A Q&A with EVNTLIVE co-founder and CMO David Carrico. The company officially launched at SXSW back in March, and raised $2.3 million in Seed funding just before in early-February. Investors were Angel investors that included Vint Cerf, Yogen Dalal, Dave House, Ellen Levy, Steve Wadsworth, Walter Kortschak and Jack Lasersohm.
SUB: Please describe EVNTLIVE and your value proposition.
Carrico: EVNTLIVE is a digital concert venue dedicated to redefining the live music experience. We offer both live streaming of concerts and a variety of on-demand shows. We work with artists of all genres to access new revenue streams and extend their reach to new and existing fans. Users can watch concerts from their computer, tablet or phone. The service was designed to allow users who can’t be at a show to feel like they are part of the concert experience. Interactive features include choosing camera angles, ‘buzzing’ with other fans and the ability to preview and purchase music. Our All Access feature engages fans by providing the story behind the show—allowing them to watch special interviews, music videos, and more, never having to leave the main concert video. EVNTLIVE is a new way for fans to experience live music together. ‘Social’ is not just about users sharing aspects of their lives to friends. EVNTLIVE provides an environment where users share in a common social experience with friends—enjoying the music they care about.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Carrico: We believe that most of our users will be between 16-and-35 but EVNTLIVE is for music lovers of any age.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Carrico: There are a few companies that provide live streaming for music as well as other types of live events and a few companies that provide libraries of past concerts. There are also services such as YouTube that are more focused on short form and user-generated content.
SUB: What differentiates EVNTLIVE from the competition?
Carrico: We have several areas of differentiation. Our user experience goes beyond just streaming, integrating social and storytelling features that create a shared experience for users. We provide concerts that are streamed live as well as a selection of on-demand shows. EVNTLIVE is a destination site dedicated to live performance music and also includes features to allow the user to discover new artists.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Carrico: The company was founded in January of 2012. Our first step was turning our vision into a demo that we used to demonstrate the concept we had developed to stakeholders in the music industry in order to get feedback.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for EVNTLIVE? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Carrico: The inspiration behind EVNTLIVE was sparked both from a desire to create a new way for artists to access fans outside of their normal sphere, as well as to give users the ability to have a shared concert experience online even when they weren’t capable of making it to a physical show. For us, we saw a pain from the artist side as well as the fan side that made clear to us that someone had to build a platform that properly addressed the problems for both artists and fans.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Carrico: One of the hardest parts of starting a company these days is picking a name that has a domain name that is available. We tried various combinations of ‘Live,’ ‘Streaming,’ ‘Event,’ and settled on EVNTLIVE—it is descriptive and easy to remember.
SUB: You recently launched to the public. Why was this a particularly good time to launch?
Carrico: From a music industry perspective, we launched the company at SXSW and wanted to get the product out in time to be able to live stream some of the summer festivals. It also was the right time from a technology perspective to launch our 1.0 feature set.
SUB: Do you have plans to raise more outside funding in the near future?
Carrico: We plan to raise another round of funding over the next several months.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Carrico: To provide a service like EVNTLIVE you need to have a deep technology base, an understanding of and relationships with the music industry, and design capability to provide a good experience for the consumer. You also need to understand video capture, encoding and streaming. So, there are a lot of elements that we had to bring together to get to where we are. The most significant obstacles have been developing a business model and relationships with the music industry which will result in a new revenue stream for everyone involved.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Carrico: We will generate revenue from a combination of pay-per-view concerts and sponsorships for free livestreams.
SUB: What are your goals for EVNTLIVE over the next year or so?
Carrico: To provide an ever-improving experience to music lovers—building in more features to the product and working with more artists to provide unique content.
EVNTLIVE – www.evntlive.com