‘Best of both worlds’: LiveXLive to acquire Slacker Radio
LiveXLive Media is to add internet radio to its growing portfolio of music products with the US$50m acquisition of Slacker Radio, its new president announced today.
Industry veteran Andy Schuon – formerly, among many other roles, president of artist services at Live Nation – describes the merger as an “incredibly exciting” one that will “bring the worlds of recorded music and live music together”.
As president, Schuon (pictured) will oversee all aspects of the US company’s business, including Slacker Radio, core live music video service LiveXLive, ticketing platform Wantickets, social app developer Snap Interactive and the newly established LiveXLive Influencers division.
LiveXLive, which launched in July 2015, initially positioned itself as the “ESPN of premium live music experience” with its aim of creating a 24-hour network of live music broadcasting digitally and on mobile. Last May it signed a strategic partnership with MTV to provide the broadcaster with LiveXLive’s stream of the closing night of Rock in Rio Lisbon (partnerships with Live Nation’s Outside Lands and AEG’s Hangout have followed since), and shortly after moved into ticketing with the acquisition of Wantickets following that company’s top brass’s controversial defection to Eventbrite.
It has since moved more into original content, with plans to develop a slate of “music news programming, documentaries, specials, and long- and short-form content”.
San Diego-based Slacker, meanwhile, offers both free and paid subscription digital radio stations, and has more than 1.5m unique monthly users.
“The passion for live music has never been greater, and LiveXLive is focused on being the brand of record”
“With nearly 60% of millennials using two or more apps for streaming music, according to Nielsen, the market is prime for a service that combines video with the live and recorded music worlds,” reads a statement from LiveXLive. “Bringing Slacker Radio into the LiveXLive Media fold will provide fans with a premium radio experience and a pass to some of music’s biggest nights, from festivals and concerts to special performances by some of the world’s top artists.”
“Andy joins us at a perfect time to lead this latest acquisition of Slacker Radio and direct the company overall,” says Robert Ellin, CEO and chairman of LiveXLive Media. “Andy is an industry visionary with significant experience and deep knowledge of the media and entertainment landscape. He has a long-standing, proven track record of both driving and maintaining growth while achieving excellence and innovation at every level for some of the biggest music brands and media properties in the world.
“Andy’s unparalleled work in audio and video content is the perfect complement for LiveXLive, Slacker and our other businesses.”
Schuon adds: “The passion for live music has never been greater, and LiveXLive is focused on being the brand of record – globally – for live music information, music-focused content and the streaming of music’s biggest festivals and events.
“I walked into a radio station at 16, and it became who I am, not what I do. To continue to have the opportunity to shape the future of music streaming services and streaming radio with a leading platform like Slacker Radio is incredibly exciting,” Schuon continued. “I look forward to working with the Slacker team as we bring the worlds of recorded music and live music together with the best audio and video content.”
In addition to his role at Live Nation, Schuon has been head of programming at MTV, executive vice-president at Warner Bros Records and president of programming for Infinity/CBS Radio. He is a co-founder, with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, of the Revolt TV network.
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