UK-based ticketed livestream concert business Driift has announced its first international expansion with the launch of operations in Australia and New Zealand.

The virtual promoters, who are behind shows by the likes of Nick Cave, Laura Marling and Kylie Minogue (pictured), have appointed veteran promoter Paul Sloan to lead the new arm down under.

Driift, which was co-founded earlier this year by Ric Salmon and Brian Message of ATC Management, has sold more than 100,000 tickets globally to one-off performances.

Salmon, chief executive of Driift, said: “In what’s been a tough year, the growth of paid-for livestreaming has provided our industry with one of its few shoots of optimism. At Driift, we believe this is a format with enormous untapped potential, and one where the pandemic has unlocked previously unforeseen demand for unique, one-off, artist-led events.

“That demand has been strongly evident across Australia and New Zealand, which made expanding our operations down under an obvious step. With Nick and Kylie, Driift has already worked with two iconic Australians, and by bringing the experience of Sloanie onto the team we look forward to working with many more over the coming weeks and months. There are some exciting announcements ahead.”

This past weekend, the firm presented two high-profile shows, with Kylie Minogue streaming her immersive Infinite Disco and Niall Horan performing live from London’s Royal Albert Hall. Global sales for these two shows surpassed 155,000 tickets.

Driift has to date partnered with companies including CAA, Dice, Universe/Ticketmaster, YouTube, Pulse Films and Jackshoot, as well as numerous management companies.

Sloan said: “In this weird year I’ve been horrified by the amount of artists dropping their pants, literally and financially, by offering free, poorly produced livestreams in their underwear. What the industry needs now is another mechanism other than live performance to ensure artists and all their connected industry partners can still connect with fans and survive in a world where physical shows are just so uncertain and unreliable.”

He added: “I was so relieved to see Driift enter the market and to solve this problem with a model that honours the music and the art, and that is artist centric, with strong creative direction and high production values. I hate things that ignore the fact we are in a business about feelings, so am very proud to be involved with Driift as an enterprise that leans towards the artists, respects the music and delivers worthwhile and memorable streaming experiences.

“I think this curated approach will become one of the primary tools the artists and industry use to navigate us through these dark times – and beyond. I’m looking forward to seeing some great stuff happen with this great team.”

Image:marcen27 / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size