Founded by a media mogul, a renowned musician and a serial entrepreneur and technologist, Dreamstage aims to facilitate artists with a means of generating income from selling tickets to live streamed performances.
Dreamstage is the vision of CEO Thomas Hesse, CTO Scott Chasin, and artistic director Jan Vogler (more on the founders below), who also performed in the first live stream on the new platform, Aug. 22, when he was joined by pianist Hélène Grimaud at the Fisher Centre at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
"We have started our calendar with some classical, world music, and chanson artists. These are at the top of their category, for example: Helene Grimaud, one of the top female pianists of our time; Gil Shaham, one of America's greatest violinists; Pape Diouf, a well known Senegalese artists making headlines in the world music category; Ute Lemper, a well known musical/ cabaret artist," Hesse told Pollstar.
Gil Shaham and his wife Adele Anthony, performed on Aug. 24 from their own home. French pianist Lise de la Salle live streamed from the Rococo hall at Steingraeber Haus in Bayreuth, Germany, Aug. 25, and tomorrow's Aug. 27 performance of Pape Diouf and band is going to be live streamed from Senegal.
"Concerts are recorded anywhere the artists wants," Hesse explained, "All performances are recorded from a location of the artist's choice and projected into the virtual hall populated with virtual viewers."
The virtual concert halls, which are intended to recreate the experience of being on site, were created by "world class designers," according to a press release, and differ depending on the musical genre of any given performance.
Social media integration, chat and applause functions, emojis and more functions to come are meant to complement the experience.
Said Hesse, "Fans at home can watch the feed embedded in the virtual hall or full screen on their computers, mobile devices, or Apple TV, [with Roku support] coming soon.
"We very much believe in a HD living room experience since this is where most people have their best audio and video environment and can lean back and best enjoy the show. With our first shows, we were struck how electrifying it is to share the same exact moment with the artists performing live in HD. Our claim is 'it's not like being there, it's being there'."
Hesse didn't want to reveal the number of tickets sold for past performances, but said, "While not reaching tens of thousands of listeners, these artists are displaying the premier quality of our platform and have already mobilized thousands of viewers."
Artists have complete autonomy over their performance. "Many larger popular music artists have very clear ideas about what they want their production to look like, and have their own trusted crews they prefer to use for their video feed. We have our own network of video crews that we can make available for artists that would like to use them," Hesse explained, adding that, "Dreamstage will also support our artists' social media activity with our own marketing team and will of course provide the ticket selling capability, in addition to delivering a beautiful high-def signal projected into into people's homes."
Ticket prices are worked out in conduction with the artists and their teams.
"A higher price means more revenue but might mean less viewers," said Hesse, emphasizing that, "We're open to finding the right balance and follow the artist lead."
Dreamstage takes a platform fee of typically 20%, but more if asked to pay advances.
The founders of Dreamstage believe their platform could be a way for venue operators to put their buildings on the map in times when no audiences are allowed to visit. They could use Dreamstage "to present ticketed shows now, and reach larger global audiences through simultaneous broadcasting (simulcast) as patrons return to their halls in person."
About the founders:
Thomas Hesse is the former President of Sony Music for Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales/Distribution where he's credited with driving the transformation of the recorded music model to streaming.
His three decades worth of experience in the entertainment industry also include co-founding VEVO and serving as chief digital officer of Bertelsmann.
Artistic director Jan Vogler is one of the leading international cellists in the world. He's also the director of the internationally renowned Dresden Music Festival since 2009.
Scott Chasin, CTO, is a serial entrepreneur and technologist who has founded and successfully exited several venture-backed startups including most recently ProtectWise, a network security platform acquired by Verizon in 2019 and MX Logic, an email security SaaS service acquired by McAfee in 2010, where he served as CTO prior to its acquisition by Intel.