Featured Startup Pitch: DiscLive Network gets recordings and media from live shows to music fans before they even leave the show
Founder: Zach Bair
Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee
Year Founded: 2012
Brief Company Description: DiscLive Network: The continuing pioneer in the market of live recorded discs and media offered to fans immediately after a concert.
Question: What’s the best way to relive your favorite concerts? Answer: Bring them home with you! That’s the solution we offer at DiscLive Network. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, we specialize in recording live concerts and selling them to fans on discs, USBs, and other media immediately after the show. For almost a decade, we have developed and refined unique technology and processes that allow our engineers to fully mix and master each show within minutes of the final note. These recordings are then sold in highly collectible physical packages featuring original artwork designed or approved by the artist or label themselves. And for those who can’t make it to the show, we also post copies for sale on our official website at www.disclivenetwork.com, while supplies last.
Over the years, DiscLive Network has been through three distinct phases, the most recent of which began this year. Our original incarnation, simply titled DiscLive, got its start in 2003. I came into the picture when my company, Immediatek, purchased DiscLive in 2004, and we made headlines by becoming the first company to exceed the $500,000 mark in sales from ‘immediate live’ CDs with indie-rock legends the Pixies, as noted in Billboard magazine. It was around that time that Clear Channel Communications, which owned a similar company called Instant Live, registered a patent for live concert recording technology, leading to a disagreement over its validity that played out in the public eye. Eventually, the patent was revoked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, allowing DiscLive to continue operations.
In 2006, I sold Immediatek, and DiscLive along with it, to Mark Cuban. But when it became clear that we had differing opinions on its direction, I left that same year and opened my own concert venue, RockHouse Live, thus ending the first era of DiscLive. Shortly after my departure, Cuban shut down the DiscLive operation, but I remained a strong believer in the concept. In 2007, I re-ignited it under the ‘RockHouse’ moniker and, in early 2009, approached and aligned with major label EMI to operate the concept under the name Abbey Road Live US. During this phase, I continued to spearhead the company, which continued to record and sell live concerts but did so primarily for EMI artists, as well as some other acts such as Peter Frampton, Slash, and the Pixies.
In 2012, DiscLive parted ways with EMI under amicable terms and is now fully owned by my company, RockHouse Live Media Productions, Inc. In May, we decided to reinstate the company’s original name, DiscLive Network, adding ‘Network’ to help define the new chapter of the company and set about kickstarting the third era for DiscLive. By the end of May, our newly independent company had inked deals to record major tours from mega-selling rock bands 3 Doors Down and Tesla, as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Dickey Betts and Richey Furay. We followed that up by announcing another recording partnership with platinum-selling rock band Seether for their Fall 2012 tour. In addition, we are currently working on a revolutionary new live music production and recording platform that will greatly reduce costs and increase efficiency for artists and venues and hopefully lower ticket prices for fans. Stay tuned for more info!
While we are currently starting over after our split from EMI, DiscLive retains nearly a decade’s worth of technical know-how that allows us to record concerts in higher quality and prep them for sale faster than any other company in the market. For example, while DiscLive’s recordings are available for purchase before fans start filing out the door, British rock band Blur’s London Olympics-ending set at Hyde Park was not available for 24 hours. It is this dedication to both speed and quality, and the experience to pull it off, that sets us apart from our competitors. In addition, our company’s unique status allows us to combine the knowledge, experience, and established reputation of a seasoned business with the flexibility and innovative spirit of a promising startup, ensuring that bands who sign up with us can trust that they will receive a high-quality product while fostering an environment of continued creativity at the company.
DiscLive makes money by selling our products to fans at live shows and on our website. As our physical recordings are limited editions and often individually numbered, they are instant collectors’ items. For example, when our recording of The Doors of the 21st Century’s performance in Anaheim, California, sold out before the event was even over, copies quickly showed up on eBay and sold for hundreds of dollars. This shows us that there is a real demand for what we are offering and gives us confidence in our business model. We also offer innovative digital and mobile product offerings that extend the revenue stream and are working on securing brand partners as well.
Our marketing strategy includes point-of-sale promotion at the concert venue and close collaboration with the artists we record to publicize our partnership on their official websites and social media pages. In addition, we worked with Seether to offer ticket bundles for their upcoming fall tour that included the ticket and a discounted copy of our recording from that night, which fans could pick up at the venue after the show. This promotion helped to substantially increase our visibility, and we plan to work with future clients on similar offers.
As a company that generated around $3 million in revenue for EMI in fiscal 2011 and a newly independent entity, we are currently seeking a round of funding from qualified investors and/or strategic partners to expand our operations and continue development of the live music production and recording platform mentioned above. The great news is that we are the best of all worlds: a revenue generating company; a team that has nearly a decade of experience in its space and is the recognized leader in it; and a fresh clean slate.
DiscLive – www.disclivenetwork.com