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Headliner: Never Miss Your Favorite Events Again - Ever!


Last year, when we scurried back to our homes during lockdown, it seemed like the pandemic filled the world with silence. Every exciting event was either canceled or postponed, and soon enough, the silence became unbearable as the pandemic took a toll on both artists and fans.

Because of the darkness that covered the entire world that we now call COVID-19, Matt and Sam Smolin, two brothers from Santa Monica, had an amazing modern idea: to enable fans to interact with their favorite musicians and relive the best live stage performances.

Headliner is a new and inventive way for music artists and fans alike to reunite in these daring times. The platform offers users and musicians a new way for fans to enjoy live virtual performances, but it also accommodates digital meet-ups, sells tickets, CDs, and other merchandise. The story of Headliner is truly one for the headlines.

Two Boys in Front of a PC

Matt Smolin grew up in an era where digitalization had not yet reached its peak. As a shy and quiet child, Matt would spend most of his time cozying up to his brother Sam while playing on the computer together.

Not long after the computer had made its way inside homes, Matt found extreme fascination in the machine. It represented the depth and knowledge of the entire world, and the unknown for Matt and Sam - was a source of inspiration and a life challenge.

But he never thought about monetizing his passion until he had already spent years at it. Namely, Matt loved going to live-action performances by his favorite bands. During his high school years, he would constantly follow around the popular rock band The Phish, whom he would later credit to the existence of Headliner.

Phish was a rock band that got acquainted with Matt while he was selling their merchandise outside of the venues right after the show. Matt says that he went to more than 50 live performances by the band, most of which were free because he was a hardcore follower.

Following the band from show to show, he learned the value of a single ticket and strived to let fans know what exactly they’re getting out of their tickets. This gig, selling tickets for concerts, allowed Matt to save up some money, and maybe, later on, plant the seed for his next big idea.

On the other hand, Sam Smollin, Matt’s brother, had an impressive thought process and was also very good at web design. This last gift came in handy when Sam would share some of his ideas with his brother, whom he accompanied to some concerts.

Did it run in the family? Well, both shared a large number of visions for the future!

Sam would also graduate as an app developer, and he’d create a few successful apps through his studies. One of Sam’s apps is even used by Ebay, a tool that selects underpriced goods and revises them, and another offers access to affordable house renting in the Chicago area. But then, the lockdown hit.

The closing of venues meant one thing: No more live musical performances. The news was devastating for the brothers and they were willing to think of a way of bringing music back on stage.

The Headlining Launch

The two brothers, Sam and Matt, each with their own set of specific talents and skills, combined to form Headliner in 2018.

Headliner represented a deep dive into the future since it gave rise to the process of live-streaming and it gave undying fans a chance to reconnect with their favorite artists during these tender times.

The company went from only selling tickets and merchandise to a live-streaming production.

Matt had never forgotten touring with the Phish and his experience with his inadequate and pricy ticket brought him to launch Headliner’s online secondary market for concert tickets at a reasonable price. Launched in 2018, the platform gave musicians an honest chance to interact with their fan base, receive reactions as well as making predictions for the future - all through a realistic lens of people who actually want to attend their live shows.

An Opportunity for Investment and Growth

In March of 2018 Headliner raised an impressive $680 000 in a funding round, but the greatest success came just a year later when the brothers funded the round independently. In 2019, Headliner raised $2.6 million in a funding round, which was another huge sign that paved the way to an even more prosperous future.

Headliner grew in popularity when famous popstar Madison Beer agreed to do a live streaming session with her fans. Headliner was getting credibility from artists alike, so there are more plans of having joint video conferences in the future.

Another successful milestone includes partnering up with Google Ventures, which doubled the profit made in 2019. Matt and Sam’s partner from GV Brian Bendett says that he is very happy about the cooperation and expects Headliner to reach as many people as possible. This cooperation was crucial for Headliner as Google’s algorithm will open doors for many possibilities.

Brian promises that Google Ventures will aid in modernizing and customizing Headliner so it's vastly recommended. Matt and Sam Smollin went from young music enthusiasts to having 500+ connections in the music industry.

Headliner Today

Matt and Sam might have even predicted the future with Headliner since it is now one of the most popular live-streaming platforms for artists and fans alike.

The music industry is gradually beginning to rise from its knees thanks to streaming services like the ones from Headliner. The pandemic left a chaotic mark on artists and their franchises, but the troublesome period might come to an end with the opportunities offered by Headliner.

The newly-established forms of live performances on Headliner represent a new form of art. Since the public can’t be up close and personal, it could still enjoy a live performance from the comfort of its home. This story is indeed one for the headlines.

When Headliner started it had a rather humble beginning back in 2018 and no one would have guessed that it would become one of the first-ever global live-streaming platforms in the world. Headliner’s headquarters are in their native Santa Monica, but they plan on spreading offices throughout the globe and Matt and Sam have 10+ trusted employees. It is estimated that the revenue will double in the future as the platform is still a budding company trying to get a breakthrough in the entertainment industry.

Because of Headliner, music enthusiasts can intertwine with other fans alike to experience an explosive concert, first row from the comfort of their homes. Headliner’s story and its reinvention of the world of music will surely echo throughout the years.