Music mogul Simon Cowell has invested in Lounges.tv, a new online streaming platform that streams content from rising content creators including aspiring musicians, comedians and fitness trainers.
The Times reported on Sunday (October 22) that Cowell has bought a stake in Lounges.tv and that the startup was close to completing a £2.5 million (approx. USD$3 million) funding round that will value the business at £20 million ($24m).
Lounges.tv also counts Ben Lavender, the brain behind BBC’s iPlayer, and Prince’s former manager Kiran Sharma among its backers.
Founded by Scott Green, London-based Lounges.tv claims in a press release to provide content creators “a faster new way” to monetize their content online. Creators are paid 80% of all their streaming income within 24 hours of going live.
Lounges.tv says creators also benefit from the platform’s pay-per-view barrier and a tipping-based revenue system. Since its launch in 2020, the startup says “thousands” of creators have already signed up to the ad-free platform.
Cowell, credited with discovering One Direction, Camila Cabello, Leona Lewis, and Labrinth, said: “I am proud to be involved with and to support Lounges.tv. You never know where the next great talent will emerge from and I really believe that creating as many opportunities as possible for talent to be discovered and to build their own fan bases is great for everyone.”
“You never know where the next great talent will emerge from and I really believe that creating as many opportunities as possible for talent to be discovered and to build their own fan bases is great for everyone.”
“The artists and the audience, rightly, are making 100% of the decisions and Lounges.tv is giving talent another new type of platform to promote themselves. I was really interested to learn that on Lounges.tv creators get paid within 24 hours and I thought that was a really good idea and hopefully will make a difference,” Cowell added.
Cowell’s backing for Lounges.tv comes at a time when the content creator industry continues to grow. Citing data from Wyzowl, Lounges.tv said 3.7 million new videos are uploaded to YouTube and 34 million on TikTok every day.
Although the global video streaming market is forecast to reach $416.84 billion by 2030, Lounges.tv said just under half, or 46%, of full-time creators currently make under $1,000 in annual revenue, while 68% of part-time creators bring in under $1,000 as rewards are generated on an ad-based views system instead of talent.
“With the support of Simon Cowell, Lounges.tv has the potential to revolutionize an industry that has long neglected the needs of the community and the aspiring individuals forging their careers within streaming,” said Ben Lavender, Creator of BBC iPlayer and an equity stakeholder of Lounges.tv.
“With the support of Simon Cowell, Lounges.tv has the potential to revolutionize an industry that has long neglected the needs of the community and the aspiring individuals forging their careers within streaming.”
Ben Lavender, Lounges.tv
“The platform offers creators a fresh opportunity to not only showcase their talents, but to be more quickly financially awarded. At a time where the cost-of-living crisis is casting a shadow over the creative industries, entities like Lounges.tv play a crucial role in shaping a brighter and more sustainable creative future,” added Lavender.
Scott Green, Lounges.tv Co-Founder and CEO added: “We are thrilled to announce Simon Cowell as a shareholder of Lounges.tv. Simon is the undisputed global authority when it comes to talent recognition in this country and aligns perfectly with what our platform represents. Lounges.tv serves as the haven for exclusive content, where exceptional creators shine amidst the noise, garnering the recognition they truly deserve.”
“Creators and artists now have the opportunity to not only showcase their talent but also earn a fair income while pursuing their passion. By eliminating the reliance on ads and introducing diverse fan funding options, our platform departs from the conventional ad-centric model that values creators solely based on ad views and follower count, rather than their genuine talent. Together with Simon, Lounges.tv will be shaping the world of online talent,” Green added.
The investment marks one of Cowell’s most recent moves in the music industry after launching boutique music publishing firm Syco Publishing with Universal Music Group through his venture, Syco Entertainment, in August.
Last year, Cowell, who has judged on talent competition shows including The X Factor, American Idol, America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Go Talent, teamed up with TikTok and Universal Music Group to launch a music-making talent show.
Music Business Worldwide