Live streaming music and video was once hailed as the next big thing online, and perhaps it still will be, but so far major interest hasn’t materialized as predicted. There are a number of companies still in the game, but a shakeout has begun as the latest round of company acquisitions has shown. Most recently, the online radio service Slacker Radio was acquired by LiveXLive, a music streaming service focused on live music streaming, and video platform Vimeo has acquired live video streamer Livestream.
Slacker has been around since 2007 and is known for its radio stations curated by DJs and customizable radio stations based on your taste (much like Pandora), and there’s no specific indication what LIveXLive will do with it yet. On the other hand Vimeo immediately launched its own live solution called Vimeo Live after its Livestream acquisition.
LiveXLive is focused on live music streaming and boasts some big-time streaming performances by Rihanna, Katy Perry, Radiohead, Chance The Rapper, and Bruce Springsteen. That said, the company hasn’t gained much traction, and the acquisition of Slacker is seen as a way of keeping its audience from tuning in elsewhere in the time between live performances. For a company that hasn’t yet made a profit, it’s extremely difficult to get in that game, as it’s already dominated by big players with much deeper pockets.
On the other hand, Livestream has been the backbone for 10 million events a year with over 10,000 paying subscribers, with over 50 million viewers a month, according to the company. Live streaming has been the #1 request for Vimeo customers, which it can now offer.
The biggest problem with anything online is getting a good idea to scale. Most companies spend most of their time and money on the product itself, but when it comes down to it, it’s the marketing that really makes it successful or not. Let’s hope that Vimeo and LiveXLive understand that and have planned accordingly.