Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Music VR platform Endless Riff welcomes Mike Rich, Benji Rogers to Advisory Board | Music Business Worldwide

Virtual reality music platform Endless Riff has launched in open beta on the Oculus store – while announcing an advisory board which includes ex-AOL and RCA exec Mike Rich and PledgeMusic founder Benji Rogers.

According to CrunchBase, New Jersey-based Endless Riff has undergone three funding rounds to date – including a $160,000 Angel investment in September last year and an undisclosed seed investment last month.

The company says it’s actively engaged in further fundraising discussions.

Billed as ‘a networked virtual reality music platform that enables fans to experience live music together’, Endless Riff aims to offer fans a VR festival experience, complete with musical performances and monetization through sponsors.

The company’s Advisory Board, announced by Mark Iannarelli, CEO and Andrei Averbuch, CTO, includes the following:

  • Mike RichAdvisor & Entrepreneur in Residence, Prior to Venture Fund, Rich built over 20 years of industry expertise in digital media programming, product marketing and audience development with companies including AOL (Head of Entertainment), RCA Records (A&R), Bertelsmann (Digital Marketing), RadioOne (Chief Product Officer) and Time Inc.
  • Benji Rogers  – CEO & Co-Founder, dotBlockchain Music: Rogers is a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur, technologist, musician, and the CEO and co-founder of the dotBlockchain Music Project – a new music metadata standard protocol. A pioneer of the direct artist-to-fan model of music distribution, Rogers founded PledgeMusic in 2009, which is now one of leading artist-to-fan platforms online with more than 4 million users and over 50,000 artists.
  • Matt ChapmanCreative Director, Ogilvy & Mather: Chapman is Creative Director with the world-renowned advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, and creator of award-winning experiences with over 15 years’ of experience developing brand strategies, art direction and user experience design.
  • Evan Harrison – CEO, Huka Entertainment: Harrison is CEO of Huka Entertainment, which produces large-scale destination-location music festivals such as Pemberton Music Fest in British Columbia, and Tortuga Music Fest in Ft. Lauderdale. Harrison previously led the creation of the multi-platform iHeartRadio as the company’s Digital President.

“I am delighted to serve on the Advisory Board for Endless Riff because it’s providing new opportunities for artists and the music industry at large to grow and engage fans,” said Mike Rich.

“The Endless Riff platform provides an even richer and more immersive interaction in VR for music fans, and the social features enable those fans to experience it together.”

Oculus Rift users can now access Endless Riff’s “RV” personal space – where they can watch curated playlists with their friends, who take the form of life-like avatars.

“We created Endless Riff to eliminate the obstacle of distance for music fans and to maximize an artist’s ability to connect with their fans and monetize their content,” said Iannarelli.

“There is nothing more powerful than the emotional bond that music drives in society, and our team is excited to begin our journey of uniting fans in the Oculus Store.

“Music fans can look forward to a personal festival experience, 365 days per year – while artists, venues, and creatives gain a platform for expression and economic returns on their property never available before.”Music Business Worldwide


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