Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the biggest fish in the live music business, has purchased Rexly Inc., a tiny minnow of a music start-up based in San Francisco.
The acquisition, announced Monday, is part of Live Nation's ambitious expansion into digital, which the Beverly Hills company views as a potent channel for reaching new audiences and, ultimately, selling more tickets to its concerts.
Last year, Live Nation acquired BigChampagne, a Los Angeles company that measures digital media consumption, particularly music. In March, it launched Live Nation Labs, a quasi-investment fund for promising music start-ups. Rexly is the first acquisition for the Lab.
Founded just 14 months ago by Joel Resnicow, Kyle Fleming and Bradley Lautenbach, Rexly operates a music-sharing application that lets users see what their friends are listening to on iTunes, Pandora and YouTube. Lautenbach left the company earlier this year to become vice president of creative development at Zuckerberg Media, leaving Resnicow and Fleming as Rexly's only two employees.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Eric Garland, general manager of Live Nation Labs and co-founder of BigChampagne, said Rexly will spearhead Live Nation's mobile application efforts by establishing Live Nation Labs San Francisco. Live Nation, in turn, will help distribute Rexly's music application to its audience.
"We love their work, and we love their vision," Garland said in an interview.
Resnicow said he expects to hire several developers in the coming weeks. The company already posted two such jobs on its website.