Amid a deluge of new creator platforms, a startup called Fireside is launching today with what it believes will be a compelling proposition for professional creators in need of a more robust set of tools for content creation, distribution, measurement and monetization. The service, which offers a platform for live and interactive shows, had been making waves during its beta period thanks to financial backing by Mark Cuban, who has also taken the rare step of naming himself as co-founder. He’s joined by former Googler, YouTuber and Node co-founder Falon Fatemi, who sold her last company to SugarCRM, and early Yammer employee Mike Ihbe.
Fireside is offering a broader set of services than clubhouse.
The platform today offers the ability for creators to broadcast either live audio or video content, which can be simulcast to other social networks, streamed live in Fireside, recorded, saved and edited for later distribution to other social platforms or podcast destinations, or viewed on-demand within Fireside itself. In other words, it’s attempting to combine everything that makes participating with live shows engaging with the need creators have to turn that content into something that has a longer life outside of the platform where it was originally hosted or recorded.
Along the way, Fireside also offers a slate of tools for promotion, editing, measurement, distribution, monetization and audience growth. These aren’t meant to serve only as optional add-ons, but are part of Fireside’s end-to-end content production experience — an experience that creators today often manage by using a multitude of single-purpose tools.
In Fireside, creators can choose whether they’re hosting live audio, live video or a combination of both. Like other live platforms, Fireside includes the concept of a digital stage where co-hosts and guests can join the show and the audience can react in the form of emojis — like clapping hands, thumbs up, hearts, laughter and more. The show itself is automatically recorded in high fidelity and a copy is saved locally in case of network issues.
When the recording has wrapped, creators gain access to a transcript and the ability to edit the content before further distribution. In the editing interface, creators can cut out audio or video segments with a tap. This part is aided by how Fireside presents the data it recorded related to user sentiment and engagement. For example, if a portion of the show included negative sentiment or low engagement, a creator may choose to pull that piece out before distributing the show to other platforms. They can also edit the transcript text accordingly.
During a live show, the content can be simultaneously streamed to social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitch or any platform offering a server URL or Stream Key, like Vimeo, LinkedIn Live and others. (Instagram is not supported as it doesn’t have an open API. But creators so far have been uploading their content as IGTV videos after the fact). When editing is completed, the show can also be distributed anywhere you can upload audio or video content, like social media platforms, podcast services or RSS (for podcasts).
Creators can also monetize their audience directly on Fireside in addition to whatever revenue they’re generating externally on social platforms or through podcast subscriptions. At launch, Fireside aims to support subscriptions and ticketed events where creators set their own prices. It supports in-show advertising in partnership with Libsyn. It plans to support brand integrations, including gifting and tipping. It even supports NFTs.
With tickets and subscriptions, Fireside only takes a 3% cut to cover its costs up until the creator makes $30,000 in revenue. It then takes 15% — a decision the company made after analyzing the state of the market and speaking to creators about what they felt was fair.
With NFTs, it plans to allow creators to clip a moment of their show as an NFT and then distribute it to other NFT marketplaces in a few taps.