Despite possessing no previous industry experience, Concert Live now has a troupe of major music labels and legislators dancing to its beat.
Being told your idea won’t work by top entrepreneurs in the BBC’s TV show Dragons’ Den would put most people off. But Concert Live co-founders Adam Goodyer and James Perkins knew their idea to record live music events and sell CDs or downloads to concertgoers was a winner.
“We didn’t know the right people in the industry, but did lots of cold calling to record companies and record artist managers, and eventually a few doors opened for us,” explains Goodyer.
They started with one band, The Levellers, but are now working with chart-toppers, such as The Feeling and Keane. “Independent bands and labels were great to us in the beginning as they believed in us, and didn’t have as much to lose,” Goodyer continues. “Then once we proved ourselves, the big labels started to take notice.”
The pair financed themselves with savings, and help from their chairman Alistair Baker, ex-managing director of Microsoft. Along with his investment and IT experience, the company was looking very appealing to the music industry. And the big labels couldn’t resist when they brought about a change in chart legislation last September. It meant sales of Concert Live’s CDs went towards bands’ chart positions.
“For any new business to bring about a legislative change is virtually unheard of, especially in something so tightly controlled and regulated as the UK charts,” says Goodyer.
There have been challenges, though, and some record companies still won’t take the risk of having no quality control over the products. “The main objection we get is that they can’t listen to the product before it goes out, but with us it’s about risk. The money they get from the CD and the chart placements will increase the rewards and make the risk more worthwhile.”
With growing sales via the business’ own site, downloads, plus affiliate deals with Amazon and Play.com, it looks like nothing can stop Goodyer and Perkins – apart from DVDs that is. “They just weren’t right for us, or our customers,” says Goodyer.
Concert Live is moving forward constantly, a fact that’s reflected in its turnover projections. Last year’s revenue was over £1m and this year’s is projected to be double, mainly due to its expansion into Europe.
“We’ve just had our systems approved for all of France and Scandinavia,” explains Goodyer. “France is an exciting market for us as it has so much homegrown talent – 60% of music sales are domestic artists.”
And with America a possibility in the not too distant future, we could see Concert Live going global.