DICE, a favorite ticketing platform amongst the underground music scene, has acquired the electronic music live streaming platform Boiler Room after their latest Series C investment fundraising effort netted them another $122 Million.
The official press release states:
“Combining DICE’s curated discovery technology and ticketing capabilities with Boiler Room’s extensive and unique music programming, the two platforms will combine to offer the best live and live stream fan experiences.
The two platforms will work together to enhance Boiler Room’s offering and drive additional revenue to artists, rights holders, collectives, festivals and clubs, providing the tools and solutions to help partners and creators thrive in the challenging and ever changing music ecosystem.”
Phil Hutcheon, Founder and CEO of DICE, commented:
“I’ve been a fan of Boiler Room for years and they’re world leading in bringing incredible experiences to fans. Blaise [Boiler Room CEO] and I have been discussing for over a year how to support artists better and the more we spoke, the more excited we were to work together. The combination of Boiler Room with the distribution and technology of DICE creates substantial opportunities in a sustainable, transparent and fair model.”
Since 2010, Boiler Room has curated over 8000 DJ performances by more than 5000 artists across 200 cities. Every dance music fan knows the Boiler Room livestream series or has attended one of their curated events.
One key thing to note about the acquisition: the partnership will supposedly allow Boiler Room to “continue driving its core initiatives and continue to pay all artists for broadcasting.”
Boiler Room was recently involved in an online controversy when Twitter user @SecretDJBook called out the brand and promoter for receiving relief funds from the U.K. government while not paying artists. Boiler Room responded that, while they used to ask artists to perform their livestreams for free, they did away with that practice in June 2020 and will continue to pay artists for both livestreams AND ticketed events in the future. With Dice’s financial backing, hopefully artists will continue to be fairly compensated for their time. As an industry, properly compensating artists is a hot topic, but one in which we hope Dice and Boiler Room can pave the way for other promoters to compensate artists for their time instead of the promise of “exposure.”
Boiler Room has always paid artists for branded or ticketed events, and as of June 2020 pays artists for all non commercial shows too. No artists have played Boiler Room for free since then, and all artists will continue to be paid going forward.
— BOILER ROOM (@boilerroomtv) October 19, 2020
Boiler room hopes this acquisition with Dice will help them expand their footprint into other areas of the music industry by “championing diverse artists and scenes through broadcasts, tours and festivals, documentaries, original content, apparel collaborations, and more. These initiatives have led to standout moments including a critically-acclaimed celebration of the New South Asian Underground featuring Yung Singh & Daytimers, a showcase of Auckland’s premiere QTIPOC collectiveFILTH, as well as clothing collaborations with Sherelle & Eris Drew, and grants supporting collectives Nyege Nyege and Masisi in the broadcast space.”
What do you think? Are larger businesses acquiring event and promoter groups the new frontier?. Will a commitment to the underground continue to happen as companies begin to merge or is commercialization on the rise? Live Nation created a vertical monopoly with both promotion and ticketing when it acquired Ticketmaster. Hopefully both Dice and Boiler Room’s commitment to preserving their culture of promoting underground artist will stay true with this vertical acquisition.