Donner will oversee sales, business development and corporate strategy for the company as the concert industry prepares to pivot toward drive-in productions and physically-distant concerts due to the impact of COVID-19. Prior to Mixhalo, Donner led the music and corporate development teams at Eventbrite and previously held similar roles at Ticketfly and Pandora and has more than two decades of experience working and investing in software, digital media and consumer products.
"It's high quality sound, it's customization and it's the next evolution of interactivity at concerts," Donner tells Billboard. "For event producers, it's knowing more about their fans and delivering an enhanced and better overall experience."
Mixhalo delivers individualized audio that wirelessly connects the sound mixer or PA system with a fan's smartphone for concerts, sporting events and live entertainment. Fans use their own earbuds or headsets and can hear perfectly mixed audio on their phones via a proprietary WiFi transmission technology that delivers high audio fidelity with almost no latency issues, so that the music and sound fans are hearing matches what they are seeing on stage."
It also utilizes its own local area networks for concerts and "is not reliant on existing WiFi infrastructure in places where it doesn't exist at all, like in a parking lot," Donner says.
Concert promoters are increasingly talking looking at the potential odd drive-in concerts, "but when you think about the old drive-ins and how the audio system used to work, there would be a parking meter speaker and you would stick it on the side of your window in order to hear,” explained Marc Geiger, partner and head of music at WME, who is also an investor and advisor to Mixhalo. The drive-ins eventually faded away and concert audio became far too complex for a single side speaker.
"People who are familiar with Mixhalo saw it as a solution for drive-in concerts that will probably take place in arena and stadium parking lots," Geiger says. "It's technology that is reasonably inexpensive and easy to deploy. I think the hope is to broaden it for all venue and event types.”
Having fans use their own headphones also makes it easy to deploy Mixhalo without having to rent out hardware, while using a WiFi system that could have multiple applications in the future.
"We're sitting in an interesting seat now where we're going to witness the reinvention of what it is to put on a live event in the age of post-COVID social distancing," Einziger says.
Mixhalo is backed by investors including Foundry Group, Sapphire Sport, Founders Fund, Defy Partners, Cowboy Ventures, Another Planet Entertainment, Red Light Management, and a number of firms at the cross section of technology, sports and entertainment.
For more information, visit mixhalo.com.