Live Nation Belgium has acquired venue operator Antwerps Sportpaleis, which runs the 23,000-cap. Sportpaleis arena, among others
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In the biggest sign yet that livestreamed concerts are here to stay, Live Nation's first major acquisition since the pre-Covid-19 era is Joel and Benji Madden's Veeps
By IQ on 19 Jan 2021
Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in Veeps, a ticketed livestreaming platform developed by Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden.
Established by the Maddens in 2017, Veeps has in 2020 alone hosted around 1,000 paid livestreamed shows by artists including Liam Payne, Pete Yorn, Brandi Carlile, Louis Tomlinson, Architects and Rufus Wainwright.
The brothers – along with co-founders Sherry Saeedi and Kyle Heller and the entire Veeps team – will remain in place following the acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed.
According to Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino, the Veeps platform – which, in addition to commission-free ticketed live streams, offers functionality for merch sales, VIP offerings, social-media marketing, and chat between artists and fans – stood out in the increasingly crowded livestreaming marketplace.
“Livestreaming is a great complement to our core business, and essentially gives any show an unlimited capacity”
“We are impressed with what Benji and Joel have created with Veeps, and their platform will create new ways to enjoy thousands of Live Nation concerts,” comments Rapino. “Livestreaming is a great complement to our core business, and essentially gives any show an unlimited capacity.
“Looking to the future, livestreams will continue to unlock access for fans – whether they are tuning into a sold-out show in their hometown, or watching their favourite artist play in a city halfway around the world. The most critical element of live streaming is the artist on stage, and with Live Nation’s unmatched inventory feeding into Veeps, together we will help fans enjoy more live music than ever before.”
“Benji and I have worked extensively with Live Nation over the last two decades, and we’re very happy to be joining a company that is such a big supporter of artists and artist-led businesses. It’s a natural fit and evolution for our business,” says Joel Madden. “This partnership is a demonstration that premium, ticketed live streams have earned themselves a permanent place in the verticals of every artist business.
“Last year Veeps live streams helped artists, both big names and new acts, make over [US]$10 million for themselves, their families, their crew and their chosen causes, and we’re looking forward to helping even more artists connect with fans this year in ways that support their art and their development.”
“Last year Veeps live streams helped artists, both big names and new acts, make over $10m”
Veeps marks only the second merger or takeover for traditionally acquisitive Live Nation since the tail end of 2019, when it wrapped up the decade by acquiring a controlling interest in Malaysia’s PR Worldwide, its 20th of the year. It managed just two in 2020 – Taiwan’s Tixcraft (via Ticketmaster) and Norway’s Bergen Live – before the pandemic hit and it embarked on a near-US$1 billion programme of cost-cutting.
According to Live Nation, Veeps will act as a complement to in-person concerts when they return later this year, offering “exclusive content, new vantage points, sold-out shows and unparallelled access” to LN events in the real world.
“We’ve always believed that taking an art-first approach to livestream shows helps artists create the kind of performance they can be proud of and an experience that fans love,” comments Benji Madden. “This means applying as much creativity and thoughtfulness as you would with any in-person show.
“We will only see this platform get more innovative as concerts return and we layer into shows in even more ways. We’re incredibly grateful for our team, who continue to hustle non-stop, and we look forward to amazing things ahead alongside Live Nation.”
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