- Paid live music streaming startup DREAMSTAGE has delivered over 50 concerts with a dynamic lineup of artists since its inception at the start of the pandemic.
- Deezer, a Paris-based music streaming service, recently made a significant investment in DREAMSTAGE as part of a symbiotic deal that will fuel the growth of both companies.
- Insider spoke to DREAMSTAGE co-founder and digital media veteran Thomas Hesse about the platform’s potential for long-term success.
The coronavirus pandemic has almost wiped out the live music industry. DREAMSTAGE, paid live music
platform launched in the spring of 2020, intends to reverse this fate and even go so far as to transform the traditional business model of live music for years to come.
The US-based startup has provided artists with a method of generating revenue during lockdowns, but it is also sustainable long after fans return to in-person concerts in a bid to provide additional simulcasting opportunities. premium digital-only concerts.
Imagined by former Sony Music director Thomas Hesse, world-renowned cellist Jan Vogler and tech aficionado and CTO Scott Chasin, DREAMSTAGE has delivered over 50 high-definition concerts featuring musicians from multiple genres and levels. of experience during the year following its creation. Artists such as Polo G, Chief Keef, Grammy nominee D Smoke, and more recently Yo-Yo Ma have taken to the virtual stage, with co-founder Jan Vogler himself launching the classic programming for the plate. -form during its first livestream in August.
Today, the startup caught the attention of Paris-based music streaming service Deezer, which houses a catalog of 73 million tracks, including content from major labels like Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Deezer will serve as a key investor in DREAMSTAGE, leveraging its global subscriber base and millions of monthly active users to provide DREAMSTAGE with significant funds to expand its operations and establish it as a leading new format for entertainment.
The strategic partnership will see the two companies working together to merge recorded and live music into a streamlined experience, while operating independently with the ultimate goal of accelerating the growth of DREAMSTAGE. Their strong mutual appreciation for the musicians and their sincere desire to support their craft solidified the accord.
“There is a lot of potential,” Thomas Hesse, co-founder of DREAMSTAGE, told Insider. “It was done in a great spirit of partnership, and we are both aware and aware of the important benefits of our collaboration. “
The DREAMSTAGE and Deezer teams share a unified mission to expand into the currently booming global recorded music and live streaming markets. The two have a deep understanding of the intersection of technology and music, Hesse said, and a shared entrepreneurial and innovative mindset.
“We think DREAMSTAGE is the service that really cracked the live music experience. The live broadcast events they offer go beyond just video streaming and feel personal, vibrant and fun,” wrote the Deezer CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht in an email to Insider. . “Their goal is to make you feel like you’re really in the room with the artist, making the experience dynamic and interactive.”
Interactivity is the key to the DREAMSTAGE product. Fans not only get the personalized experience of watching live music streamed right in their living room, but they also enjoy the ability to communicate with each other in real time using the platform’s built-in chat function. shape, which “is what really separates this experience from watching a YouTube video on your own,” Hesse said.
Artists also benefit from the interactive equation. “Even when the live concerts start again, the live broadcast will become a natural addition to the live broadcasts,” Albrecht wrote. “Artists will be able to connect with fans in the hall, but also allow fans who cannot attend the concert to enjoy the concert live, online. The ability to connect with more people also opens up a number of news. digital revenue streams for musicians. “
Musicians and artists rely heavily on live performances and tours as a means of financial survival. In the year leading up to the pandemic, the US live music industry reached nearly $ 8 billion in ticket sales, slightly behind recorded music, which totaled $ 11 billion, as revealed. a report published by Music Watch. The live music streaming industry is expected to generate $ 6.4 billion by 2027, according to MIDiA Research.
Professionally broadcast live concerts allow musicians to reach a much larger audience, and with additional digital-only concerts that are convincingly performed and marketed, artists can earn additional income on Spotify and others. music distribution services when live concerts are not an option. It’s a domino effect – digital-only concerts foster engagement with artists, bounce their songs off the charts, and in turn drive demand for live events in person, Hesse said.
Through DREAMSTAGE’s integrated platform, artists can sell tickets, merchandise, and VIP experiences, as well as collect donations for charity, with the company taking platform fees that vary based on the individual agreement. DREAMSTAGE gives artists the option to use their in-house production team and social media marketing team, but also gives artists the option of employing their own teams.
– Yo-Yo Ma (@YoYo_Ma) April 27, 2021
Venues are selected based on the choice of artists, then screened in their virtual concert halls developed by a “world-class team of engineers,” according to a statement. Some concerts are available on demand for a specified period of time, although the supply of permanent archives on demand is dependent on obtaining the rights, Hesse explained.
The performances can be viewed through the Apple TV app, “with the big screen being the medium of choice, along with great sound and picture,” Hesse said. The company plans to deliver mobile apps for iOS and Android in the near future, but in the meantime, performance and interactive features can be accessed on the DREAMSTAGE website on any device.
While the pandemic has been the catalyst for DREAMSTAGE, the real appeal of DREAMSTAGE is its longevity. Co-founder of video hosting service Vevo and former president of Sony Music of Global Digital Business, Hesse is no stranger to the recorded music industry and the music video space. He led the Sony Music merger with BMG and was responsible for the transformation of recorded music streaming. It also helps that Hesse is a qualified concert pianist, having studied in major concert halls in Austria and Germany.
“DREAMSTAGE, in a way, creates a new format that’s a hybrid between a music video and a live performance,” Hesse said. He calls it the “Live Music Video”, which he hopes to one day compete with.
like its own form of TV dating.
“We’re not really competing with the people who go to the gig several times a year, which they will,” Hesse said. ” It is important ; you have to get tickets more expensive than an online ticket, you have to take a babysitter, get the car out, drive to the venue, park the car – it’s not something you do on a weekday evening . . “
If your favorite artist is performing in another city, it’s easy to buy the ticket with one click on your mobile and watch it on your TV, he explained. This high-value streaming experience is designed to remove the formal aspect of performing from the performers by giving all viewers a front row seat. At the same time, the quality and vibrancy of the in-person viewing experience is intended to be preserved thanks to DREAMSTAGE’s high-end technology, which uses high-definition audio / video signal and a clear, friendly user interface.
“Our goal is to make live music and entertainment events, which can include comedy and other forms of entertainment, as engaging and interesting as live sports,” Hesse said. “People go to live events and watch the Mets and Yankees at the stadium, but a lot of them watch them on TV. And the music should be too.”