“In The Studio” welcomes a digital media savant who has hustled his way up through the music world by interning for Rolling Stone, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum, MTV Networks (through Viacom), Hulu, and Twitter, worked as an editor and analyst for ABC News and Fuse TV, and eventually embarked down the path of entrepreneurship to be recently acquired by Live Nation.
Joel Resnicow, now the Mobile Product Lead for Live Nation’s San Francisco offices, has invested his entire career in both old and new media platforms. Before joining Live Nation, Resnicow co-founded a music application company (disclaimer: I worked with Joel there) called Rexly, which sought to aggregate digital media tastes and help users discover new content through their friends but across mediums and channels. Rexly committed to a product direction, but was timed to coincide with Spotify’s U.S. release and was never able to gain elusive mobile distribution or enough investment to continue, as music startups have created scar tissue among investors.
In this conversation, Resnicow recalls the insight that led him to help create Rexly, how Spotify’s model has disrupted iTunes in many ways, the lessons he’s learned by trying to create a product in a difficult category when big incumbents were launching competitive services, and how the Rexly acquisition by Live Nation now gives him and his team a new platform by which to create more and more tools to help artists make deeper connections with their fans. As a larger vision, Resnicow sees music discovery on mobile devices as a way for bands to find and engage with fans and eventually drive ticket sales for live shows, where the real money is. Resnicow also touches on the new seed fund by Live Nation Labs, which is looking to push innovation broadly in the music space, ranging from discovery, ticketing, social media, photography, and video. Finally, Resnicow is brutally honest about his experience in pitching Rexly to many investors and the challenge with iOS distribution, a pain point many app makers acutely feel.