Dale Manning is a serial entrepreneur. He has founded, nurtured and sold 4 internet-based companies over his 30+ year career. He is considered one the earliest pioneers and technical experts of internet solutions for the music and entertainment industry.
He is best known for selling the companies MediaRewards, FanTorrent and Idea Den as well as brokering the licensing of his co-owned company, MasterChannel, to the Universal Music Group, who purchased MasterChannel to run its artists’ website infrastructure.
Dale created his first technology company at age 18 and that endeavor supported him through his college years at Multnomah University. After college, Dale honed his business acumen at Hewlett-Packard in the 90's, where he was involved in establishing HP’s new intranet platform.
In 1994, Dale went on to create his first web company, PageMan, and sold it into a Portland based marketing agency, Koopman Ostbo (KO). At KO, Dale led all internet services and founded the MediaRewards company that serviced online loyalty tools for broadcast media companies. At its height, MediaRewards was used by over 2,000 radio stations. Dale and KO sold the company to Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures in 1999.
Dale went on to work as an executive at well-known advertising agency, CMD, as VP of Technology. Here, Dale helped guide technology solutions for Nike, Intel, United and dozens more Fortune 500 companies. While at CMD, Dale also created and deployed a new company-owned subsidiary that enabled an early industry email marketing system.
Once again craving innovation and engagement, Dale left the large agency world in 2000 to start his own boutique agency, Idea Den. Over the next 10 years, Dale grew the company into one the largest and well-respected digital agencies in the music and entertainment industry. What's more, he truly loved being hands-on every day. Despite its big reputation, Idea Den, by design, was never so big that it couldn't consistently provide one-on-one time to each client. After ten years, Dale believed the next right move was to sell Idea Den to the record label, Bigger Picture Group, in 2010. Bigger Picture Group was the creation of several recently spun-off executives of Live Nation Artists and was poised to explode onto the scene. It was a smart arrangement. Dale joined on as one of the partners of BPG, alongside industry luminaries Gary Veloric, Bob Ezrin, Bill Hein and Keith Stegall. BPG is perhaps best known for the launching of mega-star Zac Brown to 10 straight number 1 hits. Dale enjoyed leading Idea Den’s accelerated growth under BPG, and continued to work with some of the biggest names in music.
Seeing even greater potential, in 2013, Gary Veloric and Dale bought Idea Den out of BPG and recapitalized it under the name MasterChannel. Dale then worked with Gary and team to build a SaaS system to help customers centralize and own their entire brand (content, commerce, community and communication) in one destination. They raised over $12M in the Series A round which enabled robust growth in providing award winning solutions and services to artists like Imagine Dragons, Garth Brooks, Dr Dre, The Doors and many more. In 2016, Dale oversaw the efforts to license this proven system to UMG to use for the code base of their artist services division. MasterChannel had found its home.
Dale next went on to serve in executive positions within two merchandising service companies, OneLive and Gooten. With online sales growth exploding daily, Dale sharpened his skills in the use of print on demand for dynamic merchandise production at both stops. He is widely considered an industry expert in this space.
Now in 2023 and with tremendous enthusiasm, the Idea Den shingle is now proudly hanging back up on its digital storefront and the doors are open. Dale plans on applying the storied service, methodology and technology of Idea Den to refine and define the legacies of “rockstars“of all types.
Current areas of interest
I have identified 3 areas of focus within my current career: creative agency, consultancy and photography. Please view the slider below for more information and links.
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