ONELIVE Expected to Drive $300 Million In Gross Merchandise Value to Clients This Year

Photo Credit: Zac Brown Band website, powered by ONELIVE
  • Save

Photo Credit: Zac Brown Band website, powered by ONELIVE
  • Save
Zac Brown Band’s website, powered by ONELIVE

Artist-centric ecommerce company ONELIVE is slated to drive over $300 million in GMV (Gross Merchandising Value) this year, according to details shared by the company with Digital Music News. That revenue haul is helping artists, labels, and merchandisers generate a more consistent flow of cash.

Making money is one thing. Generating a consistent flow of money is quite another. The latter has always been a challenge for musicians, though Dustin Hall, Chief Revenue Officer of ONELIVE, believes that artists usually miss out on the significant revenue opportunities offered by ecommerce. “They’re focused on touring, so they often overlook the valuable utility revenue hiding in plain sight: website and online store sales.”

As the world’s largest Shopify partner, ONELIVE operates quietly in the background, handling online growth challenges for artists. The company tackles online storefronts, websites, and order fulfillment, alongside artist services like VIP, fan clubs, ticketing, and even print-on-demand capabilities.

More broadly, ONELIVE is focused on enabling artists, labels, merchandisers, and DTC brands to tap into a more reliable and consistent revenue stream — something the music industry typically struggles with. Just recently, ONELIVE partnered with DMN to further expand its growing footprint.

ONELIVE provides a suite of tools and services that tackle every aspect of merchandising and related ecommerce sales — besides actual production. It’s a behind-the-scenes platform that could smooth the revenue streams for many artists and their teams.

In a nutshell, the company functions as an ecommerce technology and fulfillment partner for those that sell merchandise and other artist-related products to consumers. On this front, ONELIVE’s fulfillment center in Austin, Texas is consistently warehousing, shipping, tracking, and managing artist products with global delivery points.

Hall talks about ONELIVE bringing convenience to the table, saying, “Our clients want to be able to call one partner that can take care of everything related to their online store or website. It’s that simplicity that first engaged them.”

With a clientele that includes the likes of Willie Nelson and Zac Brown Band, ONELIVE has developed core competencies that focus on creating more sustainable revenue for musicians.

It’s no secret that individuals relying on the music industry for their bread and butter earn incredibly cyclical revenue. With peaks and valleys of engagements and album releases during the year, and the intermittent nature of touring, artists frequently find themselves in a quicksand of null income.

Hall believes this cyclical nature of revenue is why typical pricing models aren’t sustainable within the entertainment industry. What artists need are neutral and scalable options.

“At ONELIVE, our clients don’t have to pay anything upfront,” Hall explained. “Our fees are based on a small percentage of net GMV or Gross Merchandising Value. This model also resonates well with DTC brands in other industries.”

It appears that the scale of ONELIVE’s operations, especially within entertainment and sports, allows ONELIVE to receive significant (and even globally exclusive) discounts on software licensing. Alongside bulk rate discounts, this has allowed the ecommerce company to offer artists more profitable GMV outcomes.

ONELIVE has launched over 1,600+ storefronts since 2010 and actively manages about 1,000 sites on any given day — for a client portfolio that includes musicians, podcasters, 40+ sports teams, and well-known international brands. Most of these stores are run via B2B partners that offer ecommerce as a solution but don’t necessarily want to bring those resources in-house.

Photo Credit: Willie Nelson website managed by ONELIVE
  • Save

Photo Credit: Willie Nelson website managed by ONELIVE
  • Save
Willie Nelson’s website managed by ONELIVE

It’s important to note that while the Walmarts of this world — such as Amazon — are notorious for taking big swipes off artists’ GMV, they also hold fan data hostage.

Hall says ONELIVE is “not in the game of gaining rights,” adding, “We function on the backend to help artists scale. We’re creating the infrastructure for our clients to own their data and activate their fan base.”

By enabling all sorts of direct sales and seeing who’s buying their merch, artists can exert control over a steady and consistent cash flow.

Hall also talked about how artists that commandeer Amazon and similar services to get merchandising out “are doing nothing for the user experience.” Hall added, “That’s what we’re trying to solve on behalf of artists and bridge that gap. We know what works and what doesn’t.”

While discussing possibilities for enhancing the user experience, Hall said, “All artists need is a killer site and user experience to keep fans on the artist website. We’re removing friction from that process, creating revenue for artists, and fostering a more refined purchasing experience.”

ONELIVE’s broader mission is to allow artists (and those that serve them) to scale and grow their revenue. The company also appears to have multiple feature expansions in the works.

As part of their ecommerce fulfillment services, the company recently launched a zoneless 2-day air shipping program. This allows qualifying clients the ability to offer 2-day air delivery at a price that’s inline with ground rates.

On the ecommerce website development front, ONELIVE has developed the ‘3.0 Performance Framework.’ According to Hall, this expansion consistently drives online revenue growth for clients via SEO, conversion rate optimization, compliance and UX. “As our clients’ marketing teams drive traffic to their online stores, ONELIVE ensures those stores generate more revenue per visitor while also creating smooth, memorable fan experiences.”

The company is posting impressive compounded annual growth rates by reducing time, cost, and resources associated with selling products.

Looking forward, Hall says it’s ONELIVE’s mission to empower rights holders with leading technologies, more revenue, and increased ownership of fan data.

On the topic of what’s on the horizon for ONELIVE, Hall said, “From expanded ecommerce tech, to fulfillment and shipping capabilities and beyond, we will continue to leverage our unique expertise and size in service of rights holders and rockstar brands.”