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Music is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and pervasive forms of art ever created. Throughout history, people have relied on music for its important role in cultural customs, daily enjoyment, artistic expression, and as a means of making life, in general, more enjoyable. We dance to it, exercise to it, work to it, and share moments through it with friends, family members, and significant others. There is truly nothing quite like the experience of listening to music, whether live or recorded.
The live music experience, though, is an especially unique one. Concerts can be some of the most transcendent experiences ever had. Particularly when it comes to seeing your favorite artists perform your favorite songs in person. The amount of energy at a live show is unparalleled. No other form of art in the world draws the same crowds, nor does it inspire the same level of excitement. For evidence of this, one has to look no further than some of the historic and unforgettable live concert experiences of the past, such as the original Woodstock festival or, more contemporarily, Coachella or Lollapalooza of today.
A concert is an experience like no other. This is why, in addition to having a music streaming service in your arsenal for listening to recorded music, it makes perfect sense to have one that caters to live performances specifically. Because, well, we cannot always make it to legendary performances from our favorite artists. In the 21st century, though, that does not mean that we have to miss out on them.
Thankfully, there is finally a music streaming service that, in addition to allowing us to listen to prerecorded music from our favorite artists, also allows us to tune into exclusive life performances. Thanks to Live x Live (pronounced “Live by Live”), we never have to miss an epic performance. Not only does this service offer traditional music streaming capabilities, but it also offers plenty of live video streaming, putting you in the front row of the best concerts that you cannot be in attendance of, for one reason or another.
Live x Live was founded by Celite Milbrandt and Dennis Mudd in 2004. However, the company did not launch officially until March of 2007. Mudd, who was formerly the CEO of Music Match (which was acquired by Yahoo Music and rebranded as Yahoo Music Radio) used this funding to forge Live x Live as his next endeavor.
Once September of 2007 rolled around, Live x Live announced that it had struck deals with the big four major music labels: Universal, EMI, Warner, and Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Plus, Live x Live made sure not to ignore the smaller companies, having purchased the rights to plenty of songs from thousands of indie labels as well.
Toward the end of 2017, Live x Live purchased the formerly famous online radio streaming platform, Slacker. This would allow Live x Live to expand the services it offered, including the introduction of employing Slacker’s online radio station creation algorithm. With this strategic purchase, Live x Live exponentiated the number of services that it offered, now enabling the company to stream tons of live content, recorded content, as well as the ability for users to create their own personalized radio stations based on listening habits.
Thus, the Live x Live that we know and love today came into existence.
Whether we are looking at the desktop website or the official Live x Live app, there is nothing to hate about the way the platform is designed. Live x Live offers an easy to use, streamlined, and professional-looking experience every step of the way. Whether you are browsing any of Live x Live’s exclusive video interviews, live performances, or simply listening to the audio, no matter what OS you are using, the site looks great and functions flawlessly.
It is a very streamlined design, with elaborate and well-organized dropdown menus that expand on the fly and allow you to truly make the most of the service if you are on your computer. And on the app, it is just as user-friendly, favoring a more tab-oriented app design that easily rivals that of Apple Music or Spotify. The black and green theme also lends the site a fresh and modern feel. Quickly navigate through videos, songs, radio stations, and albums with just a quick click or tap.
As I just touched upon a little bit, in addition to exclusive live performances from all of your favorite artists, Live x Live also offers one of a kind interviews, which gives this streaming service an element of music journalism, too, that no other audio streaming platform really provides. This is just one of the many features that make Live x Live a very unique platform, more for the hardcore music fan, it seems than the average casual pop radio listener. Live x Live is a great way to keep yourself in the loop of what’s what in the music industry.
Plus, it isn’t just live performances and interviews with artists that set Live x Live apart from the rest of the music streaming sites available … Live x Live also offers tons of original series and types of video content that you won’t find anywhere else, a great deal of which is compelling and offers unique looks at the lives of touring musicians and music fans, as well as just interesting takes on different music-related subjects.
Fest Life and Festival Stories, for instance, are two exclusive series that are dedicated, well, to music festivals and the people who frequent them and make them happen. Music festivals, after all, can border on a lifestyle. Especially for large groups of people in North America that make it a priority to travel the continent to visit as many festivals as they can. These two series are incredible and rare looks at the ‘festie’ lifestyle that only Live x Live offers.
Outside of these two video series, there are 8 others for subscribers to explore, most of which put the Live x Live staff on location at various concerts, festivals, and embedded into the cultures of certain musical genres (especially those that tend to have a cult following, such as EDM, for example). I love this aspect of Live x Live because it is something truly original in the world of music streaming services, this journalistic bent.
Desktop and Mobile Experience
As I said before, the desktop and mobile experiences are both top-notch, in terms of design. In fact, this is one of those rare services where I cannot discern whether I prefer the desktop web browser experience or the app experience more.
What I can say, though, with certainty is that people seem to love the app as well. Of 17 thousand ratings, the Live x Live app has an average score of 4.7 (out of 5) stars on the Apple App Store. As far as streaming apps go, it truly doesn’t get much better than this.
Pricing and Plans
As is the case with many music streaming services, Live x Live offers a three-tiered system for membership levels. There is, of course, the basic/free version that anyone can immediately begin using (meant more for trying the service out and seeing if upgrading might be something that you would be interested in). After that, they also offer Live x Live Radio Plus and Live x Live Radio Premium.
The basic service comes with some heavy limitations (as you might have guessed). It allows you to listen to premade radio stations and create custom stations, but you can only skip 6 songs per hour. And there are ads every 5-7 songs. The peak audio quality offered here is 128kbit/s.
Live x Live Radio Plus will only cost you $3.99/month. This offers unlimited skips, no ads, and top audio quality that is equal to standard CD quality: 320kbit/s.
Finally, there is Live x Live Radio Premium for $9.99/month. Here, you’ll get everything that Plus offers, as well as offline listening and the ability to play specific songs on demand. Unfortunately, Premium is only available through iTunes.
Suggestions that I have for Live x Live
Well, since we’re already on the topic of Live x Live’s premium subscription, my main suggestion would be to offer a little bit more for $10 a month. For one thing, the whole “available only through iTunes” aspect is a huge bummer. Why should I have to download and create an account for a wholly different app when I am paying Live x Live $10 a month to provide me with a service?
Also, there is no increase in sound quality from Plus to Premium. The only thing that you really get extra with Premium is the very basic ability to play songs on demand. I say split the difference and combine Plus and Premium into a two-tier subscription at, say, $7.99 a month. There is no need for this 3rd option that really doesn’t do a whole lot.
All in all, there is truly no other audio streaming platform out there that is doing anything like what Live x Live offers. If you are a true superfan who wants exclusive content, including live performances and interviews, at your fingertips, this is the app for you!