Live Nation Entertainment is putting its recently acquired talent to good use. The company announced it has established the LN Labs Fund, a global vehicle for strategic investment, partnership and mentoring that will focus on equity participation in early stage start-ups dealing with consumer product development and technology infrastructure.
LN Labs Fund will be managed by two recent hires who formed Live Nation Labs in January: Eric Garland, executive vice president and general manager of Live Nation Labs, whose research and data platform BigChampagne was acquired by Live Nation Entertainment; and Ethan Kaplan, vice president of products of Live Nation Labs, who previously was senior vice president of Technology for Warner Brothers Records. Michael Abrams, president of Digital Ventures is also part of the LN Labs Fund management team. The amount being allocated to the fund was not disclosed.
Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, said the plan was to fund new products that further engage music fans and enrich the concert experience in other ways.
“The challenge for these upstarts is finding their market fit,” Kaplan added. “We bring that to the table. We insist on a very clear product market fit for everything we do.”
One indication of the company’s direction is its acquisition earlier this month of Setlist.fm, a wiki-style community of avid music fans who collect and share the setlists of concerts they attend. The company’s platform aggregates all this data, and recently started displaying some of it as charts indicating things like which songs a particular band plays most often, and even pie charts showing the proportion of any particular album’s song a band has played live.
“Setlist.fm built a great product for concert fans and we will further elevate this by incorporating it into Live Nation’s global portfolio across mobile, apps and online,” Rapino said. “Setlist.fm fits perfectly with our goal of providing fans an engaging experience that extends the fun and excitement of the live concert before, during and after the show.”
The publicly visible face of Live Nation Entertainment is its four major businesses: Ticketmaster.com, Live Nation Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation Network.
Live Nation – LN Labs Fund press release [PDF]
Live Nation –Setlist.fm press release
Setlist.fm aggregated data example (for R.E.M.) – http://tinyurl.com/6tmtygb