Krue is Shutting Down
We’ve made the difficult decision to start over.
First of all, we want to deeply thank the Krue community and everyone who’s helped us along the way.
Building this platform has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives and we couldn’t have made it this far without you. We’re beyond grateful to have been surrounded by such passionate and talented people for the past two and half years.
Sadly though, it’s time to say goodbye to Krue.
After months of brutal honesty and deep introspection, we’re confident that shutting down is the right thing to do. We’ll try our best to explain why.
In the words of a cheesy motivational poster: Every ending is a new beginning.
Here’s the story of how we got here, what we learned, and where we’re going next.
How We Got Here
In 2015, we set out to bring people closer together through shared experiences. As the world became more isolated, we grew more passionate about creating a product that facilitated real, meaningful connection.
That summer we moved to Venice Beach, CA to start building Krue — a live streaming platform dedicated to music. Musicians could perform live from their home or studio, and fans could tune in to watch and support them with tips and virtual gifts. Imagine an intimate, decentralized music festival running 24/7.
Live streaming seemed poised to become the next evolution of digital content. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and countless copycats were getting into the space, but we saw an opportunity to compete and win by diving deep into the music vertical and building a powerful, lasting community around it.
In many ways, it worked! Krue became the biggest live streaming music app with over 40,000 monthly active users, our superfans spent over 23 minutes on it every day, our social media following grew to over 80,000, and our physical event space Krue House brought thousands of musicians, fans, influencers, investors, industry professionals and celebrities all under one roof for a music experience like no other.
Most impressive was how much money artists were making. The average paying fan spent up to $58 a month, of which artists keep 70%. Compared to the $9.99 a month most music apps make per customer, this was a breakthrough.
The intimacy of both music and live streaming led to artists and fans forming deep authentic relationships, and the closer you felt to an artist the more you were willing to go above and beyond for them.
Those relationships, real friendships, are what made Krue so special.
Unfortunately, in many ways it didn’t work. The biggest issue being that we found a niche audience but couldn’t find an effective way to grow beyond it.
What We Learned
Live streaming platforms, and most content platforms in general, are not inherently viral. There was never a compelling reason to share the app with a friend unless a popular artist went live.
So even though we were growing steadily through artist referrals, performance marketing, influencers, viral content and lots of other experiments, it became obvious that the only path to mainstream adoption was mainstream artists.
We spent half of 2017 meeting and pitching some of the biggest managers, agents and execs in music. They were impressed with what we accomplished, but the overwhelming response was that established acts simply did not want to live stream.
The reasons varied: some artists only feel comfortable performing in front of a real crowd, others don’t play any instruments and don’t want to sing over tracks, and many wouldn’t be able to stay on a consistent streaming schedule.
Ultimately, there weren’t enough top artists willing to make live streaming a priority. So instead of burning through all our capital chasing down Drake, we took a step back and laid out all our options. It’s painful to say, but we knew the right move was to start over with a new idea. One that isn’t reliant on celebrity and can grow to impact the entire world.
Where We’re Going Next
The Krue website and app will go offline on February 9, 2018. Here are more details about the transition.
Believe it or not, this process has made us more passionate than ever about fulfilling our mission of less isolation, more connection. The problem is only getting worse and this time we get to tackle it with 2+ years of experience under our belts.
So what’s the new idea?
We’re not sharing details yet, but we’re stepping away from music and doubling down on helping people have more meaningful connections with the people they care about.
Thank you so much for believing in us. We’ll see you again soon.
— Team Krue