile nightlife scene. The more its user base grows, the more influence NightLoop will have on the clubs themselves. It brings the power to the people – they call it the democratization of the nightlife experience.
In terms of long-term goals, NightLoop is looking to expand to other universities in Montreal, since their current user base is comprised solely of McGill students. They even mention the possibly of extending their reach to Toronto, Danny’s hometown. These guys have a great service that could really take off, so be sure to keep an eye out for NightLoop coming to a university near you!
You can follow NightLoop on Facebook here, and on Snapchat @nightloopmcgill