Spenser Hyun and Todd Nelson, Co-Founders of LiveSpace on Earning Money Live Streaming
Spenser Hyun and Todd Nelson, co-founders of LiveSpace, share their experience building a discovery-friendly, free live streaming platform aimed at musicians and creators. Today’s interview discusses LiveSpace’s mission to help smaller creators get discovered and their multi-pronged marketing strategy.
About Spenser Hyun and Todd Nelson
Spenser Hyun and Todd Nelson are the co-founders of LiveSpace, a next-gen platform that offers free live streaming and an innovative, user-friendly build that helps creators get discovered.
Spenser Hyun has always been passionate about music, which took root when he started playing the piano at the age of four and continued as he studied piano at the Conservatory at Northwestern University. After college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music business and saw some of the needs in the music industry.
Todd Nelson has a background and passion for marketing communications, brand strategy, and helping creators and artists. He shares, “I take it as a real passion project for me that where my skills and abilities tie in very nicely with my passion to help people [creators].”
When the pandemic started, Spenser Hyun saw many of his musician and artist friends lose their income overnight. He shares, “I watched them [his artist friends] turn to other platforms, [but] unless you are already big… it kind of requires you to bring people from somewhere [else].”
Spenser notes that LiveSpace started as a solution to the question, “What can we do to build a solution for that 99% for the up-and-coming creators? Because it’s just so clear that nothing was working for them.”
Spenser and Todd focused on ensuring that their business model didn’t take a massive portion of the creator’s income because many platforms take 50% or more of a creator’s income in exchange for using the platform.
They also focused on social discovery, design, and a user-friendly interface because other live streaming services frequently have complicated set-ups or dark, unattractive designs that aren’t appealing to brands or creators.
Spenser shares that LiveSpace is designed to foster “personal engagement and interactive experience and [the] ability to reach new audiences around the world and how do we bring that into a platform for the everyday person?”
Todd adds that “We made the conscious decision in the early stages to put a primary focus on musicians while we’re open to creators of all types… the focus [is] on musicians [because] we saw there’s a real need out there, certainly with Spenser’s background in music too.”
LiveSpace is open to all creators but ultimately specializes in musicians. When using LiveSpace, creators can enjoy an 85% revenue split, which is much higher than many platforms out there.
Spenser notes that LiveSpace’s biggest mission is providing “access to monetization in ways that they’ve [creators] been traditionally kind of locked out of due to the high barriers to entry and, again, kind of bringing this back to what the mission is here, like if you look at other platforms like YouTube and Twitch, which are probably our two biggest competitors. There are huge barriers to entry there.”
Unlike LiveSpace, YouTube and Twitch have partner programs that creators need to qualify for based on a certain number of followers or views, which can feel impossible to the average person working a full-time job while building their music business.
All creators need to get started with LiveSpace is a camera and microphone. Unlike other live streaming platforms, LiveSpace doesn’t require creators to download software or buy expensive equipment.
LiveSpace is able to offer a much higher revenue percentage to creators because of its next-generation distributed transcoding network, which significantly reduces the cost of streaming high-resolution video.
On LiveSpace’s user-friendly build, Todd shares, “It literally is one click to begin streaming on our platform. For those creators that are taking a more professional approach, we make it very simple for them to connect their other equipment and things to their platform to stream higher quality audio [and] video.”
Like TikTok, LiveSpace has a homepage where live streams are pushed in front of the entire community, which can help musicians and creators get discovered by people who wouldn’t otherwise be searching for them.
According to Spenser, this counteracts the idea that “creators feel like they need to be streaming as many hours a day as possible because if they’re not streaming, nobody can find them. Or they’re just not searchable in any way… On LiveSpace we build in the social media element to it as well.”
How the Pandemic Changed the Music Industry
The pandemic greatly affected all industries, especially streaming platforms, which became even more popular to supplement the lack of in-person interaction. Many streaming platforms tried to replicate large concerts and in-person events online during the pandemic.
However, Spenser notes, “A lot of them [streaming platforms] started to try to recreate in-person events on virtual platforms so that’s things like hosting… a ticketed live stream from a concert or a musician would set up in a studio and kind of broadcast.”
However, Spenser shares that many of these were only successful if the musician or creator was part of the top 1%. Most creators couldn’t host large events like that due to smaller followings and, often, a lack of access to high-tech equipment and multiple cameras.
Their Marketing Strategy
Todd notes that they have a multi-pronged approach to their marketing plan, including targeted advertising, promotion through multiple channels, and keeping things as simple as possible for creators. Storytelling is another large part of their marketing strategy.
Todd explains, “We have a waitlist right now of over a 1,000 people waiting to begin streaming online space, and a large percentage of the fans of the streamers that we have on our waitlist were referred by other people on the waitlist, so we’re seeing a very strong approach of peer to peer promotion of this.”
When asked about their goals and tips for others, Spenser and Todd shared the following:
Todd explains “My goal with it certainly is I want LiveSpace to be, ultimately, the platform that creators just think of first when they think about streaming and performing live for their fans. The fact that we’re building a platform … that’s taking the best pieces from what’s out there already and we’re creating new elements… It’s really building a platform that is focused on the creators.”
Spenser notes, “I would just say to any kind of creator out there, don’t take what you’re using for granted. Don’t take the industry norms as the rule of law because, I think, it’s important to help hold platforms accountable.. And we’ll continue to involve our community as much as possible.”
Interested in live streaming? You can join LiveSpace’s waitlist here.