“We really benefited from the tailwinds of people needing streaming,” Chief Executive Ari Evans said. “The whole world was exposed to streaming (video), even if you hadn’t watched one before.”
The company, which formerly had offices in Culver City (its operations are now fully remote), is the developer of a livestreaming platform available to individual creators as well as businesses and broadcasters of live sports, music and gaming events.
Through the platform, users can stream video to followers using their own websites or mobile apps, as opposed to creator pages on platforms like Twitch or YouTube.
Evans said this allows creators with a well-established circle of followers to customize streaming content for their particular viewers and to seize upon better opportunities to monetize a core fan base.
Singer Billie Eilish used the platform to livestream a ticketed virtual concert in October that music critics and industry analysts have pointed to as an example of how live events can succeed in a digital space. Attendees had the opportunity to communicate with one another in a chat window and buy customized merchandise from a virtual store.
Now, investors are taking notice — including some established players in the music and streaming video industries. Maestro said participants in the funding round included Sony Music Entertainment, Acronym Venture Capital, Chinese game developer and internet services company NetEase Inc., and Twitch Interactive Inc. co-founder Kevin Lin.
Evans said the company has come a long way since it officially launched as a streaming business in 2015 (it had been a music blog before that).
“We went to artists, and back then they would give us a blank stare,” he said. “It goes to show how much has changed since only a few years ago.”
The company eventually found success streaming a mix of concerts, sports and esports events. But Evans said the key to the company’s future growth will be making its platform available to a wide array of users paying monthly subscription fees ranging from $20 to $10,000.
Users paying more will have access to more features and support from the company, but all subscribers will be able to control and customize their own streaming content, Evans said.
“Maestro is built for the core of your community,” he said. “It’s about owning a direct relationship with your audience.”
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