Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company, has acquired a majority stake in Veeps, the ticketed livestream platform launched by Joel and Benji Madden of the band Good Charlotte. The Madden brothers, along with cofounders Sherry Saeedi and Kyle Heller, will remain at the helm of Veeps, with their full team staying on to continue with all operations of the business, according to the announcement.
Established in 2017, Veeps is designed for ticketed livestreams, and facilitates engagement between artists and fans with features like chat and exclusive merch purchases, while also supporting broad social marketing and VIP offerings. Unlike many livestream platforms, Veeps is also commission-free.
The platform, which hosted approximately 1,000 ticketed livestreams in 2020, has presented concerts by artists including Brandi Carlile, Liam Payne, Pete Yorn, Louis Tomlinson, Architects, Rufus Wainwright and many others. While the company declined to share audience numbers, Live Nation noted that Payne’s concert (pictured) in October “was primarily responsible for a record number of over 3.7 billion chat messages on Veeps across all livestream shows that month.” Wainwright held more shows on the platform in 2020 than any other artists with 33.
The move is a logical one for Live Nation: While infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that mass gatherings like concerts may return by the autumn “if everything goes right” — a big if, considering the United States government’s weak response to the pandemic — the process will inevitably be gradual, and it may be some time before people feel comfortable gathering in enclosed spaces with fellow humans. A future scenario where most major concerts offer both live and livestreamed options seems likely
“We are impressed with what Benji and Joel have created with Veeps and their platform will create new ways to enjoy thousands of Live Nation concerts,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. “Livestreaming is a great complement to our core business, and essentially gives any show an unlimited capacity. Looking to the future live streams will continue to unlock access for fans – whether they are tuning into a sold out show in their hometown, or watching their favorite artist play in a city halfway around the world. The most critical element of live streaming is the artist on stage, and with Live Nation’s unmatched inventory feeding into Veeps, together we will help fans enjoy more live music than ever before.”
Joel Madden said: “Benji and I have worked extensively with Live Nation over the last two decades and we’re very happy to be joining a company that is such a big supporter of artists and artist-led businesses. It’s a natural fit and evolution for our business. This partnership is a demonstration that premium, ticketed live streams have earned themselves a permanent place in the verticals of every artist business. Last year Veeps live streams helped artists — both big names and new acts — make over $10 million dollars for themselves, their families, their crew and their chosen causes and we’re looking forward to helping even more artists connect with fans this year in ways that support their art and their development.”
“We’ve always believed that taking an art-first approach to live stream shows helps artists create the kind of performance they can be proud of, and an experience that fans love. This means applying as much creativity and thoughtfulness as you would with any in-person show,” said Benji Madden, cofounder of Veeps. “We will only see this platform get more innovative as concerts return and we layer into shows in even more ways. We’re incredibly grateful for our team who continues to hustle non-stop and we look forward to amazing things ahead alongside Live Nation.”
The announcement concludes: “As in-person concerts return in 2021, Veeps will continue delivering its core experiences while also tapping into Live Nation’s network to connect fans with exclusive content, new vantage points, sold out shows, and unparalleled access to events all around the world.”