Streaming service Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren stepped down as CEO and from its board of directors in June 2017. Since then, he’s been a venture partner at VC firm Khosla Ventures; joined the board of AI music startup Popgun; and founded a new company called Next Music. What’s that? Well, it’s the firm behind a new ‘livestreaming platform for music’ called Sessions, which launched in beta yesterday.
The pitch: “With just a laptop and a microphone, musicians can perform live, cultivate a global fanbase, and make a sustainable income from home.” It’s far from the only startup promising this, with the Covid-19 shutdown of the live music industry sparking a flurry of press activity in the livestreaming-startups sector.
What can Sessions add? It’s touting a “marketing growth engine” to ensure artists draw fans to watch their live online performances; and it’ll be selling games-inspired virtual items to help those artists make money. It also claims that “artists with no prior commercial presence or success” are already making money from its service.
Sessions is available as a website and a mobile app, and while Westergren’s “digital music has failed the working musician, recorded music has been devalued…” launch rhetoric will raise a few eyebrows given his past, we’ll be keen to see how Sessions develops.
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