Joel Madden On Live Nation-Veeps Deal: ‘This Partnership Is All Upside’

Veeps Live Nation
– Veeps Live Nation
during Liam Payne’s Veeps livestream event.

UPDATE: Veeps co-founder Joel Madden weighs in on the Live Nation/Veeps partnership:
1. How did this deal first come about? 
Our conversations with Live Nation initially started around how they could support the artists on our platform. They were always very open to exploring different ideas and better ways of doing things. So I guess you could say it was a very natural process and the partnership part of the discussions just developed organically as the space grew. As artists, Benji and I have worked closely with Live Nation throughout our careers and in addition to always having a great relationship, we’ve felt firsthand the team’s support for artists. That lined up really nicely with our mission to help artists easily generate the revenue they and their crew depend on to survive, as well as our vision for what live streaming will mean to the future of artists’ careers. 

2. How do you think your partnership with LN  will benefit Veeps’ business? 
I feel like this partnership is all upside — for the artists, their crew, and their fans. Plus, our team is able to stay focused on an artist-led and artist-first vision for the company and the alignment with Live Nation opens up more resources, solutions and in general, more options and possibilities. This is more than just the kinds of shows we can stream but also how live streaming can support artists throughout their career and impact their success in all other parts of their career, and of course, what kinds of things we can all build together for the future. 

3. How will artists and their teams benefit from the deal?
Creating more opportunity for artists and their crew is part of our DNA. It’s why Veeps is commission free for artists. When the artist is front and center in the creation of an experience, this aspect shines through — for everyone involved, including the fans. One added benefit will definitely be figuring out what else we can offer those who want, or need, different things. Many of our artists are already doing business with Live Nation and they obviously bring huge marketing capabilities to the table, as well as additional resources when it comes to venues, production and technology. And for artists to be discovered on our platform — we think it’s becoming a great place for artists to be seen and heard, not only by the most dedicated of fans, but also by the whole music industry.   

Good Charlotte
Ville Juurikkala
– Good Charlotte
co-founders of Veeps & MDDN.Co

4. The Livestream market has become incredibly competitive over the last year, how have you seen it change over the last year?
What we believed pre-COVID was that live streaming, if done right, was a value add to an artist’s business, in the form of VIP experiences and using technology to provide an intimate environment between artists and their fans. Today, live streams, and ticketed live streams at that, have earned themselves a permanent place on the touring calendar. Now, artists have to figure out what that looks like for them, especially as in-person shows return. It’s all part of the constantly evolving and rapidly developing space where this business lives. We believe that if we continue to put the Artist first, they will write that story and we will continue to develop our product by meeting their needs and solving problems as they arise. 
Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in Veeps, a ticketed livestream platform that has hosted shows by Brandi Carlile, Pete Yorn, Liam Payne, Rufus Wainwright and many others since fully rolling out in 2020. 
Created by Joel and Benji Madden of the band Good Charlotte, the company’s artist-centric mentality has set it apart from others in the space, especially in terms of execution and monetization, according to the Live Nation announcement. The platform is designed for ticketed live streams, and facilitates enhanced engagement between artists and fans with features like chat and exclusive merch purchases, while also supporting broad social marketing and VIP offerings. 
Benji and Joel Madden, alongside cofounders Sherry Saeedi and Kyle Heller, will remain at the helm of Veeps, with their full team staying on to continue with all operations of the business.
The announcement says that as in-person concerts return in 2021, Veeps will continue delivering its core experiences while also tapping into Live Nation’s network to connect fans with exclusive content, new vantage points, sold out shows, and unparalleled access to events all around the world. The Veeps acquisition would presumably allow Live Nation to offer complementary content to traditional concerts,  such as virtual meet and greets, replay video and more, along with the ability to sell livestream tickets for fans unable to attend in person. 
“We are impressed with what Benji and Joel have created with Veeps and their platform will create new ways to enjoy thousands of Live Nation concerts,” Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino says in the announcement. “Live streaming is a great complement to our core business, and essentially gives any show an unlimited capacity. Looking to the future live streams will continue to unlock access for fans – whether they are tuning into a sold out show in their hometown, or watching their favorite artist play in a city halfway around the world. The most critical element of live streaming is the artist on stage, and with Live Nation’s unmatched inventory feeding into Veeps, together we will help fans enjoy more live music than ever before.”
Veeps hosted about 1,000 ticketed livestream shows in 2020, with increased momentum heading into the end of 2020 and establishing itself as a major force in the space.  The platform is also commission-free.
Brandi Carlile
– Brandi Carlile
and her band perform her 2012 album Bear Creek during a livestream show on Veeps July 12.

 “Benji and I have worked extensively with Live Nation over the last two decades and we’re very happy to be joining a company that is such a big supporter of artists and artist-led businesses. It’s a natural fit and evolution for our business,” said Joel Madden, cofounder of Veeps. “This partnership is a demonstration that premium, ticketed live streams have earned themselves a permanent place in the verticals of every artist business. Last year Veeps live streams helped artists — both big names and new acts — make over $10 million dollars for themselves, their families, their crew and their chosen causes and we’re looking forward to helping even more artists connect with fans this year in ways that support their art and their development.”
Highlights from 2020 include Louis Tomlinson, who in December sold the most of any single show on Veeps; Liam Payne, who did five shows in October; Rufus Wainwright who did a whopping 33 shows on the platform; Lauren Daigle who was in the top 5 for sales in a single show and donated proceeds to the Red Cross; and metal band Architects, which saw a quarter of its revenue from merch sales during the event.  New York City-based venue The Bowery Electric was an early adopter venue, presenting more than 30 “Live Premiere Sessions” shows on Veeps in 2020 for the shuttered venue.  
“With Veeps we’ve been doing stadium-sized shows every month,” Liam Payne said during a recent appearance at Web Summit. “Which for me is insane because I wouldn’t have thought that I’d get to play to this many people again. And especially not in a time like this, right? It’s insane. Along with that comes responsibility and the reason we partnered with UNICEF, which has given a platform to a young girl and allowed her to have her say. My fanbase is mostly female and it’s important that I give space for young females. And we did that in the few shows with the special guests that we had on before the show, giving them that chance.  And it was great to see the increase that they had, straight after the show, which has given me more of an idea of where I might take my shows in the future. I love learning about my fanbase and what they would like to hear.”
Steve Finan O’Connor, Head of Music at KIN Partners
“Veeps has been an incredible partner for Liam and the success we’ve had during the fours shows so far has been truly transformational. Livestreaming is here to stay for the music industry and we’ve enjoyed pioneering an approach with Liam that has seen hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world watch his shows on the Veeps platform and millions more engage with them via social media.” 
“We’ve always believed that taking an art-first approach to live stream shows helps artists create the kind of performance they can be proud of, and an experience that fans love. This means applying as much creativity and thoughtfulness as you would with any in-person show,” said Benji Madden, cofounder of Veeps. “We will only see this platform get more innovative as concerts return and we layer into shows in even more ways. We’re incredibly grateful for our team who continues to hustle non-stop and we look forward to amazing things ahead alongside Live Nation.”
Formed in 2017, Veeps’ first post-COVID livestream was March 30 with Lissie, who later returned to the platform for an Aug. 2 show filmed at the empty Parkway Theater in Minneapolis, with a portion of ticket sales benefiting the venue. Other artists who have used the platform include All Time Low, Matisyahu, Black Veil Brides, Angel Olsen, LP and Puddles Pity Party. 
The average ticket price to a livestream show is $10-$15, with prices set by artists’ teams. For a Pollstar cover feature in August, it was shared that an emerging artist might expect to make roughly $10,000 or more per livestream show, while a more established artist can earn between $30,000-$50,000, and a well-established artist with a large fanbase can make well into six figures for a livestream show. 
 “Our virtual ticketing works the same as our physical ticketing, so it’s very simple and easy to use and manage,” Joel Madden said in an interview for the cover feature. “We were easily able to pivot into live streaming fully as an offering on the platform because we had built the tools and they weren’t far off from being ready to use. We had a large group of artists that were willing to jump in.”