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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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‘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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