Venture for America Company Spotlight with Liveset located in New Orleans, Louisiana:
Established in 2010, Liveset is a digital platform presenting live concert events for the web and mobile devices in handsome HD. By placing artists at the center of their model and reimagining the production paradigm that exists around them, they aim to create a more intimate experience for their artists and the artists’ fans, all while raising the quality bar for online music content. Liveset was founded by Ross Hinkle, is based in New Orleans, LA, and is built by these fine folks.
Ross Hinkle tells us more:
1. Tell us about Liveset.
I was working for a private equity fund in New York focused on the media industry. I’d been working in finance since college because it was the best opportunity I had as I was graduating and looking for a job. As i was working in the media industry – trying to figure out where the industry was heading and what the opportunities were going to be over the next 3-5 years – it struck me that there was a tremendous opportunity in live streaming. Netflix was gaining enormous traction, as was Major League Baseball with their MLB.tv product, and most importantly, they were monetizing streaming with a subscription based business model in a very powerful way.
My question was – I know music fans who are at least as passionate, if not more so, about music as sports fans are about sports – shouldn’t there be a platform that exists for music fans to stream concerts live in very high quality, just as baseball fans were doing with MLB.tv? Why doesn’t this exist yet?
So I did a lot of homework, talked to a lot of people in the industry, convinced a group of investors to back the idea, quit my job, moved to New Orleans, and founded Liveset… and here we are today.
2. Name a fun fact about Liveset.
We like to think of ourselves as an up and coming band. We’re scrappy, hungry for success, focusing on making great art and not compromising, trying to build a fan base one at a time, every single day… eating, sleeping and dreaming music and digital design. We’re also trying to create something beautiful. We’re passionate about our craft and are constantly trying to create the best content for fans and the best experience for how they consume it. We know what it’s like to start small, to grow one step, one show at a time, and to chase the dream of being the next big thing that fans latch onto for life.
3. What does your ideal Venture Fellow look like?
First – a music fan. Second – a tech junkie.
We’d ideally like someone who understands that the future of the music industry is a vast wild west waiting for someone to make a dent. We want someone who’s just as passionate about making a dent on that landscape as we are. We’d like someone who thrives on the tech or social side of the web. We love the Internet and all the tools it’s capable of creating for the music & entertainment industries, so we’d love to work with someone who’s excited about brainstorming and thinking of new ways to harness these tools to help artists and fans.
As an ideal fellow: You understand that social sites like Facebook, Bandcamp, Tumblr, and Twitter are incredibly powerful for corralling an artist’s fans and for building a brand and you’re a big user as well. If you subscribe to Bob Lefsetz or Digital Music News or you dream of going to a Midnight Ramble – then it’s probably a safe bet we’re really going to get along.
You’re always trying out new digital products – you subscribe to MOG, Rdio or Spotify – hopefully Rdio.
You may even own a Roku, Apple TV, or Boxee box and have a lot of opinions on how online content will be consumed in the future.
4. What does the daily office routine look like?
We have a combination of morning people, afternoon-ers and night owls – so there’s always someone here – we just understand that we each work at different peak moments.
We are at our busiest and craziest when we are gearing up for events – and you’ll be there first hand to see every side of the business: artist relations, web design, payment flows, marketing tactics, the technicalities of getting a camera to capture beautiful content that will then be sent straight to fans online. What we do is is a lot harder than it looks, but it is definitely just as fun as it seems from the outside.
We have our highs and lows and that’s one of the most defining elements of our daily routine. One day we might be on the verge of working with a top act or an artist that we’ve loved since childhood or nearing the closing of a financing round …. to literally the next day not knowing when the next gig is going to come or how we’re going to keep ourselves afloat long enough to chase it. You’ve got to be able to roll with the punches, but you will have the opportunity to lend your ideas and your expertise to make a big impact on a small, but very cool company with big dreams.
5. Any additional thoughts or comments?
You must be dog friendly. We have a 95lb lab named Hank who’s a voracious music fan and loves the company. He likes to hang out here – a lot.
To find out more about Liveset: