Concert livestreaming platform Mandolin to cease operations
Indianapolis-based Mandolin—which was named in 2022 as the most innovative music company by Fast Company magazine—announced Wednesday that it’s going out of business.
The company emerged during the pandemic as a successful concert livestreaming platform. Conceptualized through venture studio High Alpha, Mandolin launched in June 2020 and raised $5 million in seed round capital. In June 2021, Mandolin announced $12 million in Series A financing.
And just last year, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Mary Kay Huse, was selected for Billboard magazine lists of “Agents of Change.” In 2021, Billboard named Huse, who grew up in Lebanon and previously worked for Salesforce, to a list of “Women in Music Top Executives.”
But according to a message posted at Mandolin’s website portal for artists and venues as well as on social media profiles, the company will cease operations on April 21.
“We are sad to announce that after three incredible years of connecting artists and fans more authentically through digital experiences, we are officially closing down our product and business operations,” the message said.
Attempts to reach representatives of Mandolin on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Mandolin, which billed itself as “the future of fandom,” streamed performances from iconic concert venues such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Artists who streamed concerts via Mandolin included John Legend, the Lumineers and Lil’ Wayne.
When artists and audiences returned to in-person performances, however, Mandolin unveiled online products with the goal of building a new phase of business by helping musicians own and understand data collected by fans.
In 2022, Mandolin introduced two online products marketed to musicians: Fan Navigator, which aggregated data into a dashboard and offered suggestions for making the most of the information, and Fan Pages, a public-facing “link in bio” tool that collected data from social media followers.
The company’s statement posted on Wednesday concluded with comments focused on the evolution of Mandolin’s business model.
“We’d like to sincerely thank our clients and partners for their belief in our mission and the time spent helping us develop a platform that truly empowered artists to own their fan relationships,” the message said. “Though we can no longer lead the charge, we firmly believe market power will continue to shift toward better supporting artists in this endeavor and we are all so appreciative of the feedback, faith and validation you’ve provided over the years to get us this far.”
On April 14, former “American Idol” champion David Cook performed as part of a Mandolin livestream event. The lone future livestream listed on the company’s website is a performance by folk singer John McCutcheon that will happen after Mandolin’s demise on April 21.