San Francisco-based blockchain-powered music platform Audius has acquired Barcelona-based virtual music experience platform SoundStage.fm.
The move brings marks Audius’ expansion into the virtual concert space.
Electronic dance music-centric SoundStage.fm was founded in 2019 by Ara Kevonian.
According to a press release announcing the acquisition, SoundStage.fm’s virtual concerts let fans “join via webcam and interact with both the audience and artist in a lifelike manner”.
Launched in late 2019, Audius counts over 4.5 million monthly users. It also inked a partnership with TikTok in August 2021, becoming the first music streaming service to do so.
In September 2021, the firm announced a $5 million round of strategic funding joined by industry heavyweights including Maverick Founder Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, SESAC‘s John Josephson, and former Sony Music Publishing (then Sony/ATV) boss Martin Bandier.
Audius says that its SoundStage.fm acquisition is a key component of the streaming company’s expansion into the music metaverse.
The company’s expansion into the virtual entertainment space follows trend of music-streaming platforms diversifying their businesses via tech acquisitions
France-born music platform Deezer for example, recently expanded further into the livestreaming world via UK-born livestream company Driift, which acquired another Deezer-backed livestreaming platform called Dreamstage.
Deezer acquired a minority stake in Driift in October last year, and made a strategic investment in Dreamspace in May 2021. The company says that it subsequently became a majority shareholder in Dreamstage, prior to its acquisition by Driift.
“In SoundStage.fm, Ara has created a powerful new environment for artists and fans to interact in.”
Forrest Browning, Audius
“In SoundStage.fm, Ara has created a powerful new environment for artists and fans to interact in,” said Forrest Browning, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Audius.
“There’s an ambitious product roadmap for SoundStage.fm as we work with Ara to create new virtual experiences for music fans.”
“SoundStage.fm has built one of the most compelling environments for artists and their fans to meet virtually and is a natural extension of what the Audius community is building.”
Roneil Rumburg, Audius
Audius CEO and co-founder, Roneil Rumburg, said: “At Audius, we are always excited to expand the ways that artists can interact with their most passionate fans.
“SoundStage.fm has built one of the most compelling environments for artists and their fans to meet virtually and is a natural extension of what the Audius community is building.
“We’re excited for the artists that love Audius to connect with their fans in the SoundStage.fm metaverse.”
“My intention with SoundStage.fm was to produce the next best thing to a physical concert. The goal was to deliver an experience that allowed fans and artists to interact as their human selves.”
Ara Kevonian, SoundStage.fm
SoundStage.fm CEO and founder Ara Kevonian, said: “My intention with SoundStage.fm was to produce the next best thing to a physical concert. The goal was to deliver an experience that allowed fans and artists to interact as their human selves.
“As we found out, that human element proved to be key in recreating the excitement that was lost in existing live stream and virtual concert offerings.
“I’m excited to bring SoundStage.fm to Audius and join the Audius ecosystem. Roneil and Forrest share the same vision of bringing more unique and compelling experiences to fans while giving the artist full creative freedom.”
Music Business Worldwide