Lyte welcomes former Amazon ticket executive Lawrence Peryer to our team
Lawrence Peryer gave up his dream of becoming a musician when he realized he just wasn’t that good.
But that was OK. He knew he was somehow destined to work in the music industry.
“When I figured out I didn’t have the drive or the talent to become a professional musician, I never really considered that I might not have a career in music,” Peryer says. “I always felt it was something I would do.”
Peryer, or “LP” as we call him, is Lyte’s new head of business and corporate development. The music business veteran is going to skyrocket our mission to connect fans directly to the artists and experiences they love — while also showing key stakeholders across the industry how to use those connections to build profitable businesses.
LP comes to Lyte from Amazon, where he was as director of event and tickets. He led the event business with Amazon Tickets. He also is a former executive vice president for Warner Music Group, where he built the global Artist Services division. Here’s a little bit more about the New Haven, Connecticut native, who lives in Seattle now.
Lyte: Much of your career has been about merging entertainment and technology. Tell us about the early days.
LP: I studied computer science in college. I never practiced as an engineer, but found that second to my love of music is my love of technology. But my whole career started through one of my other passions: books. In the early 90s, I opened an independent book store just as big box retail stores were moving in. It was the beginning of the decline of independent retail. Impeccable timing on my part. But technology was transforming the book business. And because of my knowledge and interest in technology, I got involved online very early. I didn’t have the vision of Jeff Bezos, but I started buying and selling books online globally. With other booksellers and in the local business community, I was known as a guy who knew about “this internet thing.” That was the beginning of my career. The experience was like a hands-on MBA program.
Then I worked at CD Universe, one of the very first online music stores. It was all happening so fast, both from a technology view and how people were applying it. The first great wave of press coverage of this stuff made it clear that it was a fundamental sort of social change as well as business speculation as to what this all means and where it would lead us. I can’t say it’s changed or slowed down that much.
Lyte: How did you make the transition further into the music business?
LP: I moved to New York City in late 1997, where I worked for startups and in digital marketing and music. I got deeper into doing digital marketing campaigns by helping artists come up with new ways to reach and assemble more of their fans online. We built a company — UltraStar, which was founded by David Bowie — where we built services for artists — websites, ecommerce, direct-to-fan ticketing, online marketing and creating original content — short films and things like that. We were sort of a boutique company with a small but select group of artists. I was there for eight years, including two after Live Nation bought us.
Lyte: Tell us about your roles at Warner, Amazon and what artists you have worked with.
LP: I was at Warner for four years, first as CEO of the direct-to-consumer division before becoming the founding executive VP of WEA Global Consumer Sales & Marketing Group, which encompassed not only selling music and tickets direct to fans on artist websites, but also concert merchandise, retail licensing, and building the company’s digital marketing infrastructure — CRM, web analytics and more. At Amazon, I was tapped to help the company craft an entry into the United States event ticketing space.
Over the course of my career, I have worked with many great entertainment artists and brands, including David Bowie, Keith Richards, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, The Police, Genesis, Destiny’s Child, Tim McGraw and scores of others. My teams and I helped them grow and shape their relationships with their fans. The work included producing and executive producing dozens of websites, online events, marketing campaigns, broadcast programs, music documentaries as well as a Grammy-nominated box set. I am lucky in that I still get to keep my hand in some of these creative projects. For example, a project I produced for Keith Richards will be coming out on Black Friday this holiday shopping season.
Lyte: What made you want to join the team at Lyte?
LP: Lyte is a solution that solves consumer problems much in the same way music streaming does. Streaming gives the consumer convenience, affordability and access. It proves that people are willing to pay. Lyte solves problems for consumers in a very similar way by making the return of tickets safe and easy and allows fans to participate in the legitimate — not black market — ticketing economy.
Our industry partners sometimes ask very legitimate questions, like, “Are there really so many consumers who are trying to return tickets, not just resell for a profit?” We show them the data and the anecdotes. These are real fans who just want a ticket to be like any other consumer product — returnable at point of purchase. My sense is that industry has been somewhat surprised by how many situations exist where people can‘t actually go to an event and they are just looking for a way to sell their tickets that doesn’t involve classified ads, secondary marketplaces, meeting up with strangers, etc.
Lyte hits a sweet spot. They want to build an ecosystem that makes the experience better for all the parties involved — the fans, venues, artists and promoters.
Lyte: What are you plans for Lyte as you settle into your new role?
LP: My whole career has been about building small and medium companies and startups or new initiatives within large companies. At UltraStar, we built a very successful, multi-faceted media and technology company that we ultimately sold to Live Nation. At Warner Music, we created one of the largest teams within the company — from scratch — which now serves hundreds of artists, tens of millions of fans and drives hundreds of millions in revenue. Being part of Lyte’s growth is familiar territory for me. I’ve been through this process before.
In terms of the larger ecosystem Lyte lives in, my plan is to forge innovative partnerships. Our role is to create better outcomes for fans and industry partners and I like to think I have a track record doing that.
I’m hoping I can be someone who can support and partner with Ant (Taylor, Lyte’s CEO) and the team to help them to build upon their successes so far and reach the company’s potential. I think of myself as having a service role at Lyte. If everyone else is successful, then I am successful.