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Exclusive Interview With Antti Eronen of LiveMusicStage

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Last week, Helsinki Finland based music start-up LiveMusicStage an online service for broadcasting and monetizing interactive live music events – announced that it had secured a second round of funding. The funding will be used to boost business development in the UK and enhance the core competencies of the new music start-up. After several email exchanges, I was able to secure a interview with CEO Antti Eronen and below are the results.

Where did the concept for LiveMusicStage come from?

About three years ago, I had grown tired of the sub par conditions in many of the live music venues that my favorite bands played. Bad acoustics and lots of noise, too many people spilling beer on you, way too expensive drinks. Later, I went to fix my own problem by developing a concept for online shows and a first version of a site that would let everybody be in the front row and participate. From the beginning, the objective was to offer real interaction with the bands during the shows.

Last autumn, after several successful gigs with some of Finland’s most popular artists, we weighed the options of how to scale our business world-wide. So we LiveMusicStage into a platform that caters for venues, festivals, media companies and basically anybody who want’s to turn their existing gigs and concerts into real online events. I wouldn’t be surprised if we will see extra formats for talk shows or game shows built on top of our platform, too.

Who are the people behind LiveMusicStage?

We’ve got a small core team of product and biz developers and some of our angel investors are also actively working for us. There are now 7 partners in the company. Two of us are based in London and the rest at the moment in Finland.

How do you select the venue and performers that you work with?

We look for partners who run a steady flow of events and possibly already have cameras and other relevant infrastructure in place. This is often the case with festivals, for example, but more and more music venues start to have things like robotic cameras and really high quality front-of-house sound.

The same rule applies with venues and bands: the more active they are with their audience on the web, the better the business case for everybody. If you have a world-wide following you can’t reach through touring alone, then what we offer is ideal for the band. And venues like the Roxy Theatre have thousands upon thousands of fans who are interested in what’s happening there but who never actually visit the place because they live on the other side of the globe.

What is the long-term goal for LiveMusicStage?

We aim to offer the best live music experience you can possibly have on the web. This means both a greater choice in shows you can take part in and more interactivity between the fans and the bands.

How will existing gigs be monetized?

As a standard, we offer ticketing for the online gigs, but we’re also equipped for sponsored events plus music and merchandise sales to name a few.

Do you have plans to expanding to the U.S. soon?

We’ve been to SXSW and SF MusicTech this year to start the talks. Let’s just say that there’s certain interest from US labels and bands, but it’s too early to announce a launch date yet. Most likely this will grow organically through the first channel partners (venues, labels etc.) If you know the perfect venue or festival for us to start working with, we are all ears.