In-person events may be back, but the digital experiences that fans became accustomed to during the pandemic are here to stay, and Deezer is taking note with its additional £4 million investment in UK-based livestream startup Driift, bringing its total investment in Driift up to about $7 million this year
Accompanying this new funding was the news that Driift, which was founded in August 2020 by Ric Salmon and Brian Message of ATC Management to meet pandemic-era demand for virtual shows, is acquiring fellow livestream company Dreamstage to consolidate the former’s production capabilities and the latter’s technology and commerce platform.
The merged company will still be called Driift and will operate as an independent company with CEO Ric Salmon and COO Claire Mas at the helm. Deezer has also previously invested in and was a majority shareholder in Dreamstage before the acquisition, and it will now become the largest shareholder of Driift.
The two companies previously partnered in May, when Dreamstage provided the platform for Driift’s global livestream of Little Mix from London’s O2 Arena and facilitated ticket sales — over 85,000 tickets were sold for the virtual show — so this acquisition was a natural next step.
"As the home of music, this is a milestone moment for Deezer,” said Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira. “Connecting artists and fans through engaging experiences is an essential part of our growth strategy, and adding livestreaming capabilities to our portfolio is a key component to deliver on this ambition. Driift has already built an unparalleled reputation for bringing groundbreaking livestreams to music fans all over the world, and we consider that the addition of Dreamstage's tech and sales platform will take the business to the next level.”
Ric Salmon, CEO Driift added, "This is an exciting new chapter for Driift. Over the past two years we have become genuine pioneers in the livestreaming space. We've collaborated with certain of the world's most talented artists, filmmakers and creators to deliver online events that have been part of the latest redefinition of the livestreaming format […] Through Deezer's investment, we are confident that our upward trajectory will accelerate.”