After Dismal Year-End Results, LiveXLive Wants to Pivot Conversation to Pay-Per-View and Podcasts

LiveXLive is hoping to convince investors it is on sound financial footing as it goes into the second quarter.

After Dismal Year-End Results, LiveXLive Wants to Pivot Conversation to Pay-Per-View and Podcasts

Would you pay $150 for a ticket to see Monsta X if it included a 20-second digital meet and greet with the band?

Plenty of the Monbebes (the nickname for the K-pop group’s fans) would, according to a press release from LiveXLive, one of five announcements the company has sent out since it dismal annual earnings report came out last week. Besides announcing LiveXLive had sold out of the VIP passes, LiveXLive is hoping to convince investors it is on sound financial footing as it goes into the second quarter. With live events on hold for the rest of the year, the company is hoping pay-per-view concerts and podcasts will help the streaming company reign in growing losses, a high-interest loan that’s restricted a large chunk of its cash and expensive lawsuits the company has struggled to defend.

Yesterday company officials issued a cryptic press release on its acquisition of PodcastOne that included a subhead noting that LiveXLive had potentially increased its cash to “$18.5 million, up from $12.4 million,” without any further explanation or mention in the release.

The announcement was welcome news for investors which saw LiveXLive’s 15% gain in revenue for the year gobbled up by $38 million in losses, a record for the company that has lost $128 million since 2015. While LiveXLive’s balance sheet showed $12.4 million in cash at the end of the fiscal year (March 31), Chairman and chief executive Robert Ellin only had access to $5.7 million because $6.7 million was sitting in a “locked bank account” mostly as collateral after the company breached revenue covenants connected to a $10 million, 12.75% interest loan from investment firm JGB Partners. (Billboard reached out to LiveXLive for this story, but company officials declined to comment).

By waiting to announce the lousy numbers until just five days before the end of the Q1, LiveXLive was able to buoy its stock with the mysterious announcement that it had improved its cash position by $6.1 million. But where did the new money come from, and how much of it was restricted?

We won’t likely know until August when the first quarter results are made public, but the company has previously  disclosed that it accepted $2 million in loans in the first quarter from the federal Paycheck Protection Program meant for small businesses. LiveXLive’s  CFO Mike Zemetra told investors on a recent earnings call that the company planned to apply for 100% forgiveness of the loan, despite outcry that the money was not meant for publicly traded companies. LiveXLive also likely generated cash from its purchase of PodcastOne — the podcast service reportedly had about $2.5 million in cash on hand at the time the acquisition closed.

Wherever the $6 million came from, it’s not likely enough to get the company through the year. LiveXLive is “dependent upon the receipt of capital investment and other financing to fund our ongoing operations,” according to its most recent annual report. The company’s losses and assets to liability deficit “raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern within one year from (now).”

One of the company’s biggest challenges is that it heavily depends on automaker Tesla as its main source of paid subscriptions. When LiveXLive purchased the Slacker streaming music app in 2017, it inherited an agreement with the automaker which pays to bundle Slacker (now LiveXLive) with other offerings for each car it sells. Nearly two-thirds of LiveXLive’s subscription revenue comes from the Tesla agreement.

“Our business is dependent, and we believe that it will continue to depend, on our customer relationship with Tesla,” LiveXLive’s earnings report reads. “If Tesla terminates our agreement,” or seeks to renegotiate the terms of its deal, “our business, financial condition and results of operations would be materially adversely affected.”

Another challenge for the company is debt. Ellin’s hedge fund holds about $7 million in debt, while JGB holds $10 million in debentures. Besides having to lock up $6.5 million after falling far short of its $15 million revenue requirement for the company’s third quarter last year, LiveXLive has to pay a hefty penalty to JGB. In order to secure a waiver for the breach, LiveXLive agreed to transfer 400,000 common stock shares to JGB worth $1.2 million in exchange for a reduction of only $10,000 in principal from its loan.

LiveXLive’s most costly liability is the millions it might have to pay if it loses a lawsuit brought by former business partner and investor Joe Schnaier. The former Wantickets owner has compiled dozens of taunting and threatening texts from Ellin as evidence. In fact, Ellin’s use of insulting profanity is so well known that Schnaier’s lawyer issued a subpoena to Ellin for all communications using  the words “idiot,” “jerkoff,” “cockroach” and four different spellings of “douchebag.”

Lawyers for Schnaier also plan to utilize a text message exchange as evidence where Ellin allegedly brags “Make this crystal clear you will never get your shares blocked til death do us part” and “You watch crook you going to jail.” When Schnaier warns “You are not going to get away with stealing my money,” Ellin responds “See you in hell and suing (you) for defamation as well.”

Schnaier’s attorneys want to include evidence that “Ellin has been arrested three times between 2006 and 2013 for alcohol- or vehicle-related offenses, including a DUI in 2013,” noting “Ellin has an alcohol or drug problem that fuels his fraudulent conduct.”

LiveXLive is struggling to defend the lawsuit — two lawyers quit because of lack of payment, and the company is now facing a new lawsuit over unpaid legal bills. While the challenges the company faces are daunting, Ellin told investors on a recent earnings call that the PodcastOne acquisition and pay-per-view shift are expected to help the company finally begin its path toward profitability.

“LiveXLive today is a different company than it was six months ago at the time,” he said, later saying that “having numerous new and potentially significant revenue opportunities, we now squarely focus on driving revenue and positive EBITDA.”

Source : Billboard More   

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A.A. Williams - Forever Blue

A stunning eight-track debut...Give the impact of her debut album, it is astonishing to think that A. A. Williams only made her stage debut in April 2019. As a classically trained pianist, she uniquely and exceptionally blends elements of post-rock and post-classical music.  Her stunning eight-track debut is named after a track which didn’t make the album’s final cut but, Williams explains, “it still encapsulated these songs”. The album explores love and loss in its many intricacies and features guest vocals from Johannes Persson (Cult Of Luna), Fredrik Kihlberg (Cult Of Luna) and Tom Fleming (One True Pairing, ex-Wild Beasts).  Lyrically, ‘Forever Blue’ is undeniably dark but there is a contrast between the lyrics and the music which can be uplifting. “If only I was someone else / I could have tried to help myself,” is the captivating first line of the opening track ‘All I Asked For (Was To End It All)’. A .A. Williams has an ethereal voice - one which sings about pain in an understated and gentle manner. Her lyrics are melancholy and forlorn before we see the introduction of a soaring strings section. Previous single ‘Melt’ features enchanting vocals. She sings about being lied to, finding herself alone and coming to terms with it in the six minute track. “I belong on my own / I belong with nothing at all,” muses the artist. It’s a passionate track with the drums kicking in during the chorus to accompany the dark orchestral sounds. ‘Melt’, like other tracks on this album, begins very quietly and serenely only to build into the high drama of a full band, perhaps to symbolise Williams growing stronger. It addresses self-worth and the acceptance of independence. With ‘Dirt’, Williams opts for a minimalist and sentimental sound, which is just sublime. Her vocals are stirring and emotive, while conveying raw emotion that perfectly encapsulates the anxieties and addictions of love and loss. A succinct but affecting collection, ‘Forever Blue’ is a confident debut, one that carries the weight of experience beyond her years. 8/10 Words: Narzra Ahmed - - - - - - Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold. Buy Clash Magazine    

A.A. Williams - Forever Blue
A stunning eight-track debut...

Give the impact of her debut album, it is astonishing to think that A. A. Williams only made her stage debut in April 2019. As a classically trained pianist, she uniquely and exceptionally blends elements of post-rock and post-classical music. 

Her stunning eight-track debut is named after a track which didn’t make the album’s final cut but, Williams explains, “it still encapsulated these songs”. The album explores love and loss in its many intricacies and features guest vocals from Johannes Persson (Cult Of Luna), Fredrik Kihlberg (Cult Of Luna) and Tom Fleming (One True Pairing, ex-Wild Beasts). 

Lyrically, ‘Forever Blue’ is undeniably dark but there is a contrast between the lyrics and the music which can be uplifting. “If only I was someone else / I could have tried to help myself,” is the captivating first line of the opening track ‘All I Asked For (Was To End It All)’.

A .A. Williams has an ethereal voice - one which sings about pain in an understated and gentle manner. Her lyrics are melancholy and forlorn before we see the introduction of a soaring strings section. Previous single ‘Melt’ features enchanting vocals. She sings about being lied to, finding herself alone and coming to terms with it in the six minute track. “I belong on my own / I belong with nothing at all,” muses the artist. It’s a passionate track with the drums kicking in during the chorus to accompany the dark orchestral sounds.

‘Melt’, like other tracks on this album, begins very quietly and serenely only to build into the high drama of a full band, perhaps to symbolise Williams growing stronger. It addresses self-worth and the acceptance of independence. With ‘Dirt’, Williams opts for a minimalist and sentimental sound, which is just sublime. Her vocals are stirring and emotive, while conveying raw emotion that perfectly encapsulates the anxieties and addictions of love and loss.

A succinct but affecting collection, ‘Forever Blue’ is a confident debut, one that carries the weight of experience beyond her years.

8/10

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

uy Clash Magazine
 

 

Source : Clash Music More   

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