Music technology company VNUE, Inc. is acquiring online concert platform StageIt.
The deal will add over $9 million in revenue and “hundreds of thousands” of live music fans and complementary technology to VNUE’s portfolio, according to a statement from VNUE.
The companies expect to close the deal within 60 days, pending the completion of diligence and the required financial audit. Stageit will then become a wholly-owned subsidiary of VNUE.
StageIt was launched in 2010 by musician Evan Lowenstein in 2010.
Lowenstein has served as Executive Chairman of StageIt since music executive Stephen White joined as CEO in 2020.
As live revenue-generating options dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic, in that time “thousands” of artists have used StageIt’s services to monetize their livestreams, says VNUE.
This includes Grammy Award-winner Ramsey Lewis, American Idol’s David Archuleta, rock musician Joan Jett, Celtic Thunder, Devin Townsend and Rhett Miller.
On StageIt, fans purchase tickets to see online concerts powered by the company’s platform.
The StageIt service is complimentary with VNUE’s set.fm “instant live” mobile and web platform, and the company will add a feature that allows fans to purchase the audio of the performance immediately after the show.
In addition to White, Stageit is led by Chief Product Officer Vadim Brenner.
White was formerly President of Gracenote, Inc., an audio fingerprinting technology, which was bought by Nielsen in 2017.
More recently, he was CEO of music rights company Dubset Media Holdings, a service that ensures uploads of unofficial mixes and DJ sets can obtain copyright clearance for streaming, and that the subsequent royalties get paid to the right stakeholders.
Brenner also served in high level positions at both companies – at Gracenote, as Vice President of Product Management and at Dubset, as Chief Product Officer.
In 2020, StageIt hosted 6,280 shows, paid out over $7m to artists and generated more than $9.2m in gross revenues, says the company.
In the same year, the company launched a venue program, and is now partnered with venues such as The Bluebird Cafe in Franklin TN, d.b.a. in New Orleans, LA, The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA, and more.
The platform has over 58,000 performers and over 900,000 users from 135 countries.
“The acquisition of StageIt represents the first step in a multi-pronged plan.”
Zach Bair, VNUE
Zach Bair, CEO of VNUE, said: “The acquisition of StageIt represents the first step in a multi-pronged plan to grow the business and enhance shareholder value, as I have committed to since day one.
“The company will pursue both organic and inorganic opportunities that are synergistic, and with StageIt, we have incredible synergy not just with the StageIt platform and how we can integrate with our existing content platforms such as set.fm, but with the incredible leadership and talent pool that we will now have access to in order to move our Soundstr technology forward.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to join Zach and the VNUE team and to help push this vision forward.”
Stephen White added: “VNUE, as their name suggests, has been creating a platform for artists, labels, rights holders and venue operators that enhances revenue and helps resolve complex rights compliance.
“The addition of StageIt will enable the first full monetization suite for venues, festivals and events that will make it simple for our clients and operators to generate more revenue and embrace the hybrid future that livestreaming provides.
“We couldn’t be more excited to join Zach and the VNUE team and to help push this vision forward.”Music Business Worldwide