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LiveXLive launches NFT content division

LiveXLive, a live music streaming and content production platform, is expanding its offering for artists with an NFT (non-fungible tokens) and digital art content division.

The division will focus solely on the creation, production, promotion, and selling of NFTs to encompass original video content, pay-per-views, events, podcasting and vodcasting, merchandise and audio businesses.

The multi-faceted digital entertainment company says the new branch will present a range of revenue streams for artists, helping them to create, promote and sell NFTs in the form of music, merchandise, photographs, tickets, posters and experiences.

“There is potentially significant value in building a dedicated business to support these new forms of digital assets from both a monetisation and promotional perspective,” says Robert Ellin, Chairman and CEO of LiveXLive.

“Our events across music, pop-culture, gaming, pay-per-view, podcasting/vodcasting and audio align perfectly with the value proposition NFTs represent to superfans and collectors across the world.”

“Our events across music align perfectly with the value proposition NFTs represent to superfans and collectors”

The creation of the new division follows a recent boom in artists selling NFTs, which reached a peak when Kings of Leon generated more than $2 million from their NFT collection, ‘NFT Yourself’.

Grimes, Shawn Mendes, Steve Aoki, Quavo, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz, Jack Harlow, Tory Lanez, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, 3lau, Ozuna have also released collections recently.

GET Protocol‘s Olivier Biggs recently told IQ how the live business can harness non-fungible tokens, particularly with ticketing.

“NFT ticketing is a use case worth taking very seriously. When applied correctly, it enables ticket issuers a variety of benefits that impact and drastically improve the ticketing experience. Both for the fan and the organiser or artist,” he said.

Read more about the benefits of NFT tickets here.

 


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LiveXLive to acquire merch company CPS

Live music media company LiveXLive has agreed to acquire CPS, a leading merchandise personalisation firm, for an estimated US$6 million.

LA-based LiveXLive has seen its core business – livestreamed live music events – grow exponentially this year while concert touring is on hold, having streamed shows by more than 1,400 artists in 2020 alone. In a ‘normal’ year the company also streams content from a roster of partner festivals that includes Rock in Rio, Sziget, Paléo Festival Nyon and Electric Daisy Carnival Last Vegas.

It also owns PodcastOne, a leading podcast network home to more than 300 shows, React Presents, an electronic music promoter formerly part of the SFX network, and a number of other related businesses.

Following the acquisition of CPS, LiveXLive, which trades on the Nasdaq Capital Market, plans to “partner with the music and entertainment industry, as well as stars who have massive social media and marketing reach, to create and distribute unique and limited edition personalized [sic] clothing, jewelry, toys, as well as virtual goods,” according to a market note.

Founded in 2012, Addison, Illinois-based CPS (Custom Personalization Solutions) formerly operated multiple ecommerce businesses, including jewellery company Limoges Jewelry, gift seller Personalized Planet and toy retail business TV’s Toy Box.

“We intend to fulfil super-fans’ dreams with personalised merchandise from their favourite artists”

With over 70 full-time employees, it now focuses on creating an “assortment of personalised merchandise unlike anything in the market”.

“The global licensed merchandise market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2023. This acquisition presents an immense opportunity for LiveXLive to leverage its audience, platform and artist and entertainment-industry relationships to add commerce and specialised consumer product revenues to our music stack and help drive the transaction components of our flywheel business model,” says Robert Ellin, CEO and chairman of LiveXLive.

“By integrating social commerce into our live and original content, we intend to fulfil super-fans’ dreams with personalised merchandise from their favourite artists and shows, directly to the consumer.”

“The worlds of custom merchandise, real-time fulfilment and social commerce driven by celebrity and influencers have collided to create a perfect storm” adds Scott Norman, CEO of CPS. “LiveXLive represents the perfect partner for us to take advantage of this next wave.”

 


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LiveXLive launches new pay-per-view offering

LiveXLive, a digitally focused live entertainment company best-known for its festival streaming, is launching a new pay-per-view model for livestreamed performances and events, adding to its existing subscription-based offering.

The move drives a new revenue-sharing model for both artists and LiveXLive, via digital ticket sales, fan tipping, digital meet and greets, merchandise sales and sponsorship.

LiveXLive’s pay-per-view offering will include tour and weekend passes for $39.99 and $19.99 respectively and an “a la carte option” for single shows, priced at $4.99.

The news follows LiveXLive’s venture into the podcast market last week, with its acquisition of PodcastOne, in a deal estimated to be worth US$18.1 million.

LiveXLive’s first pay-per-view event is 11E1ven Group’s virtual concert series Live From Out There, which will feature more than 45 live performances starting today (15 May) and running until 7 June. Tickets can be purchased here.

“We’re excited to be among the first-movers in pay-per-view livestream music events where we see significant revenue potential for both artists and our business”

“We are very much looking forward to working with LiveXLive and the newly added paywall allowing us to bring revenue to artists participating in Live From Out There,” says Ben Baruch, owner of 11E1even Group and co-founder of Live From Out There.

“The music business is at an important inflection point,” says LiveXLive CEO and chairman Robert Ellin. “Pay-Per-View and digital ticketing have been staples for the broadcast entertainment business for many years. We’re excited to be among the first-movers in pay-per-view livestream music events where we see significant revenue potential for both artists and our business.”

LiveXLive has streamed over 200 hours of content from over 900 artists since the start of 2020, as compared to a total of 300 artists during the whole of 2019. Its inaugural Music Lives 48-hour music festival reached over 50 million livestreams with an average of 200,000 concurrent viewers and 4.9 billion video views on TikTok.

In addition to its live streams from festivals and concerts, where its partners include Rock in Rio, Montreux Jazz Festival and EDC Las Vegas, Nasdaq-listed LiveXLive produces its own original music content; owns ticketing company Wantickets (now apparently defunct), management firm LXL Influencers and digital radio business Slacker; and is partnered with China’s Allied Esports.


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Festival streamer LiveXLive to acquire PodcastOne

Digitally focused live entertainment group LiveXLive has announced its acquisition of Courtside Group, the owner and operator of podcasting network PodcastOne.

The all-stock deal – worth an estimated US$18.1 million based on LiveXLive’s share price ($3.32) at market close yesterday (7 May) – sees LiveXLive acquire a company that boasts more than two billion podcast downloads annually produces over 350 episodes per week. PodcastOne’s roster of creators includes Shaquille O’Neal, Adam Carolla, TI, Mike Tyson, Dr Drew and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.

With the acquisition, LiveXLive, best known for its livestreaming of music festivals, becomes the latest live entertainment business to buy into the growing podcast market, with UTA an investor in US podcast hosting platform ART19, while companies including Kilimanjaro Live and Podcast Live organise live shows featuring podcasters in the UK.

“PodcastOne’s well-established podcasting business is an excellent complement to LiveXLive’s  ‘live social music network’”

“All of us at PodcastOne are excited about joining the LiveXLive team, and taking advantage of obvious future synergies between our businesses,” says PodcastOne founder Norman Pattiz, who joins LiveXLive as a “significant” shareholder. “I look forward to working with [CEO] Rob Ellin to close the acquisition and achieve the growth we both envision.

“PodcastOne is a premium producer, distributor and revenue generator for audio-on-demand programming. PodcastOne’s well-established podcasting business is an excellent complement to LiveXLive’s  ‘live social music network’, delivering premium livestreams, digital audio and on-demand music.”

In addition to its live streams from festivals and concerts, where its partners include Rock in Rio, Montreux Jazz Festival and EDC Las Vegas, Nasdaq-listed LiveXLive produces its own original music content; owns ticketing company Wantickets (now apparently defunct), management firm LXL Influencers and digital radio business Slacker; and is partnered with China’s Allied Esports.

 


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LiveXLive acquires EDM promoter React Presents

Festival streaming platform LiveXLive has acquired React Presents, a Chicago-based promoter of electronic dance music events, for US$2 million.

React Presents, which puts on events including Spring Awakening Festival, Summer Set Music Festival and Mamby on the Beach, as well as over 250 club and venue shows a year, was formerly part of the LiveStyle portfolio (previously SFX Entertainment). The promoter generated $15m in revenue last year.

“This is a transformative moment in the evolution of LiveXLive,” comments the company’s CEO and chairman Robert Ellin. We have quickly become a leading livestreaming and original music content platform with a large global audience and more than 820,000 paid subscribers.

“By acquiring this key asset in the EDM space, we expanded our audience reach with the addition of more than 250 programmes and events”

“By acquiring this key asset in the EDM space, we added $15 million in revenues, expanded our audience reach with the addition of more than 250 programmes and events, and continued to fill in our flywheel with event ownership and management.”

In addition to its livestreaming platform for festivals including Rock in Rio, EDC Las Vegas and Montreux Jazz Festival, LiveXLive produces its own original music content, and also owns ticketing company Wantickets, management firm LXL Influencers, digital radio business Slacker and has partnered with esports venue giant Allied Esports.

Photo: swimfinfan/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Uptown Funk named song of the decade

Festival streaming platform LiveXLive today (14 November) presented its Top 100 Songs of the Decade, with songs by Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars, Drake and Post Malone coming out top.

Premiered today, the Top 100 Songs of the Decade ranks tracks based on LiveXLive’s engagement quotient ratings, taking into account the number of plays, ‘hearts’, skips and bans songs receive on its audio platform.

‘Uptown Funk’ comes in at number one, with 67 billion total plays since the beginning of the decade, followed by ‘One Dance’ (Drake), ‘Psycho’ (Post Malone), ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ (Taylor Swift) and ‘Something Just Like This’ (Coldplay/the Chainsmokers).

Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’, Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’, Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ and Rihanna’s ‘Work’ complete the top ten.

“Our countdown takes into account exactly how our users have interacted with our music library from 1 January 2010 through today”

“We are excited to present the Top 100 Songs of the Decade, a true list by the fans and for the fans,” says Kevin Stapleford, vice-president of programming at LiveXLive.

“Our countdown takes into account exactly how our users have interacted with our music library from 1 January 2010 through today. Users pick their favourites and listen across all their devices. Congratulations to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars for getting the number one spot.”

The five-and-a-half hour programme is hosted by LiveXLive’s Raymond T Parker, Jess Wright, Red and Jennifer While, as part of the company’s Ranked audio series. The broadcast can be accessed here.

LiveXLive’s livestreaming partners include Rock in Rio, EDC Las Vegas, Sziget and Montreux Jazz Festival. The company recently branched out into gaming, signing a multi-year partnership with China’s Allied Esports and earlier this year teamed up with rapper Nas for urban-focused content creation.

 


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“We’re unifying two communities”: LiveXLive to bring esports to festivals

US festival video platform LiveXLive has announced a multi-year partnership with China’s Allied Esports, which owns a network of esports venues and content production facilities, in a deal the pair say provides “a unique opportunity for new revenue streams by connecting the $9 billion live music industry with the $100-plus billion esports and gaming industries”.

The collaboration will see Allied’s fleet of mobile esports venues, dubbed Esports Trucks, used to create create original “live esports experiences” and other gaming-related content at music events and festivals throughout the world.

That content includes LiveZone, a travelling studio broadcasting a mix of music news, commentary, festival updates and artist interviews from LiveXLive’s roster of festivals – as well as hosting performances by artists under the banner LiveXLive Presents and providing festivalgoers with competitive videogaming activities.

‘Live Zone Live from the HyperX Esports Truck’ will debut in Las Vegas on 21 September, in conjunction with LiveXLive’s live video stream of the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

Esports-specific revenues are on track to exceed US$1bn in 2020, reflecting increasing buy-in to the burgeoning competitive videogaming sector by corporate brands and traditional sports and entertainment businesses.

Alongside live shows by YouTubers, internet personalities and other online ‘influencers’, esports is an important growth area for live entertainment businesses, prized for its ability to fill arenas and stadia with thousands of young fans who may have little interest in concerts or other forms of live entertainment.

“With this partnership, we are bringing the two fastest-growing live entertainment categories together”

In May, German concert giant DEAG became the latest live music company to invest in the esports sector, joining music companies including AEGCAAMSG, Australia’s TEG and France’s Vivendi which have acquired stakes in, or partnerships with, major esports competitions and teams.

“With this partnership, we are bringing the two fastest-growing live entertainment categories together, enhancing the experience for both consumers and brands,” says Rob Ellin, chairman and CEO of LiveXLive, whose festival livestreaming partners include Rock in Rio, Sziget, Paléo Festival Nyon, EDC Las Vegas and Montreux Jazz Festival.

“We’re also unifying two distinct communities – music fans and gaming fans – while at the same time continuing on our promise to provide the best in streaming entertainment to our core audience.”

In addition to its concert streams, Nasdaq-listed LiveXLive produces its own original music content, and also owns ticketing company Wantickets, management firm LXL Influencers and digital radio business Slacker. With esports, the company is understood to be diversifying further beyond music streaming amid investor pessimism about its business model.

Allied Esports, meanwhile, has 11 esports venue properties, including Esports Arenas in Las Vegas; Oakland, California; HyperX Esports Studio in Hamburg; and five arenas in China, including in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. Its 12th arena, operated by Allied-affilitated Fortress Esports, will open in Melbourne later this year.

“Esports and gaming represent an expansive and emerging audience that has been incredibly hard to reach by those targeting its demographic,” says Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports. “Partnerships with forward-thinking companies like LiveXLive will allow us to continue to bridge the gap between esports and other entertainment industries and deliver high-end, brand-friendly experiences and content for consumers around the world.”

 


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LiveXLive acquires rights to SGE festivals

Festival streaming platform LiveXLive Media has announced a global livestreaming and multi-platform distribution agreement with Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE), the producer of festivals including Back to the Beach and Demon Dayz.

Under the agreement, LiveXLive will livestream select performance and original content from upcoming SGE festivals and events.

Founded in 2009, SGE has created and produced over 50 music festivals, often in collaboration with artists. This year, the company will put on Back to the Beach, with Travis Barker and John Feldmann, Diplo Presents the Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party festival, Real Street Festival curated with iHeartMedia and the Rockstar Energy Disrupt Festival, among others.

Artist interviews, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and start-to-finish commentary will air on LiveZone, LiveXLive’s on-site studio activation, in addition to live performances.

“Our partnership with SGE is perfect for LiveXLive because we both share the same core belief that artists are the driving force of both companies,” says Rob Ellin, chairman and chief executive of LiveXLive.

“SGE builds festivals around artists, and in many ways, partnering with SGE is partnering with artists themselves,” adds Ellin.

“Our partnership with SGE is perfect for LiveXLive because we both share the same core belief that artists are the driving force of both companies”

“LiveXLive envisions the future of visual and audio experiences in sync with our future as a live event/digital media enterprise,” says John Reese, founder and chief executive of SGE.

“We’re excited about our partnership and our mutual goal of expanding the beautiful experience of live music through organic, immersive discovery augmented by artist engagement.”

Last year, LiveXLive live streamed eight major music festivals including Sziget, Paléo, Montreux Jazz Festival and Rock in Rio.

The live entertainment company acquired Wantickets in 2016 and created its own management division, LXL Influencers, in 2017.

The Nasdaq Capital Market-listed company now produces much of its own, original music-related content, partnering with Nas and music company Mass Appeal in February.

LiveXLive and SGE will kick off the new partnership on 31 May with Ohio-based punk rock festival Camp Anarchy. The festival expects to attract 35,000 fans over three days.

The content will be available across all LiveXLive platforms.

 


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Nas teams up with LiveXLive to create urban content

Live entertainment company LiveXLive has signed a deal with rapper Nas and music company Mass Appeal, home to Nas’ record label, for a “360 degree partnership” to create, produce and distribute original urban-focused content.

Mass Appeal and Nas will curate a station on Slacker Radio, the internet radio service acquired by LiveXLive in 2017, and work to develop brand partnerships to establish new opportunities across urban and hip hop music.

Under the agreement, LiveXLive, Nas and Mass Appeal will work in conjunction to produce a slate of original programming for the LiveXLive platform, and co-produce original content to sell to third parties.

“I’m excited for Mass Appeal to continue expanding into different areas of media and music consumption in 2019,” says Nas. “Our partnership with LivexLive is the next step in that evolution.”

“We want to show the power live performances can have in connecting with fans, and this collaboration will bring them experiences in real time,” adds Nas.

“We want to show the power live performances can have in connecting with fans”

Chairman and chief executive of LiveXLive, Rob Ellin, comments on the “impressive” accomplishments of both Nas and Mass Appeal.

“Our partnership with Nas and Mass Appeal symbolises our status as a leader in hip hop and urban-focused content. The synergy of our partnership will be powerful as we together develop authentic, innovative concepts and programming,” says Ellin.

Launched in 2015, LiveXLive initially dubbed itself the “ESPN of premium live music experiences”, aiming the create a 24-hour network of live music broadcasting. The company livestreamed eight major music festivals last year, including Sziget, Paléo and Montreux Jazz Festival.

Expanding into other areas, LiveXLive acquired Wantickets in 2016 and created its own management division, LXL Influencers, in 2017. The Nasdaq Capital Market-listed company now produces much of its own, original music-related content.

LiveXLive continues to grow financially, reporting a record revenue of US$8 million in Q2 2019, driven by subscriber growth and advertising revenue.

 


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Festival live-streamer LiveXLive grows revenue, subs in Q2 2019

Live music video platform LiveXLive recorded a 5% quarter-on-quarter increase in turnover in Q2 2019, boosted by growth in paid subscribers, ad revenue and its roster of partner festivals.

The West Hollywood-based company, which listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market in February, LiveXLive posted record-to-date revenue of US$8m in the last quarter, compared to $7.6m in Q1 2019, driven by strong subscriber growth and advertising revenue.

In Q2, LiveXLive livestreamed eight major festivals – Montreux Jazz Festival, Sziget, Paléo Festival Nyon, Global Dance Festival in Denver, Colorado, HARD Summer Music Festival in Fontana, California, Bumbershoot in Seattle, Rolling Loud Festival in California and Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas – up from five in Q1 2019 and three in Q2 2018.

It also increased its paid subscriber base by 12% to 549,000 (585,000+ as of today). In total, more than 40m people watched its music live streams during the last quarter.

Operating loss for Q2 was $9.5m, with net loss standing at $10.3m – a consequence of “ongoing operating investments” made to grow the company, according to an earnings release.

“We continued to execute in Q2 2019, livestreaming a record number of festivals, improving our operating results and use of capital sequentially and exiting Q2 with a run rate of over 50% growth year over year in paid subscribers across our music platform,” says Michael Zemetra, who joined the company as CFO in April.

“We are well-positioned to continue investing in content, future festivals and our music platform”

“With the improvements in operating results, lower cash spend in Q2 versus Q1 2019 and accelerated growth in paid subscribers, we are well-positioned to continue investing in content, future festivals and our music platform to support our immediate growth objectives.”

LiveXLive provides an online video network for streaming live music and music-related content. It 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.

After moving into ticketing in 2016 with the acquisition of Wantickets, following that company’s top brass’s controversial defection to Eventbrite, the company began to develop original content, launching slate of programming that now includes “180+ pieces of short-form content [including] artist interviews, lifestyle segments and show pilots”.

It also recently launched a management division, LiveXLive Influencers, focusing on social-media stars, and in September 2017 announced plans to acquire internet radio service Slacker Radio.

“LiveXLive continued our year with another strong quarter in Q2 2019,” says Rob Ellin, LiveXLive’s CEO and chairman, “with record revenue driven by solid growth in our paid subscriber base, which today has surpassed 585,000, and improved operating results over Q1 2019.

“Our successful integration of LiveXLive operations with Slacker has increased impressions and accelerated our active users and total viewership, driving a record number of livestreams and, most importantly, growth in our paid subscriber base. We are tightening our revenue guidance range to $37.5–$45 million for the full year to reflect the strong momentum we are seeing across the business.”

 


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