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Livestreaming startup Moment House raises $1.5m from starry seed investors

Scooter Braun, Troy Carter, Patreon CEO Jack Conte, actor Jared Leto and artist Kygo’s Palm Crew Investments are among the investors in the latest ticketed livestreams startup, Moment House, which announced its $1.5m seed funding round today.

The round was led by Forerunner Ventures, with Sequoia Capital partner Jess Lee also among the angel investors, as the startup also announced the first set of artists who’ll be using its platform.

Kygo is one of them alongside Yungblud – who’s using Moment House for his ‘digital world tour’ – Blackbear, Kaytranada, Denzel Curry and Ruel.

Ahead of the announcement, Music Ally talked to CEO and co-founder Arjun Mehta about his plans for livestreaming experiences that fans will be happy to pay for.

A graduate of the USC Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre Academy, Mehta counts on the strong support of his “mentor” Iovine, alongside the angel investors who are being announced today.

In one sense, Moment House is not wildly different to the other livestreaming platforms jostling for attention during the Covid-19 pandemic: Maestro, Veeps, StageIt, Release Party, Bulldog DM and the rest.

In this case, artists announce shows (or “moments”) and sell tickets to those shows, along with up-sells to merchandise and VIP experiences. Mehta is hoping that the quality of the fan experience will help Moment House to stand out from the crowd.

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Troy Carter talks music disruption: ‘I’d still be in a panic if I were a major label…’

Troy Carter was the closing keynote at Music Ally and Music Biz’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York on Friday. The former Atom Factory boss (where he managed Lady Gaga during her rise to fame) and Spotify exec is now running Q&A, a company blending artist development, distribution and technology.

I interviewed Troy on-stage at the event, and it’s fair to say the session sparked a lot of discussion among attendees. Topics included Q&A’s structure (it’s a holding company for three individual companies: a management firm; label service and distribution; and a previously-unannounced software company); the discipline of developing artists in the streaming era; and partnerships with major labels.

It was the topic of the majors that sparked most debate later though. Carter suggested that major labels have missed a trick by not following the Disney+ template of pulling their content off existing streaming services in order to build their own platforms; suggested that the music industry may follow basketball league the NBA in becoming an artist-driven world of short contracts and label-hopping; and predicted that private-equity firms might be willing to buy out the rights of stars like Drake for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Oh, and he pointed to surveillance-technology company Palantir as inspiration for the predictive-analytics strategies around music marketing, too. The full transcript of the keynote is below, to ensure you get the full context around these and other thoughts.

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Troy Carter talks distribution and the ‘false narrative’ around DIY artists

He’s been Lady Gaga’s manager and Spotify’s global head of creator services, but Troy Carter is now co-founder and CEO of Q&A, a new music company focusing on distribution, management and label services for artists.

Today, he was also a keynoter at the Midem industry conference, interviewed on-stage by journalist Cherie Hu. The conversation saw Carter explaining why he’s launching a company in the distribution space, at a time of intensifying competition and consolidation there.

“The distribution space is definitely interesting. Actually, prior to me going in to Spotify I had been looking at it, and seeing where the white space was: and seeing there were a ton of gaps. A lot of the distribution companies were like black holes where artists put their music into these pipes, and don’t know what comes out the other end,” he said.

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Troy Carter leaves Spotify – ‘It was the right time to move out’

Spotify’s global head of creator services Troy Carter is leaving the company in September, although he will be taking up an advisory role for the music-streaming service after he departs. 

Music Ally understands that Spotify’s global head of shows and editorial, Nick Holmstén, will be assuming Carter’s duties in addition to his existing job, reporting in to Spotify’s new chief content officer Dawn Ostroff.

Carter’s imminent departure was rumoured in May this year, at the height of the controversy around Spotify’s new policy on ‘hateful conduct’, which saw R Kelly and the late XXXTentacion de-playlisted on the service, before a u-turn sparked by internal and external dissent. At the time, Spotify denied that Carter had quit over the issue.