Brian here. It's no secret that the COVID pandemic has wrought havoc on most industries, with the live music, concert, event, and festival industry being hit hardest of all. 90% of independent venues estimate they will have to close permanently if this thing isn't resolved soon, and there remain growing Coronavirus numbers and no clear end in sight.
Launch's previous iteration was started pre-COVID, propelled by a mission to simplify a historically outmoded value chain, and transform an industry such that it supports all musical artists, rather than a select few. That was before an unprecedented pandemic struck all live music from the Earth with the flip of a microscopic, highly contagious switch.
This presented an immediate hurdle to all music organizations, especially an early-stage startup like us. But as we like to say, Shift Happens, and this global shift in business, art, and all society has laid fertile ground for our vision to grow and bear fruit, and most importantly, help disenfranchised creative organizations and businesses fill in the gap from A (not performing, no income) to B (performing, generating income).
Right now, it's the Wild Wild West.
No one has a clear solution, everyone is working on one, and the future of live music as we know it hangs in the balance. All of this and more was reflected in yesterday's Sunday edition of the New York Times. A few choice quotes from David Peisner's excellent article that strengthen our mission, below:
'Pre-pandemic, live music was one of the industry's few financially robust sectors, so its dissapearance has been crippling ... In April, Pollstar estimated that worldwide ticket revenue would tumble by about 75%, or $8.9 billion if concerts didn't return in 2020 ... Whether livestreams can spawn a reliable business model to help replace this revenue - for artists and for the industry - may be the most difficult question to answer.'
'The English singer-songwriter Laura Marling song 5,500 tickets to two livestreams from Union Chapel, a grand 19-th century London cathedral ... The resulting revenue won't cover all of Marling's canceled shows, but that was never the point. "The shows are just an experimental novelty," she said. "Somebody will figure out a way to make them not just a novelty in the future. But right now, that's all they are."'
I know Laura. I produced a video with her back in 2011, and I've enjoyed watching her career develop over the past decade. And, I agree with her; Watching our favorite artists perform in their kitchen through a grainy video that sounded like it was underwater was fun for about a week. Now, it's time to do better.
Launch is doing better. Now we need your support to raise the money needed to get some marketing behind our platform, so we can truly be the solution the music industry needs.
The article also mentions a few other vicarious friends of Launch, including my personal friend and former coworker Ben Baruch, who's Live From Out There livestream series has grossed nearly $500K to date, as well as Rhett Miller of alt-country outfit Old 97's, another associate of mine.
Takeaway: Launch is clearly leading the way as far as a solution for scalable, monetized shows that are not poorly produced home gigs, rather, true, blue concerts that fans pay for.
Everyone's talking about it. The NY Times is perhaps the most culturally cognizant publication in print. This is a multi-billion-dollar business sector that needs a solution, now.
Thanks for being part of it.
We appreciate your support and we invite you to share our WeFunder with any music fans you know so that we can reach our $50K minimum fundraising goal by Sept 1st. Better yet, I humbly ask: would you consider upping your investment?
Brian R. Stollery
Co-Founder and CEO
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