LiveXLive Launches Music Publishing Division
David Schulhof, who joined LiveXLive last year, will lead LiveXLive Music Publishing as chief development officer.
LiveXLive Media, the entertainment live streaming platform, is launching a music publishing division, which will be helmed by industry veteran David Schulhof, who joined the company last year as chief development officer and is now president of the new operation.
Schulhof says the new publishing arm will sign songwriters and even look to buy song catalogs, with music from those songwriters being presented with enhanced revenue avenue, thanks to the company’s flywheel business model; which shares subscription revenue; can creates original content around its songwriters and their music; and help broaden merchandising opportunities with a direct-to-consumer channel.
“LiveXLive Music Publishing is a natural extension of our brand and our artists first company ethos,” LiveXLive CEO and chairman Robert Ellin said in a statement. “Our platform is perfectly designed to maximize and monetize music publishing assets and generate incremental synch and performance revenue for writers, artists, and producers.” As we launch linear channels, build original programming and continue to livestream music content around the world, this is a win for global songwriters. David is a perfect fit for our vision for growth.”
Schulhof, who joined LiveXLive last year, has a long history in music publishing beginning at the turn of the century when he was VP of music for Miramax Films. He co-founded Evergreen Copyrights, a music publishing operation that was built through acquisitions and organic signings which was eventually sold to BMG for $80 million; and was president of music for IM Global Film, among other positions along the way.
“I am thrilled about this new and extraordinary chapter in my career,” Schulhof said in a statement. “The ability to build a new publishing entity within the context of a company that is so focused on the successes of artists in all facets of the music industry is a challenge I am ready to conquer. I am confident my 20+ years in publishing and venture capital will support the growth of LiveXLive and the new publishing division will bring us closer to artists, producers and the songwriting community allowing full service deals to be done within the music industry.”
The company’s global platform for livestream and on-demand audio, video and podcasts for music, comedy and pop culture includes ownership of Slacker Radio, Podcast One, stages live events, and recently announced it had agreed to acquire Custom Personalization Solutions, which will give LiveXLive direct control of a merchandising business. “Other music publishers are reliant on traditional players and avenues to generate royalties for their songwriters,” Schulhof tells Billboard. “We are unlike any other company in that we have our own eco-system.” Beyond publishing Schulhof envisions signing artists, with LiveXLive functioning as a record label as well.
In addition traditional avenues, and its flywheel business model that supports both a paid subscribers and an ad-supported tiers, LiveXLive just launched a 24-hour music channel on SLING TV, which increases its distribution and advertising revenue capabilities. LiveXLive Music Publishing is a part of the company’s Artist Ambassador program, which provides revenue sharing opportunities to artists and songwriters. For example, as part of the Artist Ambassador program, LiveXLive could create original content for an artist, which generates incremental revenue for that artist; while any fans of songwriters and artist that become a paid subscriber for the company will see LiveXLive share up to $1 every month from every fan the artists and songwriters help turn into subscribers.
Schulhof says that since the company already captures tons of data, the company will have its technology built out for music publishing so that it can handle its own publishing administration. Going forward, Schulhof says he doesn’t expect to compete for the pricy high multiple deals out there but will look for smaller deals where LiveXLive can add value to a songwriters and artists catalogs; and pursue deals that make sense.
“As a marketing partnership company, we are really perfectly positioned to work with songwriters and artists and have the ability to move the needle and break acts; get them and their music in front of a lot of eyeballs; and grow the value of the assets,” Schulhof says. Moreover, beyond all the incremental revenue opportunities the company says it can offer artists and songwriters, Schulhof says the company also can pay by giving them stock in the company.
While posting a loss yesterday of $7.1 million, or 15 cents per share, on revenue of $14.56 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company reduced its red ink from the year-earlier corresponding period when it lost $9.9 million or 19 cents a share; grew revenue by 52% from $9.6 million; grew gross margin to 29.2% rom 11.8% in the earlier period; and grew paid subscribers by 21% to 936,000.