LiveXLive Announces Plan To Acquire Merchandise Company Custom Personalization Solutions (Exclusive)

Courtesy LiveXLive / CPS

LiveXLive announced plans to acquire merchandise company Custom Personalization Solutions on Wednesday.

Livestreaming platform and media company LiveXLive announced the addition of Illinois-based e-commerce merchandise company Custom Personalization Solutions to its growing portfolio on Wednesday, Pollstar can exclusively report.

The proposed acquisition, an all-stock deal valued at up to $6 million, is expected to close by December 31, 2020.

The deal comes as LiveXLive continues to explore the ways “merch intersects with live content and digital platforms,” LiveXLive president Dermot McCormack tells Pollstar. “That’s really where our focus is.”

In recent months, LiveXLive has started to experiment with how tickets and merchandise are bundled virtually, including collaborations with CPS involving the bundling of VIP and custom merch packages that “haven’t seen the light of the world” yet, according to McCormack. The working relationship, as well as personal one between the founders of the two companies, set the stage for a deal.

“You look at all the merch companies out there today, they’re very brick and mortar focused,” McCormack says. “We’re obviously very digitally focused. When we start to engage these digital audiences across social and different platforms, that’s where we think the new point of sale is – and the new opportunity.”

In a statement, CPS CEO Scott Norman said, “The worlds of custom merchandise, real-time fulfillment and social commerce driven by celebrity and influencers have collided to create a perfect storm. LiveXLive represents the perfect partner for us to take advantage of this next wave.”

As creators of several types of limited edition merchandise, such as clothing, jewelry and toys, CPS made sense as the latest addition to LiveXLive’s ever-expanding slate of offerings. In July, LiveXLive completed the acquisition of podcast company PodcastOne, continuing a year that also included the acquisition of React Presents, which promotes Spring Awakening Festival.

In the live industry, “there’s the ticketing company and the merch company and the production studio and the promoter,” McCormack says. “We’re kind of all of the above, and we see a future where it all mixes together. That’s the way we want to compete.”

Moreover, he explains, LiveXLive’s “customer is the superfan. We want to sell services, subscriptions, pay-per-views, merchandise, content to the superfan.”

Naturally, that makes LiveXLive’s strategy for growth different from larger digital entities focused on rapidly bringing in hundreds of millions of users.

The merch push also comes as LiveXLive seeks “to provide artists a monetization vehicle” – together with catering to superfans, one of LiveXLive’s “two key pillars” – for artists, especially during the lean times of the pandemic.

With physical touring halted, LiveXLive has provided a streaming home for scores of performances, including 11E1even Group’s innovative Live From Out There series, which appeared on Pollstar‘s cover in June after grossing more than $600,000.

In September, LiveXLive announced the Lockdown Awards, which will recognize in the virtual music space; nominations are led by John Legend, Camila Cabello, Yungblud and Andrea Bocelli.

McCormack, one of Pollstar’s Impact 50 recipients in 2020, acknowledges the year’s challenges, but remains optimistic about what’s ahead.

“It’s been a lot of doom and gloom, but at the same time, at least from my perspective, there’s been a lot of amazing things happening in music that I think we’re going to live with for a very long time to come, in a good way,” he says. “We don’t necessarily know where the live music is going in 2021, [but] we want to be part of the new reality that COVID’s set up.”