Livestream-monetization platform Maestro has secured $15 million in financing from investors including Sony Music, NetEase, former Blizzard execs Michael and Amy Morhaime, and Twitch cofounder Kevin Lin.
Los Angeles-headquartered Maestro, which counts Billie Eilish, the Golden State Warriors, Sam Smith, and others as clients, detailed its $15 million Series B funding round today, in a general release. The aforementioned first-time backers, including Sony Music and NetEase, joined existing investors such as Stadia Ventures and SeventySix Capital in funding Maestro, which has raised a total of $22 million to date, per the announcement message.
Maestro intends to use this latest $15 million tranche to “fuel value chain expansion of its products and continued diversification of its customer base,” according to the text. Furthermore, the six-year-old company dedicated a substantial portion of the release to highlighting the considerable success that it enjoyed last year, as many fans and artists began utilizing livestream platforms.
On this front, Maestro stated that its earnings “more than tripled” in 2020, before indicating that its team has grown “fivefold” during the last six months alone. And besides the previously noted clients, the livestream startup boasts “industry partners” such as Epic Games, Microsoft, Universal Music Group, and ViacomCBS.
Addressing his company’s $15 million funding round in a statement, Maestro founder and CEO Ari Evans said, in part: “We are witnessing one of the most significant economic shifts in history; a transition from the industrial revolution–produce your widget as cheaply as possible and distribute it as far and wide as you can–to a new model that is essentially the inverse: find your core audience and monetize them effectively and you can do what you love for the rest of your life.”
A number of companies and professionals have moved to acquire stakes in livestream platforms (or debut their own services) during the last six months. For instance, Scooter Braun was one of several individuals who backed Moment House, a Los Angeles-based ticketed-livestream platform. Plus, the longtime Justin Bieber manager joined Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Lin, and others in participating in a $30 million funding round for digital-focused livestream startup Wave.
More recently, Live Nation kicked off 2021 by securing a majority interest in Veeps, a ticketed-livestream platform created by Good Charlotte cofounders Joel and Benji Madden. And Universal Music Group partnered with BTS agency Big Hit Entertainment last month to launch a livestreaming service called “VenewLive.”
With in-person live music appearing poised to return later in 2021 and an array of livestream startups competing to host creators and attract fans, it’ll be interesting to see how the remote-concert space evolves moving forward. Worth noting in this regard is that Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, upon announcing his company’s Veeps investment, described livestreaming as “a great complement to our core business” and said that it “essentially gives any show an unlimited capacity.”