Los Angeles live streaming company Bulldog DM has launched a pay-per-view service for streaming concerts that goes beyond the performance and offers artists the means to monetize collaborations and set up meet and greets and other online experiences.
Since the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, a number of artist-backed firms like Joel and Benji Madden’s Veeps and artist and investor Cisco Adler’s NoCap have had made headway taping into the demand created by the shutdown of concerts and events and the need to monetize streaming content.
The space is well known to Bulldog DM CEO John Petrocelli, a former vp digital media and live streaming at AEG. At Bulldog DM, Petrocelli is expanding the company’s own pay-per-view offerings with a new turnkey initiative to help artists sell tickets directly to consumers for their owned and operated websites. In the process, he is making a bet on artist demand for highly customizable streaming and hosting systems that share high production value content — which artists fully control and monetize — across owned websites and online communities.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Petrocelli has “wanted to develop a solution that empowered artists financially but also strengthened their direct connection with fans while touring remains suspended.” His resume includes working with “the most successful independent artist of all time, Prince,” who understood “the importance and significance of being able to directly engage and connect with fans,” he says.
That doesn’t mean he’s bearish on the big streaming networks. For the new service, Petrocelli also worked to develop a multi-camera video platform for Instagram “using a proprietary tool instead of being relegated to Instagram’s camera-phone-only limitation,” according to a press release.
He’s even created a “live studio in a box” kit which allows for higher quality, polished productions that he says can increase audience size and watch time “as well as more pronounced sharing of the experiences.” The kit includes lighting gear, dedicated cameras and professional microphones; completed video is transmitted for encoding and processing to Bulldog DM via a pre-installed app, while the company also offers add-on services like set up, testing, encoding and simulcasting.
The technology was recently used by music lyric and database firm Genius for an interactive benefit concert headlined by Wiz Khalifa, explains Andrew Warner, Genius’ chief technology officer.
“During the livestream, fans could vote on the setlist, pay for a shoutout from Wiz himself or ask him a question,” Warner says, with Khalifa opting to donate proceeds to The Black Political Empowerment Project.
Rich Goodstone, co-founder of Superfly, tells Billboard that “Bulldog DM allowed us to live stream artists from all over the country simultaneously across all social platforms,” achieving 9.9 million views in the process.
“We know that livestreams only succeed when the viewer is transformed into a participant,” adds Petrocelli, who built market leading tools for clients like Coca-Cola, AT&T, Nestle and Hyundai. “We are incorporating those tools into the service that will create transformative collaborative and participatory experiences for fans, as well as any brands that might want to present these live streams.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulldog DM has streamed over 75 artists and over 200,000 hours, including the Spotify Awards from Mexico City on March 5, BET’s Saving Ourselves: COVID-19 Relief Effort on April 23 and the ATX Television Festival June 5-7.
“Our mission has always been to provide the next best experience alternative to being in the room at the live show and this solution reflects that level of quality,” Petrocelli says of the new pay-per-view service.