Slacker Radio Acquired By LiveXLive for $50 Million
Revolt Media co-founder Andy Schuon joins LiveXLive as president.
Slacker, one of the longest running digital radio and streaming services, has been acquired by live event streaming platform LiveXLive Media. According to an SEC filing dated Sept. 11, LiveXLive agreed to purchase Slacker for $50 million, consisting of $44 million of cash and $6 million in common stock. Both parties entered into the agreement on Aug. 25, and it has since been finalized.
Launched in 2007 and based in San Diego, Slacker offers both free and subscription-based digital radio stations. According to the company, it hosts 13 million tracks and has 1.5 million monthly unique users, with 400,000 subscribers on its paid and ad-supported tiers.
LiveXLive said it intends to integrate and leverage Slacker's brand strength and will merge their programming teams in order to create new audio and video content for both services. The cross-company partnering will see LiveXLive providing Slacker with a video platform, while Slacker will gain programming like audio-only feeds from LiveXLive's concert video broadcasts and new programs featuring LiveXLive hosts and reporters.
With only two years under its belt, LiveXLive calls itself one of the "world’s only premium streaming networks devoted to live music and music-related video content." The company produces live streams of events, including Rock in Rio, and recently broadcast select performances from Outside Lands in San Francisco. Earlier this week, it acquired SNAP Interactive, a provider of video-based social networking and dating apps.
Overseeing the fusion of Slacker into LiveXLive will be Revolt Media co-founder Andy Schuon, who was just appointed president of LiveXLive Media. According to a press release, Schuon, who has advised the company in the past, will oversee all divisions, including LiveXLive, social media business Wantickets, Slacker and Snap. Before launching Revolt with Sean "Diddy" Combs, Schuon was Ticketmaster/Live Nation's chief digital officer and president of artist services.
"The passion for live music has never been greater, and LiveXLive is focused on being the brand-of-record -- globally -- for live music information, music-focused content and the streaming of music's biggest festivals and events," stated Schuon. "I walked into a radio station at 16, and it became who I am, not what I do. To continue to have the opportunity to shape the future of music streaming services and streaming radio with a leading platform like Slacker Radio is incredibly exciting."
According to its SEC filing, LiveXLive wants to create new radio channels on Slacker that coincide with specific artist tour and festival event, using targeted alerts to users' phones to let them know. "For example," the company said, "LiveXLive or Slacker may use push geolocation alerts to a user's mobile device such as, 'It looks like you are leaving the [ARTIST] concert at [VENUE]. Listen to the [ARTIST] AfterShow Radio now!'"
Slacker was also an attractive target for LiveXLive because of its licensing agreements with major and indie record labels. "We intend to further develop these relationships as we continue to expand our content library and evolve our consumer experience," the filing stated. "Among the expansion opportunities is the potential to turn Slacker's 300-plus stations into video channels distributed on LiveXLive applications."
Slacker has been led by CEO Duncan Orrell-Jones since early 2014. Whether the acquisition will lead to staffing changes at the digital service is unclear; a representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
"Slacker Radio and LiveXLive share a mutual commitment to drive the digital music industry forward by leveraging cutting-edge technologies to create fan-first content and programming," Orrell-Jones said in a statement. "Our mutual philosophy makes this acquisition a natural fit. We are excited to be joining forces with LiveXLive to extend the capabilities of Slacker to create a broader set of consumer experiences and leverage the reach and resources of LiveXLive to accelerate growth in the business."
UPDATE: This article has been updated with corrected attribution of a quote, and with confirmation of the acquisition terms.