Livefyre provides a suite of conversation, social curation, and social advertising products that allow brands to integrate real-time social content into their websites, mobile apps, advertisements, and TV broadcasts.
Annual subscription fees range from $30,000 to $1.5 million, depending on the size and complexity of the installation.
Lee Hammond, VP of digital for Interscope Records, has been using Livefyre since May 2013.
How do you use it?
Livefyre gives us the ability to design, organize, and moderate content. We use it as much for social content aggregation as for commenting and engagement.
Interscope.com houses pages for each individual artist and we’ve configured Livefyre to aggregate content on those pages from each artist’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
We also build user-generated fan content experiences by aggregating their social media accounts using a certain hashtag.
Artist content is not moderated. We do moderate fan content – not so much because it’s inappropriate, but because we want to showcase the best content. Some of our bigger artists might draw thousands of fan posts, but we may want to only highlight the 100 best photos.
We also deploy Livefyre into our existing content management system and integrate it as a commenting component to news items. The commenting application allows fans to respond at the bottom of a news item and easily share back to everyone in their social networks or to specific friends.
Livefyre has some new form factors for commenting that we haven’t seen before. It’s a beta product called Side Note that allows a fan to highlight and comment on anything on the page rather than just leaving a comment at the base of an article. It’s perfect for lyrics because fans can highlight and comment on any stanza.
We also use the Media Wall feature, which is a Pinterest style wall of all the content coming from a given artist from a variety of sources. We often use this on home pages for artists or in campaigns where we are deploying a lot of content from fans. You just add it and moderate it, if you choose.
We haven’t had any problems or issues with Livefyre. They do have a help desk and a ticketing system. I sometimes reach out to the CEO because we have a good relationship.
How does it serve your business needs?
In the music industry, social media is tremendously important to both artists and fans.
Of the top 100 Twitter accounts, about half are musicians. That doesn’t mean all of your needs are met by setting up a Twitter account. You have to engage fans more deeply and build experiences, and you can’t do that on Twitter’s platform alone.
We’re trying to build a connection between artists and fans. We’ve been working with real-time social data for at least three or four years, so this is not new for us. We switched to Livefyre because we needed to work with a better company than the one we were working with previously.
We were seeing more and more content produced by artists in their social channels, and yet it wasn’t being discovered. The SEO of social media is hard to hit. Livefyre has made it easier for artists to keep their social presence and websites up to date and for fans to see everything in one place.
Since using Livefyre, we’ve seen increases in time on site, fan engagement, and more current content around artists. With traditional CMS publishing flows, you would have someone updating a site weekly. Now it is being updated in hours because the artist has posted something new.
Another value of Livefyre is that it gives us plug-and-play widgets and the ability to build custom social data experiences to motivate fans.
For example, on Eminem’s lyric page, when a fan shares a track, they’re also voting for that track as their favorite on the album. So fans are voting socially, but the results of those votes are on a chart on the site.
You can’t get that on social media by itself. You could have a poll, but that’s like speaking to the converted. We want every fan to be an emissary and talk about the brand on their social networks.
The value for us is to turn a fan loose to talk about their love about an artist out in the wild. Livefyre’s tools allow us to direct that conversation and still leverage the intrinsic value of owned media.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
My team works in Drupal. The broader Universal Music Group works in WordPress. Livefyre provided plug-ins that make it easy to deploy on both.
What are the main benefits?
There is always fresh content on our sites. Increased time and engagement on our sites.
When we want to activate a fan base to do something specifically, the old way was to set up a contest and have people fill out a form to enter.
Almost everything we do now calls for a hashtag or a photo upload – we ask fans to submit media and identify it with a hashtag – and we’ll pull them into this experience. It’s a win-win because it is in the social networks, and it’s also aggregated on our websites.
So we’re everywhere at once. There are not separate campaigns for owned and social – this is where everyone is headed. We just got there first because we’re in the music industry.
I refer to Livefyre as our engagement platform that sits on top of our publishing platform. As an enterprise customer, although we’re not trying to build a social network, these are networked sites and networked experiences so we can connect the dots if we want. We’re not mining that data yet, but it’s nice that it sits across heterogeneous architecture.
We’re also looking at a mobile iOS structure, and we won’t have to build a separate architecture for that. Fans’ comments are in the mobile app and the native website – they’re not separated.
I feel confident that Livefyre can and will support what comes next – if it’s social and my artists are using it, I’m not going to have to buy another tool.
What are the main drawbacks?
There are no drawbacks other than it's a little too easy to set it and forget it. If you’re not publishing your content directly you may have people forgetting to add original, exclusive content for fans.
Livefyre makes it very easy for your site to stay current, but there is a time and place to have original content on the site that is exclusive.
This is not Livefyre’s fault. It’s more of a comment about strategy – you can’t always be passive and just aggregate content.
What would you like to see improved/added?
As fans are producing and sharing photos and videos, Livefyre does a great job of aggregating them. However, a fan might not know that we’ve featured their content on the homepage of an artist’s site.
I’d like to be able to notify the fan through in-channel messaging. It’s a way of closing the loop and saying thanks for sharing the content. Livefyre is working on this.
Mass Relevance: provides a social engagement platform that aggregates, filters, and integrates real-time social content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ into any digital platform. Features include the ability to quickly and efficiently integrate social content into real-time marketing campaigns.
Disqus: offers a networked comment system used to foster engagement and connect audiences from around the Web.