Four-and-a-half years after launching out of a small spare bedroom in Long Beach, California, Amplify Media is making the move over to the world’s largest music platform to help launch Billboard Live.
It’s a bittersweet moment for me — my wife Kristen and I launched Amplify Media in 2014 and I’m sad to see the Amplify Media brand sunset, but I’m excited about the collaboration we’ll soon be rolling out with MRC Media, which owns Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Spin, Vibe and Stereogum. Since wrapping the sale in June, we’ve produced the rebranded Billboard Live Music Summit in Beverly Hills, helped revamp the Billboard Boxscore charts (now the most comprehensive in the business) and produced the Fyre Fraud documentary with our partners at Mic.com and Cinemart for Hulu — I’ve since handed over command of the “war room” in the doc to my two-year-old Wesley and my baby girl Annabelle, who came into our lives on Valentine’s Day.
Since launching in 2014, my colleague Taylor Mims and I have published more than 4,000 articles, signed up more than a 1,000 paid members and hopefully made our corner of the music industry a little bit better for music professionals, artists and most importantly, live music fans.
The Amplify experiment has completely changed my life and created opportunities for our small team that I would have never imagined possible when I left my job of eight years to chase this dream. When I first went live in 2014, I had no experience running a company, or a business plan, or financial backing or any real clear goal in mind. We were outsiders looking in, but we did have the wherewithal to see a big opportunity in the live music space for a digitally-focused breaking news platform that mixed humor with hard-nosed reporting, analysis and a dedication to its readers.
We’ve had some great sponsors who have supported our editorial mission over the years, most importantly See Tickets who have been incredible supporters, but the bulk of our funding has always comes from reader support. We’ve never taken outside investment, we’ve never done a funding round and until last year, Kristen and I owned 100% of the company.
Sure, some outside capital would have helped grow the business, but we were having too much fun to really think about that sort of thing (and our CFO for the first year was our dog and official mascot, Bandit). We made hats, hoodies and t-shirts, plastered the entire music business with our logo and never let our foot off the gas. We’ve done partnerships with just about every media company in the space, including Pollstar which we partnered with from 2015 to 2017 (Does everyone remember Amplify Powered by Pollstar?).
In 2017, I joined Billboard as a senior correspondent and began working with the best editorial and news team in music, learning what it meant to be part of a global media company. Last year, Amplify was acquired through parent company Valence Media, making Amplify Media a wholly-owned subsidiary of Billboard.
I don’t brag often, so thank you for indulging me on this next thought —I am so proud that just four years after starting Amplify, our editorial team is the best in the business and the most read, cited and shared platform in the live music space. We break the biggest stories, have the largest readership, and clearly are having way more fun that everyone else. We start the conversation each day with our reporting, and we always try to advocate on behalf of music fans everywhere, and readers like you.
In the coming weeks and months, we will stop posting content to this website and move all our work to Billboard.com. Amplify memberships will be converted to Billboard memberships with more details to be shared soon. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]
Thank you for all the support over these four-and-a-half life-changing years. We could not have done it without our loyal friends, family members and supporters throughout the music business.
— Amplify founder and editor-in-chief, Dave Brooks