29. Ray Smith | BeApp (live streaming)

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Ray Smith is the Founder & CEO of BeApp.
Ray grew up in West Philadelphia and always dreamed about traveling the world. After graduating high school and then USC for college, he found himself in Palo Alto, working in management consulting for the booming startup scene. One of the tech phenomenons at the time was peer-to-peer file sharing, birthing a new world of music discovery across sites like Limewire, Kazaa, and Napster, and opening Pandora’s box for those who had previously been constrained to local radio. Ray discovered a love for dance music and found that listening to European festival sets was a game changer for his runs. He knew that if he couldn’t be at those festivals in person, he wanted a way to see what was happening firsthand. And that’s what led him to start his first company, Be-at.tv. Over the past 13 years, Be-at.tv has been the leading distribution and content channel for music festivals, sporting the highest quality audio and video experience on the internet. When Covid hit in early 2020, and music festivals essentially went to zero, he knew that although the in-person experience was on hold, there was still a need to democratize the artist experience for fans all over the world. This was the kernel of inspiration for BeApp.
Today at BeApp, Ray and his team are delivering artist access through a virtual portal on your phone. On the BeApp, a user is able to virtually attend concerts with mainstream artists like Katy Perry, Miguel, Kaskade, DJ Khaled, Gryffin, Steve Aoki and Flosstradamus, as well as local artists performing new music every day. And these concerts aren’t your typical grainy Zoom call – the app supports an extremely high quality audio and video experience that lets fans engage directly with the artist and jump to the virtual front row for everyone to see. And there’s a lot of exciting things on the roadmap. At the end of the conversation, I chat with Ray about where BeApp is going and some incredible features in the works.
Tune in to hear Ray's story!
EPISODE TOPICS:

  • (2:59) BeApp snapshot today
  • (4:39) Background and founding story
  • (21:23) Future of live events in entertainment/music
  • (32:53) Building community
  • (36:32) How BeApp works
  • (45:01) Business model
  • (49:16) How the music industry works
  • (58:00) Investor pitching lessons learned
  • (1:05:53) Advice to younger self
  • (1:08:49) BeApp new features
  • (1:16:08) Ray's wellness stack
  • (1:29:12) Ray's startup manifesto
  • (1:32:21) Ray's founder nomination

BeApp - download here

The Founder - www.thefounderpod.com

Don't have time to listen to the full episode? Read the 5-minute version here

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