Live Nation Establishes LN Labs Fund for Music Start-Ups

New program will invest in early-stage music technology

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Live Nation
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Earlier this month, Live Nation Entertainment made news after acquiring Setlist.fm, a wiki-style concert setlist community aggregator. Last week, Live Nation continued their aggressive expansion into music start-ups by establishing LN Labs Fund. According to the press release, it is "a vehicle for strategic investment, partnership and mentoring of the world's most innovative early stage technologies and entrepreneurs."

Live Nation Entertainment is the show ticketing and promotions conglomerate comprised of Ticketmaster, Live Nation and Front Line Management. Before Setlist.fm, Live Nation also acquired BigChampagne in December. BigChampagne tracks peer-to-peer file sharing and online music consumption.

Live Nation is planning to incorporate invested start-ups into their global portfolio. Setlist.fm's data was already being used by Ticketmaster's iPhone app prior to the formal acquisition.

"We're interested in funding great new products that further engage fans and enrich the concert experience. There are a lot of little pieces on the board and we're developing a structure for putting the best pieces together," said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. "In the era of the social conversation, we're a very focused platform."

Eric Garland, founder of BigChampagne, is now working with Live Nation as executive VP and general manager of LN Labs Fund. Ethan Kaplan, former VP of technology at Warner Brothers Records, is now VP of products at LN Labs Fund.

Through the fund, Live Nation is currently testing their Laminate mobile app, which provides users with practical information for stage-hopping during music festivals. The app was released to 100 alpha testers at SXSW last week.

Live Nation did not disclose how much money would go into the LN Labs Fund.

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