The live-streaming space continues to hot up.
After Live Nation acquired Veeps and Universal Music Group invested in Big Hit’s KBYK Live (and its VenewLive platform), now the attention turns to Los Angeles-based live-streaming company Maestro, which has just raised $15 million in a Series B round.
Those investing in Maestro include Sony Music Entertainment and Chinese tech giant NetEase, parent of NetEase Cloud Music.
They are joined in the $15 million round by the likes of Acronym Venture Capital, Stadia Ventures, Twitch co-Founder Kevin Lin, and former Activision Blizzard executives Michael and Amy Morhaime.
The raise takes Maestro’s total investment to date to $22 million.
In addition to live-streaming tech, Maestro offers its music clients monetization tools that enable them to sell tickets and merch, set up pay-per-view and subscription events, and to interact/give “shout outs” to fans who tip on the platform.
Maestro is capable of hosting live, virtual, and augmented reality concerts, or a mixture of the three.
“We are pleased to be supporting the continued development of Maestro as part of our ongoing investment in new technologies that provide artists with cutting-edge tools and solutions for growing their careers.”
Dennis Kooker, Sony Music
Companies/brands that have used Maestro for live-streaming events to date include Coachella, Electronic Arts, Epic Games (and Fortnite), The Recording Academy (aka the Grammys), and Universal Music Group.
Maestro was the live-streaming partner of choice for Billie Eilish’s ‘Where Do We Go? The Livestream‘ show in October last year, broadcast from Los Angeles, for which tickets sold at $30 a pop.
Maestro says it tripled revenue in 2020, and has “paid out millions of dollars to creators since the launch of [our] monetization tools in May”.
Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, Sony Music Entertainment, said: “We are pleased to be supporting the continued development of Maestro as part of our ongoing investment in new technologies that provide artists with cutting-edge tools and solutions for growing their careers.
“Maestro gives artists greater flexibility and control to build the most engaging and customized events for their fans, allowing creators at any stage of their career to put together a world class live-stream event.”
“We are reinvigorated by the human spirit and creative passion exploding from what is now hundreds of millions of creators globally and, importantly, watching the career path flourish with a variety of models that are all working symbiotically.”
Ari Evans, Maestro
Joshua Siegel, General Partner, Acronym Venture Capital, said: “Maestro is at the forefront of redefining the relationship of content owners and creators with their viewers. Instead of relying on incumbent distribution platforms, customers control the audience relationship directly and maximize engagement and monetization in a way that fits with their brand objectives. We are very excited by Maestro’s potential to be a fundamental driver in the growth of the creator economy.”
And Ari Evans, Founder and CEO of Maestro, commented: “We are witnessing one of the most significant economic shifts in history; a transition from the industrial revolution – produce your widget as cheaply as possible and distribute it as far and wide as you can – to a new model that is essentially the inverse: find your core audience and monetize them effectively and you can do what you love for the rest of your life.
“We are reinvigorated by the human spirit and creative passion exploding from what is now hundreds of millions of creators globally and, importantly, watching the career path flourish with a variety of models that are all working symbiotically. We serve the creator as a partner in their journey and the achievement of their dreams.”
Several existing Maestro investors have also contributed to the new $15 million round including SeventySix Capital, The Strand Partners, Hersh Interactive Group, and Transcend Fund, as well as early Zoom employees Richard Gatchalian and Aaron Lewis.Music Business Worldwide