SOURCE: DeepRockDrive

January 09, 2008 00:01 ET

World's First Interactive Live Entertainment Service Creates New Audiences for $10 Billion Concert Business

DeepRockDrive Launches With Over 10,000 Members and $3 Million in Seed Funding; "Socialcasting" Blends HD Live Performances With Personalized Camera Angles, Interactive Audience Feedback and Facebook/OpenSocial Compatibility

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - INTERNATIONAL CES -- DeepRockDrive (www.DeepRockDrive.com), the world's first live interactive entertainment service, today launched its breakthrough "socialcasting" platform, allowing any artist the ability to perform a live, fully interactive concert with a global audience. DeepRockDrive's professionally produced, high-definition, multi-stream shows combine a level of live video and audio quality never before experienced on the Internet, with unprecedented social interaction between performers and fans inside a live concert environment.

"We're definitely pushing the envelope of what live content can feel like on the Internet, while beaming community feedback instantly into our live high definition studio in Las Vegas," said CTO Jeff Henshaw, who teamed his technology talents with veteran music industry dealmaker Danny Socolof to create DeepRockDrive. Henshaw, an 18-year Microsoft veteran, was most recently the executive producer for the Xbox 360. Socolof is a 25-year music industry marketer whose accomplishments include crafting for Pepsi the groundbreaking relationship with iTunes and the advertising campaign between Led Zeppelin and Cadillac.

The Company also announced that it has closed initial seed funding of more than $3 million dollars, led by the co-founders Socolof and Henshaw and a who's who of music and technology executives, including David Goldberg, founder of Launch Media and former general manager of Yahoo! Music, and Bill Curbishley, legendary manager of The Who and Robert Plant.

Other senior executives on the founding team include COO David Helfant and Senior Producer Lisa Hendricks. Helfant, a prominent entertainment attorney with clients that have included Van Halen, Slash and Savage Garden, also served in senior management positions at Paramount Pictures, Immergent Records and as an independent Executive Producer for MTV Networks and at several major record labels. David is also a member of the Board of Governors of NARAS, which gives out the Grammy Awards every year. Hendricks was one of the co-founders of Web development pioneer Boxtop Interactive/iXL, as well as a personal manager for artists including Prince, Heart and Sheila E. She has also produced innovative interactive content for clients such as Alanis Morisette, Goo Goo Dolls, Ellen DeGeneres and Sting.

"The digital music revolution has not yet touched the live concert industry. DeepRockDrive brings fans and artists closer together than ever before, eliminating wealth and geography as barriers to entry into this new entertainment experience," said Socolof. Apple, Yahoo!, Amazon, AOL, Microsoft and MySpace have all focused primarily on recorded songs. DeepRockDrive is taking a different approach by focusing on live and on-demand interactive concerts. "We are enabling the other critical part of building long-term artistic careers: the live experience. DeepRockDrive will do for the $10 billion live concert industry what those pioneers did for recorded music."

Leveling the Playing Field

DeepRockDrive's business model is simple, powerful and scales to performers and audiences around the globe. The company's platform helps artists and fans connect online to share support for interactive live performances. Artists can build demand for their performances on a variety of social networking platforms. Fans spread the word quickly and virally to their friends and friends-of-friends through Facebook, MySpace, blogs and other social networks using a free and powerful promotional tool designed by DeepRockDrive.

When an artist's performance reaches a sufficient level of demand from fans worldwide, they confirm their live performance at DeepRockDrive's state-of-the-art studio in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world. DeepRockDrive utilizes an end-to-end viral solution for promoting and selling tickets to online interactive concerts. Every time an artist or fan digitally spreads the world about a performance, they deliver an opportunity for an instant purchase of a ticket. Each concert ticket is priced at $6.99, with proceeds split equally between the artist and DeepRockDrive. This new equality in pricing model allows emerging bands to get worldwide exposure, middle-sized artists to aggregate a global audience, and major global recording artists to earn substantial revenue and develop digital bundles with new music releases. The experience culminates in a one-hour interactive live show where artists simply arrive to a scene of cutting-edge production and worldwide electronic distribution already in place.

"By moving live concerts to a digital world, we anticipate major acts playing to a million or more viewers at a time, just as broadcast and cable television reach millions of viewers," noted Socolof. "DeepRockDrive's platform is particularly exciting for the hundreds of thousands of musical artists who fall into the middle part of the 'long tail' of music, with thousands of fans dispersed over hundreds of cities, all of whom can be united in a world-class interactive concert that includes superior video and sound, choosing what songs the artist plays, personalized mixing of camera angles, and live interaction with the performers and one another."

"We've designed the DeepRockDrive experience to be a hybrid of a live concert and a videogame by giving fans the ability to choose from at least four camera angles, a vote for what the next song played will be, and live digital shoutouts to artists in the studio. One can watch just the guitarist's chords, the lead singer or an aerial view. We tune the camera angles with every performance, so each show is a unique adventure for both the artists and the fans," said Henshaw. Behind the scenes, a large team of professional producers and engineers is at work creating a world-class, high-definition video and audio experience. "We're simultaneously producing a world-class HD video broadcast; mixing and sweetening audio in a professional recording studio; and incorporating live, two-way interaction with fans into the performance. Nobody's even come close to doing something this ambitious with live performances before."

DeepRockDrive produced and aired 45 test shows in the final months of 2007 and plans to produce more than 100 paid, community-driven concerts in 2008, as well as 52 free concerts, one on every Friday. The Company projects that it will reach millions of fans worldwide by the end of 2008.

About DeepRockDrive

DeepRockDrive is the world's first live interactive concert service and platform. Combining professionally produced, high-definition live performances to a global audience with fan and performer interactivity, DeepRockDrive is "socialcasting" a new form of live experience. The Company was founded in 2007 by music industry marketing veteran and MEGA founder Danny Socolof, and former Microsoft Xbox executive producer Jeff Henshaw. By harnessing the excitement of live performance and the interactivity of the Internet, DeepRockDrive is creating the world's most popular online destination for interactive live performances. The Company is headquartered in Las Vegas and Seattle with 25 employees and a community comprised of over 10,000 passionate artists and fans worldwide.

Contact Information

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