Live Nation Acquires INDMUSIC
Another one of the early-days MCN’s, INDMUSIC, has found itself a home with live concert and events company Live Nation (NYSE: LYV). INDMUSIC, a music-focused company that helped artists and labels manage their rights on YouTube, was
founded by Brandon Martinez (pictured here) and Jon Baltz as a solution for the struggles musicians, labels and creators faced when managing their IP and music rights on YouTube. LiveNation says it made the acquisition because of the company’s interest in dipping its feet deeper into video.
“Live Nation has one of the largest digital platforms in the music space but due to the transactional nature of our traffic we’ve been historically underserved in video and have not had a central place to service our portfolio of leading music brands or artist partners,” said Jordan Zachary, Chief Strategy Officer at Live Nation. “The INDMusic team has been in the trenches building the foundations of an artist-forward administration business specific to the new UGC ecosystems, like YouTube, which differ greatly from other streaming platforms, such as Spotify.”
Live Nation is no stranger to YouTube, though. The company has had a channel on the video distribution platform for years but has accumulated roughly 25K subscribers around concert footage, music news announcements and video interviews with artists. With INDMUSIC, Live Nation has relaunched Live Nation TV. The company will retain the multi-channel network elements of the business as the leader in indie music. According to Zachary, Live Nation will continue to expand this area of the business finding new ways to monetize and distribute music on behalf of various artists and labels.
“As an artist focused company, INDMUSIC’s skill set coupled with our leading sales force can create specialized monetization opportunities for our partner channels,” added Zachary.
INDMUSIC made its claim to fame in 2013 when the Harlem Shake exploded as a cultural and music phenomenon sparked by YouTube. INDMUSIC represented Baauer, the band behind the song “Harlem Shake,” and was instrumental in claiming and administering licensing fees to Baauer. The company has also worked with well known labels like Mad Decent.
INDMUSIC’s business model is quite similar to Jukin Media, which licenses video clips from average joes and professional creators then manages the licensing and rights for those clips, on behalf of the original rights holder. It’s proven to be quite the lucrative business for Jukin.
The deal marks the beginning of Live Nation’s intent to move from the festival fields and concert halls to the living room. The company recently signed and announced virtual reality deals with Hulu and Next VR. Zachary also tells VideoInk that, with the launch of Live Nation Studios, the company will develop and produce music related projects in both long and short formats.
The move into development and production is a natural extension for Live Nation, which has over two decades worth of experience in producing live music events. The company was originally called SFX Entertainment, until it sold to Clear Channel in 2000 and was renamed Live Nation. Live Nation also merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 to form Live Nation Entertainment. LNE sits at the center of music eventing and has ownership in various major international and domestic festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Gov Ball, Glastonbury, among others. In total, Live Nation operates more than 70 festivals worldwide in addition to the 25,000 live shows it produces a year, reaching over 60 million fans. The company manages over 300 artists.